Finding a job has been easier and less stressful than finding a childcare solution for Little G.
Mr H and I knew all along that a nanny was going to be the only option for us. Nurseries in this area are mainly a morning-only affair. That, combined with Little G's asthma and propensity to be unwell in winter gave us no other viable options. So, where do you find a nanny who will become part of your family and who will look after your precious 2 year old without scarring her for life? Or killing her? (which is a real possibility with a kid with some severe allergies)
Let me take you onto our journey. As much as this might all seem funny, imagine the stress of going through it and you'll know why I now need a holiday so badly.
Step One: word of mouth.
Surely the best thing, right? That was what I thought, but it is in fact a minefield. You feel obliged to give someone an interview as she comes recommended by friends or acquaintances and then you are left wondering if these people are mental or if they actually hate you (or your daughter)
Here comes Nanny D. She is in her late 40s and decides that it is fine to turn up 25 minutes early for her interview. Miss G and I rush like crazy to get home and meet her whilst she is standing at the front door with a disapproving face. (WTF?) Whilst Miss G does her best to tell her that 'you always take your shoes off and wash hands when you come home from outside' Nanny D avoids doing both (WTF?) despite seeing G and I doing it. So I sit giving her an interview knowing that I will never ever hire her... 40 minutes of my life that I will never have again and a friend to cross off the Christmas list.
Next was Nanny G. She had more qualifications than you could ever imagine, but here lies the problem. Nanny G is one of those who always knows best and started telling me that she would provide balanced days for my daughter with play groups in the morning and baking or craft in the afternoon. She then went on to tell me about the nutritious meals that she would cook for Little G. She showed me photos of the craft projects she had done with other kids. And on. And on. By the end of the monologue I felt like I was talking to a younger version of my mother. Bye Miss Know-It-All and off goes another friend from the Christmas list!
I finally realised that Word of Mouth might not be great for us when I met candidate number three. Nanny B was a great fit. She was so honest and candid that I knew we would have just got along perfectly. She is young, educated, sporty, calm and fun. She basically ticked most of the boxes and I started to think that it was all going so well. Little did I know that her lectures for her Master would conflict with G's schedule. Nothing worst than thinking that you have found someone to then realise that she can't give you the hours you need.
Enraged and deflated, I thought that I had had enough of word of mouth. It was time to try plan B. (More on that soon)