Engaging with a nanny is quite an abstract idea until you actually meet your match. Most of our new families have had very little contact with the nanny world and the idea of having a nanny (or even saying the word nanny) is completely foreign. So they often ask—what’s it like?
Ruth approached us with the need to find an experienced and mature nanny who could work two days a week, at her home in Coburg, Melbourne. Here, Ruth shares her nanny-finding story and some great tips for new families.
What was happening in your life that lead to your decision to find a nanny?
My child was about to turn 1. I’d been back at work part-time for about 6 months. We had decided to try to both work part-time without childcare or a nanny and it just wasn’t working. We both felt like we weren’t enjoying either parenting or work and it was putting a strain on our relationship.
What were your initial thoughts and feelings around finding someone?
My partner was really uncertain about it. I think he felt like it was a sign that we had failed in some way but I didn’t see it like that. I knew that we needed help and my sister had a nanny who was lovely. I felt very positive about taking the step.
What did you want to find in your new nanny?
Someone who had a similar philosophy in terms of children who would stimulate our son but also let him play alone. Someone we liked having in our house and trusted. Someone who we hoped would become a long term significant person in our family life.
How did you find Nanny Match? How did Nanny Match help you?
Nanny Match was recommended to my sister through her mother’s group though she didn’t end up needing to use it. After looking at some websites with hundreds of people wanting to be nannies, I liked the idea of someone who found a shortlist that matched what you wanted. Ruby gave us a really good short list and later on found us a babysitter so we could go out on dates again too!
Tell us about your first meeting with Brooke. How did you know she was the one?
Brooke was the first nanny we interviewed and we were both nervous about it. I had spoken earlier that day to a mum who Brooke still works for one day a week and she had nothing but praise for her which was great. I really liked how Brooke was with our son. She didn’t try to cuddle him or push it but was just gentle and interested. She has an outstanding smile and he seemed to like her straight away. She was someone who I immediately felt would be a friend and a lovely presence in our house. She was also immensely knowledgeable about kids. It felt right.
How has your life changed since Brooke started with your family?
I think our house is a lot happier. My partner and I are not having to negotiate so much about child care and working and Brooke is helping with cooking and laundry. On our days at home we are able to get out much more and enjoy our son rather than trying to manically play catch up with the house. Our son is happy when she walks in the room and clearly loves spending time with her. Plus she has given us heaps of new ideas about activities, food, and so on which are helping us (first time parents) navigate parenting. Recently, we have been encouraging Brooke to pick up her 5 year old daughter and bring her here on the days she has our son. They get on really well and it is lovely to feel our families integrating a bit.
Do you have some tips for parents who are about to find a nanny?
There is no one size fits all. Lots of people tell you what the perfect person is but I think it is about really analysing what is the thing in your life that you want to help with and going from there. We wanted someone we viewed as a peer because I would be at home sometimes with her. So someone my age with a kid was perfect. That’s what I think Nanny Match helps with–finding that fit. I also can’t emphasise enough how important talking to past employers is. It really put us at ease. Finally, give yourself a break. Parenting is hard and it is fine to not want to do it full-time. I feel I am a far better mum working part-time than I was when I was home 24/7. Our boy is thriving and life is really really good.