As the saying goes, this is not our first rodeo. The first time I was filled with an out pour of guilt. This was why I had not returned to my job after all, was to do these things, and now here I was unemployed and hiring someone to help me do the only simple job I had to do, taking care of my family. PPD had taken its toll on me, and I was just reaching the end of its clutches at this point and Josh concerned for my sanity took it upon himself to embark the search for a nanny.
We created an account on Care.com and went on to create a job listing. We wanted a nanny, 20 hours a week, who could help with balancing the children, the pets, and the housekeeping. When seeking our initial batch of prospective helpers I did not want anyone in high school, but I also did not want anyone who was more than a couple of years older than me. My family is already filled with women who all know better than me, offering their unsolicited advice and judgments, I didn’t need to pay another. My confidence as a new mother at this point was so incredibly low I honestly just wanted some kid, that didn’t have kids of their own and had no education in children to come and just mindlessly help me.
Our results were promising, we interviewed about six willing candidates in our home. The decision was not the easiest, there were some in the interview that questioned, “well if you are home, then what am I supposed to do?” I would stare at them through my guilt and bit back tears of embarrassment both times that was asked of me, “well you know, help, be my assistant of sorts.” When it came down to making a decision I went ahead and did away with the nannies that truly were career pursuing nannies who were seeking full-time almost live-in gigs. What if I didn’t really have enough for them to do? What if this didn’t work out and a couple of weeks in we would just have to let them go? I then rid myself of the ones that just didn’t seem compatible or seemed to have an entitlement issue just in the initial interview.
I ended up hiring who would become known to our family unit for the next three months as “Miss Amanda”. She was in school for criminal justice and going to start a stint of being a night prison guard that following February. She showed up each morning with a smile on her face ready to wash the dishes as I would make breakfast for the kids. The rest of our day went as according to what was scheduled. Tuesdays and Thursday’s were B’s days with Mama Jess, and Wednesdays were my days with my daughter and friends at the library. When I was away Miss Amanda would have an activity (laid out by me) to do with the kiddos and fix up their lunch. She would play with the pups, she would sweep and pick up the toys at nap time, and then she would leave for her shift at the prison. On Mondays and Fridays I enjoyed the company, we would take the kids to the park and I would have stories to listen to, and advice to offer. When we would take the kids to eat I had a helping hand to grab the drinks and the food all while wrestling two toddlers from the play place and into their chairs.
When B left it became difficult to excuse her presence, Aislyn wasn’t even walking yet and the complicated schedules had subsided. She became a project completer and I began to feel guilty as that was not the job she applied for. She was helping us take down our summer pool, cut back branches, and complete any home improvements we had been procrastinating on. Luckily though the end came naturally, about a month after B left back to Colorado her prison job would become full time and she would need to leave. I understood and with that she was gone.
This time around I am approaching this decision with full confidence. I have no shame in admitting that I want help. I need someone who is not going to need me to lay out activities on the daily, or is new to the world of general housekeeping. This time in the short span of two weeks in May I’m going from the already exhausted mama of one two year old attempting to juggle a writing career, to the insane mama of a newborn infant, two year old, and five year old and still attempting a career in writing. I need someone to worry about dishes or help with potty training. I need someone to help hold the baby so I can get B & Aislyn out of the house for quality fun time. I need someone to get this house in check and help me keep it that way. I need someone who is in this for the long haul, because I know now, I’m not lazy, I’m not useless, I am the mom of toddler(s) and sometimes you just need to phone in some help for the sake of being a the best mom you know you can be. I need it for my sanity.
So far after I have reached out to four potentials and made a job listing this morning, I have received responses that all my choices already are employed elsewhere (they really should have that as search option on Care) except one. She seems like a fantastic candidate and we have an interview at the neighborhood Starbucks Friday morning. I also have another applicant whom I’m a little hesitant of, but as I used to say in retail I suppose everyone deserves at the least an interview. Will keep you posted!