We’ve had helper drama lately. I haven’t written about it because I wasn’t sure how it was going to be resolved, but I’m ready to give you the full lowdown now.
In early February I fired Lupe, our helper of 9 months. The tension had been building between us for a few months due to the disrespectful way she spoke to me (she loved telling me how to parent Nia and run my household). It got old real fast and I knew she needed to go, but I also knew that she really loved Nia and had proved to be a hard worker (these situations are never black and white, are they?)
Lupe did a little bit of everything – cleaning, laundry, cooking and watching Nia. Although monetarily more efficient, I didn’t feel like it ended up being the best situation for Nia’s care. Therefore, I decided to take advantage of this change in regime to separate the duties more. The new plan was for me to take back laundry and some cooking, hire a cleaning lady to come in and do a deep clean one time a week and then get a Nanny who’s sole job would be to care for Nia (with a few dishes & some light cooking during her naps).
The more I thought about it, the more I liked my plan. The only problem… Nannies were much harder to come by than cleaning ladies. Being the creative gal that I am though, I came up with a novel idea. I printed a crap ton of fliers and went to the kiddie playground during peak hours to pass them out. I targeted all the nannies, knowing that they must have other nanny friends that were looking for jobs. My plan worked beautifully and I was inundated with calls & texts over the next 48 hours.
Interviews started the next day and I was so delighted with the first 3 candidates that I stopped interviewing. It was a tough choice, but I went with my intuition and hired the one I thought was best. She was overjoyed and by the end of her first day I was absolutely thrilled with my choice. Then came day 2, the day in which she failed to show up! I was flabbergasted. Who does that? She texted me that night saying she needed to quit.
I was bummed, but I knew I had a good back-up candidate. She was still available, so I got her to come in a few days later for a week trial. #2 was sweet as could be, but lacked the ability to set limits for Nia. My intelligent little girl figured out how to manipulate her in no time and it was crystal clear to me that this was not going to work. It was about that time that #1 called back begging to get the job back. Since #2 didn’t work, I thought, why not? I like to believe the best in people and thought that maybe she had just messed up.
I call her up to confirm a Monday start date; she is ecstatic. Monday comes. #1 fails to show. AGAIN!
By this time I’m starting to feel quite down about my Nanny search. Thankfully it was time to go to Mexico, so I tabled the whole damn project for a week and resolved to attack it when I got back. When I returned, I found out that by some lucky turn of events, my favorite nanny was now available (I know many of them from the playground). I was ECSTATIC.
Her name was Paola and I had spent many days watching her play with the previous child she watched. What I liked most about her was her high energy, her ability to manage bad behavior and the fact that she always had the child out playing at the playground or at City Toys (our equivalent of Gymboree). I couldn’t believe my good fortune!
Well, turns out good things do come to those who wait. Paola started working for us this week and I’m not kidding, it feels like a match made in heaven. Nia ADORES her and it already feels like she’s been part of our household for months. I am amazed at how much this change has reduced my stress level. What a blessing she is!