We had wonderful nannies for our girls over the last 5+ years. Three nannies in 5 years and one who stayed with us for three – not a bad batting average. And why not? I ran my own business and had plenty of experience in hiring people over the last eight years.
August 2007 – nanny nightmares begin. 10 different people over three months. My confidence in my ability to hire was shattered. Not only did our nanny troubles stress out my whole family, it was an omnipresent distraction. These three months seem vaguely humorous when looking back, but still beg the question as to whether or not I had my priorities straight, as you will see in the ensuing chapters.
Chapter 1: Danielle
Our first hire in August 2007 was Danielle. She wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, but seemed nice enough. Her references were only okay. But my husband and I logically discussed the pros and cons of Danielle versus other candidates, and realizing that we were desperate, Danielle got the job.
My first mistake – I didn’t listen to my gut and hired Danielle anyway.What I learned over the next two weeks is that she was a push-over and lacked good judgment. She drove around with my youngest daughter improperly buckled into her car seat for several days. Of the 3-point buckle, only the plastic piece across her chest was closed. How did I learn about this? My children told me! When I told Danielle what the girls said and asked her about the seatbelt, she denied it. Later that evening, I decided to see for myself. I put my youngest in her car seat to discover that only the plastic top buckle would close. The strap had been pulled so tight that the buckle portion, which is the true anchor, would not close. I fixed the seat belt and took note of Danielle’s lie and lack of good judgment. Strike 1.
My oldest daughter came home from the local lake/beach one day wearing platform flip-flops about 4 sizes too big for her. Danielle explained that she had gone out of the house without shoes and so they had taken these from the lost & found. How do you not notice a child leaving the house for the day barefoot? How can it be right to take something that is not yours? Still desperate with no other nanny prospects, I kept Danielle on but started looking again in earnest. Strike 2.
My girls’ behavior was getting brattier by the day. Clearly they had no boundaries and were calling the shots with Danielle. I learned that Danielle had given the girls peanut butter and mint jelly for lunch. (Mint jelly… isn’t that only used in recipes?) I casually asked Danielle not to give them mint jelly again while we were preparing dinner – she replied that the girls had asked for it so she figured it was okay. So, if they ask for chocolate ice cream for lunch tomorrow, would that be okay? Strike 3. Since when do three and four-year old kids know what’s best for them? Stay tuned for Chapter 2 of Nanny Nightmares.
Mompreneur Musings & The Quest For Balance talks about the challenges I faced while running Zoe Foods for 10 years, and my current search for a new career that will also allow me the time to focus on being a mom to two little girls, a wife, a friend, and a daughter. I am trying to create more balance in my life, knowing now that balance among career, family, and self occurs over one’s lifetime rather than in each day. Please join me on my journey and share your own experiences.
Keep dreaming, keep believing, keep achieving.