Nannies? As a working parent, I've met a few. Long-term, short-term, temporary, night-time, emergency, maternity, wrap-around. I've met tall ones, small ones, old ones, young ones, noisy ones, shy ones. All with something to offer. Some, ahem, more than others. Here are some of my favourite (genuine) clangers.
'I don't do sick very well.'
At what point did you think that looking after small human beings who only speak in the language of vomit, snot, wee and poo might not involve just a little bit of mess? Wake up and smell the disinfectant!
'I'm writing a book about my last boss and her family.'
I know. Families are fascinating. The stories. The tensions. The flaws. The secrets. But 'fessing up to using our stories to help you become the next Jackie Collins is not the sharpest way to get yourself another nannying job. Reject! (but send me the uncorrected proof).
'This job will help finance my trip to Australia.'
As a new mum I wanted whoever we took on to want to stay forever. Mainly because I wanted them to love my babies like I did. But, also to avoid the disruption of having to recruit all over again. If you have a round-the-world trip in mind, maybe keep this to yourself for now?
'I left my last position because I want to work with babies not toddlers.'
So, your last set of charges turned from angelic babes into total brats once they hit the terrible twos. But a comment like this says you can't handle kids beyond nappies. Every nanny wants a new-born. But there are smarter ways to seal the deal.
'I've been a live-in for years and it's time to get my own life - I need a boyfriend!'
A family hires a nanny to look after their child. Not to help the nanny feel happier in herself, settle into a new neighbourhood, meet interesting people and try out the new local coffee shops. As much as we have a duty of care, your interview is not always the time to share your mid-life crisis. Sorry!
On the Job
'I left her having a meltdown in aisle five.'
Always check your discipline approach aligns with the parents. Before the need to exercise it. Needless-to-say, ours didn't. She didn't stay long.
'You just need to chill out a bit.'
So, I am a helicopter parent. I fret about every detail of the children's lives and anxiety is my middle name (I am a mother, goddammit). I KNOW THIS. I need empathy, not judgement. Stop behaving like my husband.
'I switched my phone off to save my battery as I'm out this evening.'
See above. My phone is my umbilical cord to my children while I am delivering tedious presentations in the board room. But if yours is switched off, so does my life support (plays dramatic music). Please. Humour me.
'I stuck CBeebies on at tea time and they ate beautifully.'
We all do it! I am eternally grateful for electronic nannies - but at the weekends, when our human nanny isn't on call, being paid to be a human nanny. CBeebies and Kids YouTube should be sainted. But not as a way for you to feed our babies broccoli. Or at least, if that is the only way you can manage to get it in, keep it your little secret (until they are old enough to spill the beans).
'He had a power nap at 5pm.'
The 5pm watershed. We all know what happens next. At 6pm you wave goodbye to our little darlings (now bright-eyed and bushy-tailed from their forty winks) and skip off to your fun evening of child-free loveliness, leaving us with the challenge of The Bedtime from Hell. Now you know why Mummy drinks...
By A Guilty Working Mother.
GWM juggles three small people, a daily commute and increasingly saggy eyelids.
#lifelisticles #GWM #lifeinthemiddlelane #alsoslightdollobsession #dontjudge @barbiella_com