We had a fulltime nanny for 3 1/2 months while I started my surgical residency. Prior to hiring I covered everything I could possibly think of and then some. The nanny was very eager to please and nodded and agreed with everything we went through and we met several times before we ‘hired’ her.
This was all good and well until we got stuck in a bind – i recall a breast pump crisis where i hadn’t been able to sterilize the breast pump due to a power outage so needed either nanny to sterilize and bring the breast pump to work or to bring bub over for a feed as I was leaking through my shirt. She left us in the lurch and told my husband that she had to meet her boyfriend for dinner. I ended up having to leave the ICU (with nurses covering my butt) and the many sickies I had on my own to sit in a shower stall and express manually – the stuff that all good memories aren’t made of!!!
Another time she promised to stay overnight as I was on nights, hubby was there but had a huge day of meetings the next day – she called and cancelled at the last minute.
After about 5 or so ‘second chances’ it was all over. My husband said he felt like he had a teenage daughter to deal with now as well! (She was 20 and seemed reasonably mature but he inevitably saw her way more often than I did as I was the one always away.)
I have since transformed into being a SAHM and work one day a week on average except for last minute things (very civilised, I know but unfortunately the training was not compatible with a sane life for any of us at this time of our lives). It is so much easier for men, that is a fact, and many don’t head home until they know the ‘bewitching’ hour of dinnertime is over…hmmmm…….
Anyhow, back to you! I would totally agree with everybody elses advice but most importantly the ‘gut’ feel. Don’t be afraid to shortlist them down to 3 and then meet them again and totally explain how crucial it is for them to pull their weight when you are totally stuck between a rock and a hard place (which as we all know happens often in this job!) Of course, that depends on your spouse and where they are with their work as well.
I’ve since hired university students for when I have done on call work or had babysitting needs (I am surgical assisting at present) and they have been absolutely fantastic and have really felt like part of the family. I was very lucky with a final year speech therapy student who had a very light, research based schedule and lots of available time.
All the best for finding the right person for you and your family.