Interviewing a Nanny

Interviewing a Nanny

I am very fortunate to be able to work from home.  From a professional perspective, it most certainly has its benefits and drawbacks.  From a mommy perspective, it has allowed me to spend significantly more time with my kiddos.  After all, when I was commuting to an office, I was spending 3+ hours a day sitting in traffic.

When I returned to work after my youngest was born, I was very eager to keep him close so I could continue to breastfeed him rather than have to pump.  While I was able to successfully pump at work for a while with my first two, I ended up having to stop much sooner than I would have liked because I could never pump when I needed to.  If I could keep him at home with me, I wouldn’t have to bother pumping and could feed him when needed.

My job requires my full attention and can be demanding at times.  I also respect that the privilege of working from home does not mean that I can use it as an excuse to not put my children in childcare.  I’m sure that there are many people out there that watching their children while their work works for them, however, I am not one of them.  Because of my childcare needs and my desire to continue to breastfeed my son for as long as possible, my husband and I decided that hiring a nanny was the best option for us.

Interviewing a Nanny can be a daunting task.  It took us a few tries to finally find the right nanny that connected well with all of my children for a variety of reasons didn’t end up parting ways after a few weeks or months.  With each new nanny and subsequent nanny search, we learned a lot of valuable lessons along the way.  Take advantage of all of the lessons I’ve learned with the following guide on How to Hire a Nanny

Carefully Craft Your Nanny Help Wanted Ad

  1. Provide a brief description of your children and their ages
  2. Describe what you’re looking for and be specific about the help you want
  3. Explain what the hours will be.  Give a realistic picture of what you need
  4. Tell them you want a 6-month minimum commitment (this will help weed out the people just looking for a summer gig)
  5. Be up front about the wage

Select the Top Applicants

  1. Review all of the applications.  Mark those that seem like they could be a good fit
  2. Send them an email with additional details about your children and the specific help you need.  Reiterate the hours and wages.  Ask them to confirm that it seems like a good fit for them and to email you back with suggested times to schedule a phone interview.  This helps confirm their interest, sets expectations and demonstrates that they can follow through with a simple task.

Nanny Interview Questions

Nanny Interview QuestionsAsking the right questions during the interview process is critical to truly get to know your candidate and assessing if they are the right fit for your family.  It’s important to not get caught ending the conversation early because you can’t think of a good question to ask.

Enter your email address below and we’ll send you our Nanny Interview Questions Guide.  This comprehensive list is packed with questions that will help you ask the right questions to authentically evaluate your nanny candidates.

The Phone Interview

  1. Schedule 15-minute phone interviews with each one you are interested in
    1. Pay attention to how they interact with you during this scheduling process
    2. Download the Nanny Interview Questions Guide above, which is packed full of probing questions to help you really get to know the person you are hiring to care for your children.
    3. Begin laying the groundwork for setting your expectations
    4. Prepare the structure of the interview prior to your first meeting.  I recommend:
      1. Thank them for their interest and setting aside some time to meet with you.
      2. Lay out how the interview will go so that they know what to expect. (I’ll tell you about us, you’ll tell us about you, we’ll have some questions for you, we’ll leave time for any questions you have for us, finally we’ll discuss next steps)
      3. Begin by telling them about the position, yourself, and your children.  Provide a brief description about each of your children.
      4. Ask them to tell you about themselves (see Introductory Question on the Nanny Interview Guide).  *Bonus points if they incorporate anything that you have told them about your family into their introduction.
      5. Ask them a series of questions
      6. Invite them to ask any questions that they have for you
      7. Close the phone interview by providing them with a timeframe for when they can expect to hear from you.  It is a good practice to let them know one way or another.  Let them know how to reach you if they have any additional questions.

