Alright, alright. I’ll admit it. This is a slight rant post, but this might also help a potential mom down the road, so I feel the need to make it its own blog post. I am, as you’ve seen from pictures, a new mommy. My daughter Sophia is 9 months old – sniff, sniff – and I’m currently a SAHM (stay at home mom). It’s amazing. I’m definitely not as grateful as I should be about being able to stay at home with my baby and being able to watch her grow and learn every day. She is such an explorer. Now, even the slightest thought of putting her in daycare makes me cry. Seriously, real tears. I give so much credit to you mommies that go back to work 6 weeks postpartum and drop those new squishy babies into the arms of daycare employees and head back to the 9-5 grind.
This is why I needed to make this post. Personally, if I decided (or we financially needed) me to return to work, I’d make the decision to hire a babysitter or nanny to come to my home and watch our daughter in our home, a place where she is familiar. I would run background checks, make copies of their license and grill them on how many puffs they think my Sophia should eat in one sitting. The correct number, by the way, is 27. This is where I come in. I’m a Care.com “employee”. I have registered myself on to their website, paid for the most advanced background check they offer, made connections with people in the area and had previous moms leave reviews on me on my page that are available for anyone who views my profile to see.
Many new parents don’t know the right questions to ask when hiring a nanny or a babysitter. I’ve been on many interviews, and successfully worked for 6 different families in 6 years. You just need to weed out the potential sitters that you feel aren’t fit for the position, as I would if I were hiring someone to watch my daughter. So here, I list 5 rules to help you with hiring your next nanny/babysitter.
1) Know exactly what you want. How you want your child changed, fed, played with, and put to bed. Explain, word for word, exactly how you want all of these things done. Make everything perfectly clear to this potential caregiver. Be blunt. Make them understand that this is so important to you, caring for your baby. Make a list, or a “baby manual” of sorts. Write in it all of the things that baby likes to do – songs to be sung, ways to be soothed, different suggestions if baby is being a bit difficult. Anything to really help the new caregiver feel comfortable.
2) Make it perfectly clear what the caregiver can/cannot do while watching your baby. Whether it be watching TV, being on the computer, or even going to walks outside. Let them know when you’d feel comfortable (if at all) bringing the baby to a library or a music class. Let them know if anything in the fridge or pantry is off limits. When I was a nanny, the family had a grocery list on the fridge, and I was to add whatever I’d like for the week to it. They would buy me food and drinks, but I was also welcome to whatever else was available. Just remember – as much as the baby needs to eat, so does the nanny
3) Be completely comfortable with the nanny. Be able to talk to them, socialize, and feel utterly at peace while your child is in their care. Your baby will sense if you’re nervous, and that will make for a rough few days. Be as upfront as possible. Most of my jobs, I emailed/texted updates and pictures to the moms and dads while they were at work or on date night. It made them feel great that their baby was in good hands, and it made me feel even better that they trusted me with their child, their life. It may seem so simple, but it’s definitely a complex.
4) Never forget to pay the nanny. I have also had this happen. I’m not the type to ask for money, so I can’t give much advice on that. But please, for the love of god, don’t forget to pay them. It makes it so much easier if every Friday or every other Friday, there is a check on the fridge or on the counter before you leave for work. Make sure they know it’s there. It just makes for a smoother day all around, knowing that everyone got paid, and there’s no awkwardness. And trust me, there WILL be awkwardness if you forget to pay them. I’m negative hundreds of dollars from not speaking up. Please, take this advice, if any.
5) Be yourself. Let your true colors shine through. If you let the pacifier fall on the floor once, and you didn’t clean it, it’s not the end of the world. Just the same; don’t act like it’s the end of the world if the nanny does it. You’ll see it – that spark in the nanny’s eye. And that same spark? You’ll see it in your baby’s eye. I’ve seen it, and it’s the best feeling in the world. When you come up the stairs and the baby practically dives out of the parents’ arms to come to you, to play with you. Saying it’s amazing isn’t even the word for it.
This was the reason I became a mom. After six years, I knew that I wanted kids and having Sophia has been the best experience of my life. She learns something new every day, and she is always teaching me something new as well. Just understand that this nanny that you’re going to hire? He/she is going to love your child the same way that you do, and that? That’s something you just can’t put a price on.
Happy nanny hunting! Feel free to check out my profile if you’re in the Baltimore Metro area