Life Listicles By a Guilty Working Mother: 10 Reasons Why I Chose Our First Nanny

Six months of staring at his face, checking he was still breathing and watching Homes Under the Hammer on repeat had to come to an end. I had to go back to work, dammit.



Pre-birth, the plan had always been nursery. But post-birth? I needed Mary Poppins, I needed Nanny McPhee, I'd probably settle for Mrs Doubtfire if push came to shove. I needed experience, maturity, authority, security and a big bosom for the kind of hugs you need when the teething kicks in and the sleep thief has stolen everything you ever had to give. I needed nannying as much as my baby did.

Five terrible interviews in and four weeks before I was due to return to office life, I was in meltdown mode, seriously considering jacking in the job. And, then the final candidate on the list rang the doorbell.

1. Actually, she didn't ring the doorbell

She knocked. Very quietly. Because it was 8pm. And, she instinctively knew that I had spent the last two hours begging my still-new babe to sleep, and had only just emerged, Mission Impossible-style to avoid the squeaky floorboards next to the cot with enough time to spare to wipe the posset from my shoulder and pretend I had 'everything under control'. A doorbell waking the babe would be an epic fail.

2. She was blonde. And 21

What? That wasn't the plan? But at least there would be no 'mother confusion'. I am dark and definitely not 21. And, she had more energy than I could shake a breadstick at and would surely give him a run for his money in the playground. Did you ever see Nanny McPhee on a trampoline?

3. She wasn't wearing perfume, unlike the five candidates before her

I loved my new-born's smell. I didn't want overly-perfumed washing powder to get in the way of those precious head snuffles, let alone Calvin Klein's new addition, even if it was unisex.

4. She asked to see photos

Before I'd even got her a drink, she asked to see pictures of him. What was his personality? Was he on the move? Did he have a favourite toy? Hang on, she was interviewing me, rather than the other way around. But it was him she wanted to meet. This was someone who genuinely loved children. And I was already wanting her to love mine especially.

5. She didn't know the area

At the time, we lived in a lively, colourful part of London, with a young, buzzing community. Other girls I had interviewed spoke enthusiastically about the local cafes, the after-work social life and the close proximity to the station. She didn't. She wasn't interested. Apart from wanting to know if there was a park with a sandpit nearby and would I be happy if she investigated baby sensory classes.

6. She understood I needed to be first

I asked about weaning (we hadn't started yet). She explained how she would prepare new flavours for me try out each on a weekend. So, I would get to see his sweet potato face first. And his carrot face first. And his apple face first. She understood how it felt to be leaving this tiny thing to someone else.

7. She got down on his level

Okay so he woke up, mid-interview. Her eyes lit up. She lay on the floor as he lay under his baby gym. She didn't hold him until I suggested it. She was as patient as a saint. In fact, she was Mother Theresa, Mary Poppins and Supernanny rolled into one and I was wondering if I could lock the door to ensure she never left the house again.

8. She ignored me

Once the baby was in the room, I was dropped like a stone. Like a trend that has gone out of fashion or a brand that committed a social faux-pas. Yesterday's fish and chip paper. I was no longer of interest. And oddly, that felt the right way around.

9. I bonded with her ex-boss

After she left, I chased her contacts for a reference. Speaking to her former family, I felt like I'd known them all my life.They knew. I knew. She had been with them for 4 years. It was my turn now. I still found myself apologising for stealing her. Mwah-ha-ha...

10. Her parents lived near my parents

Ok so that was a rubbish reason. I didn't need another one.

Yep. It was love at first sight. And she stayed for 10 years. But that's another story.

Sarah, a Guilty Working Mother (GWM) juggles three small people, a daily commute and increasingly saggy eyelids.

#lifelisticles #GWM #lifeinthemiddlelane #alsoslightdollobsession #dontjudge @barbiella_com

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