Guess what?! I am currently in a baby free, trendy L.A. coffee shop, sipping an iced oat milk latte while waiting for my avocado toast to arrive. There isn’t a leaky bottle next to me, spit on my shoulder, a pump device attached to my boobs, or a high pitched off-key Mariah or Celine worthy coo in my ears. How is this possible? Well, we hired a nanny.
Yep, after almost six months I finally realized I might need a morning or two off …. per week. My “to-do” list was growing to and across the floor, work e-mails stacking sky high, and “me time” at a full minimum. That being said, this realization did NOT come easily. We had toyed with the idea of day care, but the one we liked, of course, came with a four-month waitlist, so were patiently waiting for our slot to open.
And then, when it did? I panicked. Was this the right choice? Was she too young? Was she going to be getting sick all the time? Would I be shaking up our recently semi-perfected schedule by taking her out of her home bubble and crib?
First and foremost, please know that I fully understand that LOTS of moms aren’t able to ask themselves these questions, because once maternity leave is over they need to go back to work, and need to get their babies into helpful hands stat. I continue to count my lucky stars that I’m in real estate, so DO have a fair amount of schedule flexibility.
That being said, I’m also 100% commission based, so maternity leave was never a “thing” for me, and the longer I stayed home not working, the longer zero dollars and zero cents would be coming into my bank account.
This whole “mommy journey”, thus far, has come with a whole lot of trial and error and “see as we go” themes, and leaving baby was no different. Something inside of me just couldn’t quite wrap my head around packing up a bag of extra clothes, diapers and pre-prepped bottles for each of the day care days.
I loved the idea of her being around other babies and getting some competitive social interaction, but when I really started thinking about it, at six months she wasn’t going to be much of an all star at tag or finger painting.
I decided I’d much rather, selfishly, get to be the one to take her to mommy-and-me, music or play-gym classes and then leave my moments away to someone who could keep her on routine, throw in a load of laundry during naps, and allow me to come home to clean baby bottles and ideally, a happy, healthy and well-rested baby.
After several nights during my unintentional 4am “cry it out” research hour, I found that a part time nanny would actually be less expensive for us then paying for the mandatory “full days” of daycare. That’s when we started the “let’s see who we find” interview process.
OK, I need to pause here for a second to talk about NANNY RESUMES these days. The nannies I found were so beyond over-qualified I was in absolute awe. Each one had a unique, stand out “specialty” that I entirely wasn’t expecting. There were music majors, swim instructors, piano teachers, seamstresses, professional chefs … the list goes on and on.
We went through an agency that did all of the tough detective work for us, making sure each candidate had a clean background check, driving record, was up to date on vaccinations, etc.
Again, this definitely isn’t necessary. I’m just a major worrier and was overwhelmed thinking about doing all that myself. My recommendation if you can’t or don’t want to go the agency route? Ask neighbors, family, friends or Facebook mommy groups for people they know, have used and TRUST! A referral, I think, is your best bet, but unfortunately I didn’t have any of those so ended up at “South Bay Nannies” (who I now can’t say enough “thank you”s to!).
We were instantly sent three options, all ranging in “expertise”, age and background. I knew though, like a first date, it would really be about the first two-minute connection slash energy AND with nanny number three, I felt it right away … and in a BIG way.
She was so comfortable and confident it was completely contagious. I knew, pretty quickly, that she was “the one”.
Last week was our “trial”, and even though it felt like a stretch to have someone I’d only met once staying solo with my baby, I (amazingly) wasn’t worried. I kept reminding myself that I NEEDED and DESERVED this time, that the agency had done our homework for us, and if I could start working again, I’d be able to pay for this help, and then some. Does it make me a worse mom for not being with Xena from 8:30am-12:30pm Wednesdays and Fridays? I don’t think so…
I’m actually hopeful that taking care of ME will make me a better and much more refreshed mama when I get home. And if we need to add more hours or days? I’m totally open to it.
If you’re in this “do I, don’t I?!” debate, PLEASE reach out. I’d love to HELP!
Us mamas have one of the most difficult and underpaid jobs in the world, and every one of us needs a BREAK!
Headed to a workout class while watching baby girl nap on the monitor (caught and guilty, I haven’t FULLY let go yet!).