I have two children ages 4 and 7. I need a live-in nanny (can't afford live-out). She will make breakfast, get them dressed, walk/bike with my children to school, stay home with my 4 year old 2-3 days/week when he's not at kindergarten, and with both when needed (PA days/sick days etc.) and do housekeeping. She will supervise them until I get home after work, cook dinner every night and do cleaning/errands on her bike the days both kids are at school.
I am in the very fantastic situation of having to decide between two very good nanny's, but I have to decide right away.
Nanny #1: currently lives with us, hired one month ago, Filipino, seems very bright like she reads my mind at times re: what to have for dinner, wearing coats outside, etc., doesn't have to be 'taught' a lot, figures things out for herself and remembers every detail I explain to her, English is quite good, cleans the house and prepares food etc. to my standard, (I'm pretty anal about the way certain things are done and she does them the same way), has a lot of friends in the neighbourhood so lots of options for playdates and she knows the area really well, she goes out a lot (giving me more privacy) including all weekend, is a decent cook (cooks dinner every night), very easy to get along with, helps out after her shift is completed all the time even when I tell her she doesn't need to, joins me in the evening when she's off work to take kids out to dinner, to a movie, invites kids to sing kareoke in her room with her, etc. (DH works late and I enjoy the company), this is a nanny share where she goes elsewhere one day/week so I save money, no kids or husband of her own, very social and outgoing, does not travel back home often, before working for us she was a nanny for another child at our school, teachers know her, wants to be a live in (vs live out) nanny (for now), very technically inclinded, has own laptop, Blackberry, texts me at work regularly with updates on my son's day, about dinner, etc.. She's also a coffee drinker, which sounds weird but I enjoy sharing coffee with someone when I make a pot (DH does not drink coffee). She is just a happy person who is really nice to have around.
BUT, she lets them watch tv shows I've asked her not to, has "nanny-hopped" twice before coming to work for me (managing my two boisterous boys versus one baby who still naps can be tough and I wouldn't be surprised if she hopped again), does not know how to iron, not good at disciplining kids, will play hockey with them or take them for bike rides, but doesn't play games with them or read them books, play board games etc., and doesn't do it too often,has to be asked to do things that seem really obvious (I'm rushing to get the kids out the door, getting their shoes on, coats on etc. while she stands watching or goes in the other room - have to continually ask, "please do up DS coat, please help him with his shoes, please open the door for me..." etc., she is responsible for the kids breakfast and I gave her a list of things she can make, but she won't make anything unless I come down and say "please make DS toast and get him a drink of water", she gets her citizenship in August and will possibly stop being nanny then, (but "says" she wants to continue to nanny), has to be asked very specifically do do things otherwise doesn't take the initiative to do things. Would probably not come with us if we moved as she wants to stay in the area (we are thinking of moving).
Nanny #2: from Greece, worked for me on Saturdays for 2 years as mother's helper so have known her a long time, knows how to iron, doesn't allow kids to watch tv, is always trying to get them to each vegetables, use manners, etc. (seems to really care about the kids), almost seems to parent more like a parent than just a babysitter, plays in the yard or boardgames with them, reads them stories, very hard worker (takes initiative to do extra work without being asked), likely to teach them things rather than just supervise them, a little better at disciplining kids, very consciencous about house and kids (treats like they were her own), very honest/loyal, very unlikely to nanny hop. I don't have experience with her as a live-in yet, but she takes more initiative and probably would just make the kids a healthy breakfast without being asked, would probably come anywhere if we move.
BUT, is not a great cook, always wants to cook food from "her country" even though I've told her my kids don't like it, her English isn't as strong as #1, have to explain things to her many times and doesn't always get it right, doesn't know the area or anyone in neighbourhood, is an "ok" cleaner (works very hard at it and does a lot, but does a so-so job), doesn't clean or handle food to my standard, does not go out evenings/weekends (nanny bedroom is on bedroom level), prefers liveout but willing to be live in (for now), probably would not join me for dinner/movies with kids, her English skills make it harder to converse casually with, she gets her citizenship in December, says she wants to stay as a nanny after that, but she goes home for 3 months every Decemver (and she just got married in April so I'm not sure she'd even come back), more quiet, private person who keeps to herself more than #1, not nanny share so more money, does not know our neighbourhood, not very technically inclined, seemed a little down and burnt out last time I saw her, not as happy and outgoing as #1.
I promised #2 the job when she left to go home in December, for when she returned at the end of May, but then had some unexpected issues come up and had to hire a nanny at the beginning of March. I emailed #2 twice to ask her if she was coming back for sure, and how long she could committ to being a nanny for on her return. I didn't hear from her and knew she'd had trouble with her email, but also that she had gotten married, and had to get a nanny in so hired #1. Well, now I really like #1 and realize how much less work it is for me that her English is so good and she figures things out so quickly, and I like that she goes out almost every night after dinner. She already lives with us and it's easy to keep her.
Basically, I feel like #1 is easier for me as she "gets" things quickly and figures things out easily, what she does she does really well and she does enough, but there are some things she just doesn't do and she's not as good with the kids. I feel like #2 is a bit more work for me as I keep having to explain things to her (and she's always giving me her suggestions, whereas #1 just does what I ask), but there so much she does that I don't have to ask, she's better with the kids and I trust her more.
I have more of a chance for consistency long term with #1 because #2 is married now and I know she'll be going home again in December and may not come back as she'll have her citizenship, and things are going fairly well, finally settled in to a routine with #1 and I'm a little nervous about changing things up again when I haven't seen #2 in 6 months and my only experience with her is on Saturdays (vs live-in). But #1 does have trouble with the kids a little bit and doesn't do as much.
I really loved #2 when she worked weekends for me and did some occasional babysitting, thought I'd found the best nanny in the world, then I met #1 and I really, really like her since it's so easy to have her around. They just have such different qualities. If #2 was not coming back from Greece and I hadn't already promised her the job, I would be very happy with #1, but there are some real advantages to #2 too, (particularly in how she's better with the kids in some ways).
Ack! I have to make the decision in the next 2 days!!! WWYD?
TIA! And thanks if you made it to the end of my mile-long note!
Edited by monkeybum - 5/6/11 at 5:42pm