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Hi everyone, I haven't been around much... sorry! I know though that there are a few mommys on here who used to be nannies so I wanted to ask.
We are looking at hiring a nanny for the spring so that I can go back to school full time. I am kind of freaking out about it. Worried that they will do things that as a parent I don't agree with when I am not around.
Does anyone have any advice or words of wisdom for finding the right fit for us? We are also considering hiring a live-in from overseas (might be our only option because of our rural location), so it makes it hard when we might not be able to meet them in person before they come to Canada. Sigh.
Anything you experience nannys or moms who have hired nannys can share?
Proud mama to:
Avery Elizabeth (08/27/2011) & Dawsyn Brielle (10/29/2013)
I have been a nanny in the past, and I would say that probably talking to 2-3 references in detail about the potential nannies is the most important thing. I mean, obviously talk with the nanny candidates, and meet and/or Skype with them to get a feel for how they are with you and with your kids, but I kind of feel like anyone can fake anything for 1-2 hours. Also, watching them interact with your kids may not really give you an accurate view of what they'd be like on their own- I know I always felt kind of awkward when the parents were around, but was totally at ease with just the kids. It's really getting a great feeling from people they've worked for in the past that will tell you the most about them.
Also, when I was a nanny, I always did things however the parents wanted, and I worked for a cloth diapering, totally organic, baby signing, 100% AP family at a time when I knew nothing about those things. I would think that any nanny would follow your wishes if you make it clear how you want them to handle specific types of situations. But that confidence will probably come from getting a great feeling about them in general.
I nannied up until we moved out to the middle of nowhere... for several families with all kinds of different parenting techniques. I found it pretty easy to adapt to each parent's different needs and styles, but it wasn't until my last job that I really discovered how I wanted to parent my own kids, and that it was a "natural fit" vs just my job.
I think a nanny may be the best bet in care for your kiddos as they are the most adaptable to your personal parenting style. At the end of the day, they are not you, and no other human being will raise your child 100% the way you do. However there are things that you may be able to let go control over (do they put ski pants over the boot, or tuck them in) and things that you will choose not to (discipline, feeding may be examples of this).
I personally think installing a secret camera is wrong. If you don't feel secure enough in the person you chose to hire, it's probably a bad idea to leave them alone with your children. However If that is the only thing that will give you piece of mind, then informing whoever you hire that there is a camera installed would be better. (I'd rather someone think they're being watched and behave accordingly, than not know and catch them do something wrong). You could always say it's "to check in on how the kid's day is going when you aren't there"
Asking questions in an interview (in person, or via email or skype) about their own style and philosophies, and willingness to follow your style before sharing too much info about how you parent is a good indicator, as well offer some scenario based questions, also going with your gut! You should get a good vibe from whoever you speak with. regardless if you hire a local, or someone from overseas, if you aren't feeling like it's a good match, don't feel stuck. It's so much better on everyone to talk out the issues that may come up... and even Mary Poppins would likely have some adjustments to make when working in any new family. You should never continue employing someone you are not comfortable with in your home. Give them the chance to care for your kids with you home, and then start with short blocks of time away. Kids and caregivers always act different around mom and dad, but that doesn't mean they may not totally click when given one on one time! It took me a few weeks at my last job before the kids were totally calm when mom left for work, so sometimes tears, and fussiness aren't a great indicator, BUT do watch for signals from both kids that things are or are not working out well.
From my experience as a nanny, and now as a new mom, I think that you can absolutely find someone who is a good fit for your family, but it may take a few adjustments in terms of your expectations and a few hiccups along the way. But that's ok!
I hired a nanny from MomReviewed for my son who is in his toddler years. The article provided from that page includes genuine reviews from mothers who already have testimonies. You might want to take a look at the reviews and check if you can find a suitable nanny for your child.
You should be careful when hiring a nanny. The last time we did was a couple of years ago. We closely observed her most of the time, especialy during the first few days; how she interacts with the child and with us.