The In-Person Interview

Nanny Interview

  1. Select the top 2-3 candidates to interview in person
  2. Allow them to meet and interact with your children.  Pay attention to how they engage with them.  Do they get down to their level?  If the child is nervous, do they allow the child some time and space to become more comfortable?  Do they do anything to connect with the child(ren)?
  3. Re-review the Nanny Interview Questions Guide and ask additional questions
  4. Do not make an offer on the spot
  5. Determine your top candidate and Check References
  6. Decide on your new nanny
    1. Remember a yes is a yes, a no is a no and a maybe is a no.  These are your children.
  7. Call and make the offer and lay out your expectations so they are crystal clear from day 1
    1. Allow them time to consider your offer if they ask for it
    2. Arrange a starting day and time
    3. Ask them to bring any necessary paperwork.  Ex: driver’s license, insurance card, SS card

Starting Day

  1. Plan on spending an hour to several hours with them allowing everyone to get comfortable
    1. Tour of them home and important considerations
    2. Consider having them join you in your typical routine (ie school pickups, sports drop offs)
  2. Set the tone for your relationship
    1. Engage in friendly conversation – while they are your employee, you want them to develop a relationship with you and your children.
    2. Spell out how you will provide them feedback and make it abundantly clear that you want them to ask for guidance and expectations.

Your Ongoing Relationship

  1. Provide them with regular feedback on their performance and make suggestions for how they can improve
  2. If you are unhappy about something that they did or happened while your child(ren) were under his/her care, address it politely and professionally and clearly explain what you would have wanted to happen.

Selecting the right person to care for the most important people in your life is not an easy task.  While the above guide should help you considerably along the way, always remember to trust your gut.  While no single person will be 100% perfect, if something doesn’t feel quite right, they are probably not the right person for your family.

I hope that you have enjoyed this post.  Be sure to sign up for my mailing list and be among the first to get access to all of the great posts and information from The Crafty Organized Mom! When you sign up, we’ll send you a very useful Family Meeting Guide + Printable Family Meeting Agenda.  Find out how Family Meetings have saved my sanity!

The Friday Five – Returning to Work After Baby

The Friday Five – Returning to Work After Baby

Welcome back to another great installment of The Friday Five!   Each week, a group of five fabulous moms comes together to offer you great advice about an important parenting topic.  We will choose a different topic to feature each week so be sure to Subscribe to our newsletter so you will never miss a post.

This week’s feature is Returning to Work After Baby.  Whether it be a few weeks or a few months after your baby is born, every mom has an important decision to make if they will return to work or not.  For some moms, it is a simple decision because they know they want to work or they do not have the option not to work.  However, most moms agonize over the decision.  Whether you ultimately choose to go back to work or choose to stay home, you have to be prepared to find peace with your decision.  Allow yourself to understand that it is the best decision you can make at that moment in time.  Whatever you have decided, it is important to remember that many moms before you have successfully raised children as a stay at home mom, work at home mom, or a mom working outside the home.  They have done it and you can too!

Once the decision has been made, it is important to prepare yourself as much as possible to make the transition a smooth one, both for you and your new baby.  No matter what, it will not be easy and you are guaranteed to miss your precious little one.  However, there are many things that you can do to make the experience much easier to navigate.  Read on to get a lot of great insights and ideas from moms that have been there, done that and successfully returned to work after having babies.

Julie S. | Fab Working Mom Life

FabWorkingMomLife.com

Going back to work after maternity leave was definitely an anxiety-filled event. I think the most important thing to do is to change our expectations. We have changed, our entire lives have been flipped over and upside down and we are doing our best to adjust and recover. You shouldn’t expect to be the same employee that you were prior to having a child, and your boss shouldn’t expect that, either. You will take some time to get back into the groove of working and find a new groove between sleepless nights and child care. Moms wear a lot of hats and our brains are constantly being pulled in various directions. If you’re breastfeeding, put time blocks on your calendar for pumping time. If you can have a camera on your baby (we had in-home care and installed a nanny cam), check in and look at your little one often. That will help relax you and let you get back to what you are working on, knowing your child is just fine. Most of all, remember to be patient with yourself as you transition into an old role with a new outlook on life.

Sarah | The Designer Mama

thedesignermama.com

Returning to Work After BabyI have been extremely fortunate to be able to bring my little girls to work with me. With my first, I was able to bring her to work with me for the first year. At that point, we decided that it was time for her to be around more kids, so we put her in daycare. It was definitely the right choice for her. Now, with our second, I was again fortunate enough to be able to bring her to work with me again. But now, our circumstances are changing slightly and I will no longer be able to bring her to work with me. She will be with a family friend while I am at work. This change is challenging for both of us, especially since she does not take a bottle. She is 11 months old, so she eats table food and drinks water while away from me, but the separation anxiety is starting to set in and she is so much more aware of when I am leaving.

