Thursday, December 03, 2009

The new nanny

These pics were taken just before we left for the photo shoot. I love how D and Connor are sharing smiles.

My strategy this time around with the hiring of the nanny was to do the whole recruiting, training and management aspect exactly as if I’m at work.

So I interviewed properly and was happy with my decision.

She started on Saturday (just for a half day) and at the end of it, I asked D what he thought.

Do you know what he said?

She doesn’t seem very capable!

Well, I just about flipped. He didn't want to be part of the interviewing process (why is it that people don't like interviewing? even at work it's the same and I love it!!!)

I think it’s because we’re all over in the house on weekends so she didn't feel she could intrude in our space and "do her thing".

Also, I'm training her and I'm a bit of a detail freak so I do go on and on.

You'd never have guessed that... :)

On Monday I told her I’m throwing her in the deep end – I intervened only when K was SCREAMING. It was feed time for both – so I told her to stand between the two cots and hold a bottle in each hand. And then there was silence. It’s the only way with two babies.

So far so good, she does need to get confidence with them and with me which will come over the next day or two. It helps that she’s highly motivated – I’m paying her R400 more than she asked for so she is V. Happy. I've also said I will review her salary after 3 months but that any increases will be performance-based.

I then asked her on Tuesday morning "what went well yesterday and what didn’t go so well?"

She says, "oh everything was fine". Today I also asked her something similar and when I got the same response I said, "Viola, I don't want to hear words like fine and okay. I want details." She laughed but now she gets me.

Back to Tuesday.

This is what she said:

Well – the babies fell asleep quite easily and she feels they’re getting used to her (true!)

Not so well – she said “everything was okay” so I had to probe and force her to say what she would improve in the future (I almost cringe when I hear myself do corporate speak!). Then she said she worked too slow (also true – at least she recognised this herself and I didn’t have to say so (good tactic on my part actually) – and maybe she should come earlier than 7 am.

I said, no, that’s not necessary, you just have to plan your day better. Did some quick time management training and also showed her to gauge how long K would sleep from when she went down based on how much she had as her feed, etc, etc. (My kids never take a full bottle)

I also said with twins, you don’t have the luxury of procrastinating. The MINUTE you have a gap, you take it and wash bottles, laundry, etc, etc.

Much better every day – I still help now and again by mixing bottles but as at this writing, bottles are all washed, laundry is done and on the line and one baby is sleeping.

I'm asking her those two questions every day to get her into the habit of evaluating her performance.

Things I'm liking
  • The babies look happy
  • I don't hear any crying even when I sneak in the house after I've been out (been forcing myself to do something out every day so I don't hover... and to get used to leaving them)
  • She takes correction very well
  • She's open and asks questions if unclear or if she doesn't get me
  • She's really good with getting the babies to sleep
  • She is spot on with her strengths and weaknesses
  • She's thorough, especially with The Notebook

Not so good
  • She is slow
  • Hasn't had any extra time to show me initiative
  • Has left every day waaaayyy after she's supposed to leave - M 6pm, T 5.45pm, W 5.40 (at least it's getting earlier)
What do you think?

P.S. Mandibula, the cereal post is next!


  1. Sounds like the positives outweigh the negatives...maybe talk to her about the other stuff?

  2. The negative issues sound like they will all be resolved as she finds her niche in your house. Once she gets in her own groove, she will probably get faster, giving her extra time to show initiative, and she'll be able to leave on time. Glad this is working out for you!

  3. Anonymous4:35 pm

    Wow! She's really elbow deep. I'd say give her about as long as it took you to get used to two babies once K came home. Remember how "easy" it was to take care of C, and then ohmygoodness, K came home and it was very difficult? I'd give her that much time, and then start asking her how things are going or she'll get discouraged and you might have to start interviewing again.
    Just a thought!


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