Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Nanny

Soon after finding out that we were expecting a 3rd child we quickly realized 2 things.  One, we need minivan for all the car seats.  And two, we need a nanny for too many reasons to count.  But, how to find a nanny?  Initially, I refused the idea of using a website or service.  I insisted on finding this person via word of mouth, preferably they be a relative, a good friend of a relative or a relative of a good friend.  Despite the exorbitant number of people I know due to my enormous family, and multiple school/sport/career endeavors, this proved to be much harder than expected. In fact, it wasn't working out. So, I turned to  And being the cheapass I can am (when it comes to everything but food, shoes and coffee) I purchased only one month's subscription to the site.  I read close to 100 profiles, contacted about 20 people, and phone interviewed 3.  I was set on one before I even spoke to anyone else, but she turned out to be a flake (thank goodness we realized this early), which led me to Kerry.  Our nanny.

I thought hiring a maid was the best decision ever!?  I thought having a clean house took a load off of my shoulders!?  Well, let me tell ya, having a trustworthy, responsible, flexible, hard-working caregiver, come to your house everyday with a smile and watching your kids light up in excitement to see her arrive is the best decision EVER.  Yes, she goes above and beyond.  She does the kids' laundry, she does dishes, she prepares their meals, she vacuums and she even helped me prepare for an event I was hosting!  And all of this, so that I can actually enjoy my few precious hours at home with the kids, instead of rushing around to get a full days worth of chores done as well as play time before bed.  But despite all of these perks, the real jewel, that is Kerry, is that she seems to genuinely care about my kids.  She brought them Easter gifts.  She sends me texts and pictures and is always striving to make them happy.  She moves the swings and the pack n' play to different rooms and levels of the house, depending on where she is, to keep a close eye on the babies.  It is obvious that she does not she leave them alone in some room to cry.  I have been around her enough, she doesn't like to let the babies cry.

Curtis is genuinely sad when she leaves every evening.  Brock wants to and often asks to visit Kerry at her house.  She never seems eager to run out the door - this is such a relief for me.  I feel guilty enough being away so long, the thought that my care provider is chomping at the bit to be rid of my children makes me extremely anxious.  She has even helped me to get the kids dressed and loaded into the car before leaving, instead of just taking off. 

I think, at least weekly, I tell someone I wish I would have done this sooner.  I get to wake up, get ready, and walk out the door.  My commute is now only 30 minutes, instead of an hour.  I think hiring Kerry has added back a lot of years I have potentially lost due to stress.
And, if you are wondering who that 4th little boy is, in all of these pictures.  It is Henry.  Henry's mother went to grade school with Matt, and his dad went to Rockhurst with him.  His mother is also a resident, doing Pediatrics at KU.  They live 3 blocks West of us, and we nanny share!  Personally, I think it is delightful to have the addition - and it helps me afford Brock's school.

So, if you have 3 kids, or even if you have 2, look into a Nanny. Seriously. Do it. But don't expect someone as wonderful as Kerry - I fear she might be one of a kind.

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