My advice to any moms that are going back to work after having a baby this – make sure that when you are home, be fully present. Since you will be losing time with your children while you are at work, make the time that you are together really count. Don’t be on your phone, the computer or anything that divides your attention from your children. Give them your full attention and be fully present. All of the other stuff can wait until after bedtime.

Vanessa Pak | The Four Pak

thefourpak.com

A piece of advice for a mom going back to work after having a baby would be to try to find enjoyment in the little daily activities that you might have overlooked pre-baby. I was home with my twins for 3.5 months before I was due back to work as a Technical Writer for a software company. My husband’s work is super flexible so he was set to watch the babies a few days a week and my mother-in-law would watch them the rest of the time. Even though they’d be with family, I did not want to leave them or miss anything they might do while I was gone. Once I went back to work though, I found that I actually kind of looked forward to going (most days). It got me out of the house, I got to wear real clothes, converse with adults, and sit down to eat my lunch. Oh, the things you look forward to when you become a mom!

Dani | Live Love Learn Gracefully

livelovelearngracefully.com

Going back to work may be one of the hardest things you will ever do emotionally! It will also take a toll on you mentally and physically. Here are some ways that you can make the transition a little easier. First, post pictures of your baby all over your office, that way when you are severely missing him/her you can see them. Also, find a schedule that works best for you and your baby and try to start implementing that a few weeks before you go back. It will save you and your baby from culture shock if you start working towards that schedule slowly. You may also want to find ways to sneak in some household chores throughout the week before you go to bed or before you leave for work, that way when you do get a day off you can spend as much of that time as you can with your little one. Going back to work and leaving your little ones are never easy, with these tips hopefully your transition with be as smooth as possible.

Sade Lee | Diary of a Disney Mom

diaryofadisneymomblog.wordpress.com

Back to Work After BabyIf you are currently on maternity leave, then the words “returning to work” sit tight in your throat and you are battling to swallow your reality which is either – baby stays home with someone wonderful to watch them or they will be attending crèche (daycare).

My top 3 tips for returning to work are:

  1. Try and banish the guilt from the start. The guilt will torture you alive. It’s okay to be a little distracted at work and it’s okay to leave work-related issues at work when you leave in the afternoon. Your universe has shifted and so will you thought process on how you tackle your job
  2. If you can, go and visit baby during your lunch breaks (might not be ideal in a crèche environment) but it will give you peace of mind and the little cuddle will give you a boost to complete the day
  3. Trust your gut, no matter what it tells you.

Remember to give yourself a break. You are doing the best you can for your child and that’s the most important.

~

I hope you have enjoyed this post and have found some great inspiration from some amazing moms!  Be sure to stay connected to all of the great ideas from The Crafty Organized Mom by signing up for updates.  When you do, you’ll also grab a free copy of our Family Meeting Guide + Meeting Printable!

The Friday Five – Recovering from Childbirth

The Friday Five – Recovering from Childbirth

Welcome to The Friday Five!   Each week, a group of five fabulous moms will come together to offer you really great advice about an important parenting topic.  We will choose a different topic to feature each week so be sure to Subscribe to our newsletter so you will never miss a post.

This week we will be focusing on the topic of Recovering from Childbirth.  Whether you have a unmedicated, natural or cesarean birth, your body has just undergone an incredible journey.  Taking the time to recover from pregnancy and childbirth all while adjusting to your new life and bonding with your new precious little one is very important.  Whether you are a first-time mom or you are preparing to welcome another bundle of joy into your home, these insights into the best ways to recover from childbirth will come in very handy!

Melody Fischer | dosMommas

www.dosmommas.com

My recovery from my C-Section was one of the hardest things that I have ever been through, but I got through it and so can you. The recovery is very painful. It will take all of your strength and energy just to stand up straight those first few days. But you will, I promise. You will think that you’ll never be able to ween yourself off those pain-killers. But you will, I promise. Your incision may start to leak and you’ll think that you will never fully heal. But you will, I promise. You won’t think that you’ll ever be able to hold your baby without it being painful. But you will, I promise. Your incision will heal. Your baby will still be perfect. And you will be the mother that you always wanted to be.

Tiffany Houseman | The Wholesome Housewife

wholesomehousewife.com

#1 Take a break!

Let your midwife bring you food as you get to know your new baby. Let your mother-in-law wash your dishes. Let hubby do the diaper changes. Let your body lay around and recover. Quit trying to get up and clean your kitchen.

