So you’re looking for a new nanny.  Who do you envision when you see them every time you walk in the door after work?

The answer isn’t simple.  It’s loaded with expectations.  Your expectations.  Can anyone live up to those?  Perhaps not.  Regardless, it helps to make a wish list of your ideals — loving, bright, nurturing, patient, on time, a good listener, someone who takes charge, etc.

In making your list, leave room for your “subjective” preferences, such as gender and age.  For example, you might prefer someone somewhat older because you believe they’ll be more mature and experienced with children.   Or you might prefer someone younger because you believe they’ll have the energy to keep up with your children.

Many parents have strong feelings about the cultural or ethnic background of a nanny, too. For example, parents might prefer a nanny with a different ethnic background for purposes of exposing their children to diversity.  Or parents might prefer someone who is familiar with their customs, so as to minimize possible confusion when it comes to food, discipline, etc.

Once you’ve thought about your list of ideals, think about where you might be willing to compromise.  Because more likely than not, you’ll need to.  And also keep in mind that, even if you find the ideal person, things might not work out as planned.  That’s why it’s often a good idea to think about a nanny contract for your new hire.

What do do after you’ve thought about your ideals and where you might be willing to compromise?  We’ll deal with that in another post.  In the meantime, enjoy time with your kids!  Parenting is tough, but worth it.