Hi. Welcome to my family. Sort of.

May 31, 2006


Tomorrow, Husband and I will go to a scary little office and interview three or four ladies in the hopes of finding the person we will invite into our home to live with us during the week and help take care of our home and family.

I could be a little freaked out about this. Don’t get me wrong, the prospect of having a little extra help around the house with the laundry and cleaning is AWESOME as is the possibility that this person may actually be really great with kids and be a great addition to our family.


This person is going to be LIVING HERE. TAKING CARE OF MY KIDS. (I think all caps was justified there.) Logic tells me to hide the “good jewelry” and other small valuables. Not to give over the keys to the kingdom yet. I get that. What I wrestle with right now is how to welcome this person to our family and make her feel welcome while at the same time keeping one eyebrow raised and a healthy dose of skepticism.

We’ve decided to bring this person on board in early June so that we can ALL figure out how this is going to work. And? Give us time if this one doesn’t work out for any reason to either replace her or go in a different direction before the baby’s born.

There are so many little moving parts to this arrangement that I’ve never really dealt with before. You see, I decided a long time ago that I am not a manager (of people). I can manage, but I choose not to. I like people, but not the part that entails guiding people’s careers, dealing with their life’s minutae and, most importantly, excuses. I have very few control issues and prefer to ride herd over a project or advise as opposed to deal with the details. As an example, I didn’t really plan my own wedding. It was a time for my mom and dad to have a great time and I was totally okay with that. I wanted input on 3 or 4 items and the rest? Knock your socks off, folks!

But this? Is different. This “project” is living in our home. And affecting our children. Hmmm.

So, here’s what I think about at 3:32am when my heartburn is attacking. (This person is most likely going to be an “undocumented worker” and there are cultural issues to deal with.)

  • What kind of food do I need to have in the house?
  • Do I take her with me to the grocery store?
  • Should I teach her how to cook some meals we like?
  • How in the hell am I going to establish the hierarchy of “adults” in the house for the Swimmy?
  • I need to make sure the Swimmy doesn’t end up with a sense of “entitlement” from this. She needs chores – and strict guidance to navigate this new situation.
  • How do you include her in holiday celebrations that are not (a) her religion or (b) at someone else’s home? (It makes me a little uncomfortable to be one of those women who carts her “nanny” around with her. I am SO not a “lady who lunches”.)
  • I need to make sure her vaccines are up to date. And get her a flu shot at the right time.
  • Do I have to provide toiletries like a hotel?
  • Seriously. These are the things that get in the way of me being a normal person these days. (Trust me, there’s a looooong list.)

    Yep. There’ll be no sleeping tonight.

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    4 Responses to “Hi. Welcome to my family. Sort of.”

    1. R. Robyn Says:

      I wish I had some experience to advise from, but I don’t. I know a great nanny though!
      I hope everything works out well for you!

    2. Hazel Hazel Says:

      Wow. Glad for you to have the help, but I don’t envy you having to find the ‘right’ person. Trust your instincts.

    3. Sylvia Says:

      I would say for some of the issues (toiletries, etc.) you could ask her supervisor.
      Some of your questions – ask your potential employee directly. You should feel comfortable enough with her to ask her directly.
      Some of it, you’ll figure out as you go.
      Good luck!

    4. Tina Says:

      Sounds like a daunting task. I have a neighbor who has this arrangement and it has worked out really well for everyone. I’ll bet you find someone fabulous too.