I have to share some good news, as usually I am on here in desperate search of advice or having a much needed rant sensible conversation about childcare.
After the Aussie au pair got sick and left last week, I called our former nanny to see if she could be around while I was travelling, to help the summer au pair find her feet. Our ex nanny told me that she was being made redundant ? so I fished a bit to see if she might want to come back and she talked a lot about how "oh you wouldn't have enough for me to do" etc etc basically just repeating why she had left us in the lurch to pursue other career options last summer.
Since she left we have had the newly qualified nanny who parked illegally left DD in car to get DS 40 mins late, the lovely temp who was on loan while my friend was out of work, the lovely friend of mine who could only do 3 weeks but whom the children fell in love with, the lovely temp who could only do 6 hours pw, my adorable but grumpy French Dad for 4 weeks, the lovely cleaner who can speak very little English but adores the kids, the Aussie who started well but then rapidly went downhill and finally the temp nanny this week who has been in tears since she arrived because it's the first time she's left home. .
So basically a childcare merry go round. Oh, and DD and DS have chronic illnesses which keep them home from school alot.
I was beginning to despair that I was ever going to find anyone. I have had over 150 applications from AP World, and as soon as I got to reference & background / ID checking stage the shortlist of 20 shrunk to 5 or 6. I got a lovely summer girl from a local agency who checked out well and I was girding my girlie loins for a load of Skype interviews and also some proper nanny interviews. I have gone fully self-employed this year and the business is actually motoring. I want decent help. I can pay for it. All I care about is the quality.
DH's resolve of "this is when childcare gets cheaper" was also slowly crumbling. The DC's need consistency and responsible care and they were not getting it. My £££ is small but enough to cover a nanny, so I called the ex back, and HALLELUJAH, she wants to come home for at least 2 more years ? subject to proper sit down chat etc etc etc. I practically hugged her down the phone and did permit myself to cry.
Can I please have some positive thinking in my direction that this all works out!!!
Grabaspoon - yes, that has been concern when I was weighing up whether or not to approach her again. But I think that we have got to a very good point in the working relationship where we are pretty open with each other and essentially, she went thru a phase of worrying about being bored which translated into going to get another job, which wasn't quite what she'd hoped. There is a scarcity of the classic nanny employer in our area, and she moved here 4 years ago to be with her partner, now husband. We were the first family she came to straight from a very long period of employment with 1 family in London (till the children were old enough to get themselves to and from school basically). I think she hoped that the local market here was as varied as in London but tis not and I think she has genuinely missed us.
Hi KatyMac one of her qualities cum weaknesses that she is a childcare / classic old fashioned nanny thru and thru which is why she has stayed with families for so long - and found it hard to move. She would honestly prefer to spend her time researching new recipes for the kids to try and cooking or doing their repairs / laundry / talking to their teachers at the end of the day than "improving herself". It's only a weakness because it did mean that she wasn't about to take up some interesting hobby to share with the kids.
Hmm. Well she always keeps on top of our childrens' changing needs - as she has great rapport with them and experience of children from birth to 15 years. She has helped them through some challenging times with their (not life threatening but occasionally life limiting) chronic illnesses, eg with DS partially deaf half the year helped support the speech therapy he was doing. She is also very good at adapting what she does to suit the whole family. Last year I got pneumonia and she nursed me through that, looked after the DC's and made sure DH had a hot meal every night too. Basically a caring person but definitely old fashioned. Then so are we. So it works. But I guess if you are managing CM's then yes it is different ...
Ok so we have agreed terms and salary via text now just down to start date. I have enough in savings to cover her for 12 months even if my new business decided not to get out of bed for a year. So I'll sign her up for a year and be a little poorer but a damn sight happier - and able to pursue new work without worrying who the dc's will have foisted on them next. Phew. Thanks for all the positive thinking .