The Hunt for a Nanny – Part I

_1070702I didn’t know where to begin interviewing a nanny, having never hired help to take care of Cy before, but here one was sitting on my porch. She had come recommended, but was slow to move, slow to insert herself – she seemed shy and had little to say for herself unprompted and few questions beyond when she was to show up for work and how much we would pay. I understand shy. I can give a little grace around shy. So I just started talking about us: what we’re hoping for, what Cy is like, what we could be flexible about, and hoped more useful clues would reveal themselves with time.

The conversation wasn’t much to go on, so I told her she could shadow me with Cy for a day and do a trial week, and we’d see from there.

So the next day she showed up, and over the course of our time together, we began to break the ice. Cy can be a handful, so, knowing she has a 6-year-old son, I asked if he was easy to take care of. She said he just watches TV and when anyone tries to talk to him, he doesn’t respond.

Hmmm, I thought. I too can plunk Cy in front of a TV and I don’t have to pay 300 baht a day to do it. But I resolved to keep an open mind. And though she was slow to really get in there with Cy and try to interact with him, she was supremely helpful and took initiative with other needs around the house, so I really did want to give her a chance.

Then she asked me if I planned to have more kids. I said we hadn’t decided yet.

“Do you plan to have more children?” I asked.

“No,” she said. “They’re too much work!”

Well that’s an honest answer.

After the trial week, I called to let her know we were still interviewing other people. She hung up on me. So the hunt continues…

Little by Little



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12 thoughts on “The Hunt for a Nanny – Part I

  1. It's important to find one who will fit in well with the family, as she will be one more person who will be "caring" for your little one –in more than one sense of the word. We lucked out with our helper and she's like family as she's been with us ever since J was a baby. I wish you the best of luck with your hunt.

  2. I think your instincts were right on this one (interesting responses there). When we needed some help with my younger boy, we went through a few to find one that fit and even then, it was hard to leave our little one in someone's else care. It mostly ended up with us feeling comfortable "enough." Quick aside: one major criteria for a friend of mine when hiring a babysitter is making sure she's around 50 (and preferably not good looking ;) … all the best with your search Jade!

  3. Sorry, you lost me when I looked up the conversion of 300 Baht to USD. $9 a day? That's awesome.

  4. Yowza. Well…at least you found out early (ish?) in the process. Better to know now rather than later.

  5. Sounds definitely not the right person to take care of a child… Listen to inner motherly sense and you'll find the right one, I'm sure!

  6. hahaha Oh Jade, I can relate so much to that life! Here in Venezuela we also have the luxury of having help at home… don´t worry, you will find the right one soon, and always follow your instict and your firsts impressions, if you don´t click the first day, rest assured that you won´t click on the fifth!

  7. My daughter has worked as a nanny for eight years! Two years with her first family, three with her second and now, three and half years with her current family. Each family went from 2 to 3 kids while she was working with them! It's hard work and work that she loves – but clearly not for everyone. I believe your mama instinct will tell you all you need to know about who connects with your child – and that your willingness to give time to the process will really pay off!

  8. Ah, yes. Pain felt here. We tended to go the house helper route rather than P'Liang. We had one gem, and two duds over the years. It's really hard to find someone with the same values. I'm sure you will find someone. I have several CM friends if you ever want me to help inquire.

    • Thanks for the offer! We have an interview with an agency on Tuesday. If that's a bust, I'll definitely ask for recommendations!