Our Discussions

Live-in Nanny
1 (a mother)
Hi - I thought I'd provide my experiences fyi. When our son was 10 months old, we hired a live-in nanny who was mexican. She was 18, spoke little english and came from a family of 14 (she was the 2nd to eldest sibling). We knew her uncle who worked as janitor at my husband's work. She stayed with us for 2-1/2 years when she married. We still keep in touch and have a close kinship. She had extremely high morality which was of upmost importance to me. She was absolutely a wonderful nanny and provided a very loving atmosphere, safe and secure for our son. At one point I had him going to preschool 2 days a week - she would walk him there and pick him up.
When she left - we hired an Iranian woman (not live-in) to watch him 3 days a week. We had placed an ad in a local iranian publication (received many phone calls from desparate people) - I wouldn't suggest an ad is the way to go. I was excited about having him with a farsi speaking person and my husband felt that an Iranian would be more trust-worthy. I have to admit that we didn't check any references - but rather became acquainted with her friends, history, etc. (she was 40 years old). She was with us for a little over 6 months. Unfortuantely she was a very battered woman, abused and influenced by her friends who had no regard for morals, honesty or humanity. The facts are extremely weird and disconcerting which I won't get into. We fired her after she came home with our son at 10pm after having visited one of her friends. There was no note, no phone call or message and she had already been told several times to not take him anywhere except to designated places (the park and a neighbor's home). Several times prior she had shown up at my office with him during the day having taken a bus ride to get there (she didn't have a car). When she got home on that particular evening - she couldn't understand why we would be upset. There are so many strange things that happened, I choose to forget that they were real and part of our life. Chalk it down to a bad experience and we learned a lot, our son's fine.
On the brighter side, I have a friend who had an Iranian woman come to her home every day to babysit, etc. The woman was in her 50's and a grandma type. It was a wonderful match. The woman was able to put her extra time to good use and my friend was grateful for the cultural influence.
Good luck - I've been there, done that - it's not easy!
Please send your replies and/or opinions regarding this subject to madar-pedar@surya.eecs.berkeley.edu.

Back to madar-pedar