We are hiring a nanny. A live in nanny.
I have many mixed emotions about this whole situation.
Right now my kids go to a YMCA daycare and I love it. They do so many activities, they are very happy and engaged, they get well socialized… The list goes on. However, it is a scheduling nightmare for husband and I. It is a challenge for us to pick up the boys by 6pm every day and we spend a long time every time my call schedule comes out planning which days I am picking them up or he is picking them up. On the days he has to pick them up, he always has to leave work early. And on the days he works late, I absolutely cannot get caught up on the ward or in a consult. This is not always easy. When I start working at a hospital further from my house, this will be impossible.
Having a live-in nanny also means there will be someone to feed our kids better food than sandwiches and (mostly) frozen dinners. We’ll also get help with housework and laundry (yippie!). On the downside, nannies don’t usually drive and while we have many amenities and busses nearby, there is no pre-school or other children’s activities that are easily accessible – which means less socialization. There is also always someone else living in your house.
As you can see, plus and minus…
What complicates things further is that we applied for a nanny from a local pool (nannies already in Canadian cities who need new live-in jobs) so that we could get one faster. As a result, we got one right away – it sounds good, but it also means I wasn’t completely prepared for this. There is also one other complication: we have to qualify for a live-in nanny.
When I applied to the agency, they told me there was a minimum annual income that you needed in order to qualify. We definitely qualify… Now. However, based on our taxable income from 2013, when husband and I were both still in training programs, we don’t qualify. So we have to get special approval – and that’s not guaranteed. In fact, they make it sound like it is completely case dependent and worker dependent. Basically, if we get some crabby grump who didn’t get laid the night before he reads our file, he might just decide that he doesn’t want to approve our application. So despite us actually needing a nanny, and despite us actually making a combined income that is nearly double the qualifying income required to hire a nanny, and despite the fact that we both have stable, high paying jobs, nothing is for certain.
It might not be all that bad, but these nannies in the local pools want jobs now – and the good ones go fast. So, the standard protocol is to “unofficially” hire the nanny and pay her privately while all the paperwork gets done, then once it all gets approved, it becomes official. In order for that to be feasible, we have to take kids out of daycare without knowing if we will actually be approved – either that or pay for a nanny and for full-time daycare for the next 6 weeks… Not practical.
As you can see, this is a stressful dilemma – we need a new child care situation despite loving our daycare. I’m nervous about having a stranger live In My house and take care of my kids. I’m not even guaranteed that we will be approved and in 6 weeks there is a real possibility that we could be without a nanny and without child care in a daycare that we really love.
Regardless, I just told our daycare that this will be the last week the boys are coming. And on Sunday I am picking up our new nanny so she can move in to my house and start working on Monday.