Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Adventures in Babysitting

Or shall I say adventures in trying to find a babysitter (rather CHILDCARE PROFESSIONAL if we're being 2009) for the yet to be born little monkey.

First, let me say, I now know why "back in the day" families all lived within blocks of each other. It really does take a village to raise a child. And unfortunately for us, not everyone in said village is trustworthy and competent. Now, that's not to say that Karl and I don't love where we live. Because we totally do (except for the absence of Publix Grocery stores, and Chickfila, and Bradford pear trees, and sweet tea). We have the best friends here, who really are like a second family. But as I'm beginning my attempt to find quality childcare for Monkey, a part of me wishes we had grandparents, siblings, aunts, cousins who live in the same area code.

In a way, Karl and I are lucky. When I made the decision to leave news and work on photography, a big factor in that decision was babies and my desire to be a stay at home mom. Karl and I were both raised my SAHMs and were committed to making that a priority in our family. Of course, living on one income is becoming increasingly more challenging these days, and shooting weddings is a great help to us. I am LUCKY to be able to be a SAHM 6 days a week. But at the same time I am not so lucky to be searching for good, reliable, weekend childcare because so many options just aren't available for us when our main need is 12-14 hours on a Saturday!

So...Monkey could be here any day now (but not until after this weekend when I'm shooting a wedding thankyouverymuch!)....and I'm beginning the process of interviewing potential part time nannies to begin in September when I return to shooting weddings. I'd like to think I've been pretty clear in my desires and expectations from the person who will be "joining our team"
  • you need experience with infants, which sounds kind of funny since my own husband has never actually held a baby...but whatever.
  • you need to be dependable (we can't call in sick on our brides....therefore don't call in sick on us)
  • you need to not be a criminal, a smoker, or a leadfoot with an outstanding warrant for failure to pay your tickets.
  • bonus points if you love our dog as much as we do.
  • more bonus points if you have a morning or two a week that you can come by and watch Monkey so I can hide in the office and power edit.
  • did I mention the dependable thing? Because that's really important to us.
I began getting replies just a few minutes after my ad was posted (written much more professionally than the bullets above by the way). I was able to weed out a few candidates right away. I'm sorry 16 year old girl who has her license and is homeschooled so therefore available during the week. I don't care how "risponsible (sic)" you are, I am not comfortable leaving you home alone with an 8 week old for a 14 hour stretch. I also turned down the mom of 3 who was willing to watch Monkey but only at her house 25 minutes away. It just isn't a good fit for us to have to drive an extra 1/2 hour at midnight to try and pick up our sleeping baby after a long day of shooting.

Once the definite nos were weeded out, I started setting up interviews with my top five candidates. One a day starting this past Monday. We're halfway through the week and here's how things are looking so far.

Monday Candidate A: This person sounds great on paper. She has experience with newborns, first aid and infant cpr certified, etc. Unfortunately....she didn't show up for the interview. An email from her the following day informed me that she never checked her email again over the weekend after she suggested we meet on Monday so she didn't get my reply with a time. Grade: F

Tuesday Candidate B: She showed up, which to me is a huge bonus after Monday's debacle. She has a great amount of nanny experience, but the youngest child she's ever cared for is 5 months old. She's currently a part time weekday nanny for another family so her ability to help out during the week would be limited. Her references are excellent. Grade: not entirely decided but leaning towards B+

Wednesday Candidate C: Oh the high hopes I had for C. C was my girl. Not only does she have newborn experience but she is studying to be a nurse and has a job at the hospital. When you're a nervous new mom like me there's nothing like the comfort of someone with some medical knowledge.My only concern about C was whether she would be committed to the job because her schedule is already pretty busy. But she reassured me via email that she understood how important dependability was to us. I couldn't wait to meet C this morning. Except....C called my cell phone 45 minutes before our interview and left a voicemail that she "woke up not feeling well" and "needed to reschedule." Seriously??? I guess the whole, "Wedding photographers can't call in sick so therefore they need childcare providers that will be reliable" seems to not apply during the interview stage. Grade: With great sadness F!!!

So 3 candidates down and only one with potential. The last two candidates on my top five were there only as backups because I thought for sure the first three were my strongest candidates. My current fear is that when it's time to return to shooting I will be doing so with Monkey strapped to my back!

1 comment:

em said...

This part sucks. Sucks. I hate thinking of somebody else watching the baby! Just wait until Monkey gets here...it's good you're doing this now!!