#2 Take lots of baths

My midwife provided herbal ‘tea’ that hubby ‘stewed’ in a big pot then poured into bath water for me. You can find postpartum teas online or just soak in plain Epsom salts. Add a few drops of a favorite essential oil and relax away.

#3 Take your mind off the pain

After my first, I was in pain from tearing, had extremely painful nursing (baby had tongue/lip ties), and was sore from 2.5 hours of pushing. We spent a lot of time watching movies, laying in bed together and getting to know the new baby.

#4 Remember this is only a season

Recovery can be trying. But just as baby is growing up fast, this time will go by fast. I can’t believe it’s almost 2 years since my first baby (and recovery). It feels long, and hard, in the moment, but Mama hang in there. You’ll be better soon!

Jasmine Austin | Love Live Laugh Motherhood

lovelifelaughmotherhood.com

Childbirth Recovery

The postpartum phase can be a difficult transition. Here are a few tips to help you ease into motherhood, focusing on your own self-care! The first, as much as you hate it-accept help. If someone wants to help you run a load of laundry or take the baby so you can rest, accept it! It may not come often, and it might even taper off. But you’ll need every opportunity you can get to take some time off.

Secondly, take care of your health! Just as during pregnancy, you still need to maintain a healthy diet. Not just for you, but for your tiny baby! Keep up with vitamins and always hydrate! Lastly, and sometimes the most difficult; don’t worry about your Mom bod! Your postpartum phase is meant to adjust to a new baby, and you’re going to be busy enough with that. Stressing about baby weight and stretch marks isn’t going to help that. Focus on that new tiny human-everything else will fall into place.

Ashleigh Wilson | The Crispy Mama

www.thecrispymama.com

As a first time Mama, I had no idea what to expect when it came to childbirth and recovery, so it took some trial and error to figure out what worked. First and foremost, sleep should be your number one focus. Sleep is king and it will be hard to come by, so get it when you can. Sleep when the baby sleeps (even though the dishes and laundry are probably piling up). Without some amount of sleep, your mind won’t be able to handle the amount of stress that you’re guaranteed to be under. Be kind to yourself. This is all new, and you are doing the best that you can. Even the most experienced Mamas have moments of self-doubt.

Once you’ve caught a few hours of sleep, you can focus on healing your body. Take several (seriously, three or four) hot baths, every single day. This will speed your recovery up immensely. I used my baby’s soap during this time since I knew that it would be gentler than my usual heavily scented body wash. The hospital will provide you with these incredibly sexy mesh underwear and maxi pads, but I chose to buy some even sexier adult diapers instead. If your bleeding is heavy (and it probably will be) this is so much more effective and comfortable. Once your bleeding lightens up, you can upgrade to the ultra-luxurious mesh underwear. You’ll want to get stool softeners and take them every day, whether you think you need them or not, because I guarantee that you do. Keep your clothing loose and breathable (think, cotton pajamas). Lastly, DRINK WATER. The first few weeks after delivery are really a blur and some days it will be dark outside before you brush your teeth, but you have got to stay hydrated. Listen to your body. If anything doesn’t seem right, you should absolutely consult your doctor. The worst that can happen is they will tell you that you have nothing to worry about. Don’t forget to enjoy your babies, Mamas! They are only little for a little while! Click here to read more about some of the weird things that happen after childbirth.

Katie Mac | From North to South

www.fromnorth2south.com

Accept the help.

Take this scenario; you just had major surgery and you’ve been put on bed rest to recover. Your friends stop by with food. They offer to help you clean. They offer to pick up your groceries. You graciously accept all these things and think what wonderful friends you have.

I’ve never had surgery, but I’ve had three kids – take the damn help.  I see nothing different between the two. Swallow your pride, people are not visiting to see how clean your house is, how many pre-made meals you have in the freezer, or even to see you (sorry it’s true).  They want to come over to help you because they love you and more importantly get baby snuggles. Take their help, let them clean your kitchen and take out the trash. Watch the baby while you take a nap.  Enjoy the fact that you have picked some amazing people to have as a  part of your life.

~

I hope you have enjoyed this post and have found some great inspiration from some amazing moms!  Be sure to stay connected to all of the great ideas from The Crafty Organized Mom by signing up for updates.  When you do, you’ll also grab a free copy of our Family Meeting Guide + Meeting Printable!