The Most Important Thing When Hiring A Nanny

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Go with your gut, trust your intuition.

Walking into the closet to grab some final things before leaving for Tahoe, Mark hovered over his phone reviewing our closet camera. “Bad news” he said. “I think I just caught our nanny taking money from my wallet.” We reviewed the video and in the first minute of the five-minute clip, clear as day, she slyly grabs a few bills and returns his wallet to its place. She comes back a second time to sift through the bills, remove a few more and place it down. A THIRD time she returns, using Mark’s running shorts to wipe off fingerprints. The camera was 6” from Mark’s wallet and totally in the open – she must have not known what a camera looks like or was too focused on the wallet to notice.

That’s it. It was officially over. On the phone she asked for a second chance, but once that trust had been violated, there’s no repairing. All things work out the way they’re supposed to. Months ago, I asked Mark if he’d be open to interviewing other nannies. Or at least “seeing what else is out there.” I felt like she wasn’t in it. She seemed to put Wes in a pile of toys and wave things in front of his face regularly. That doesn’t work for an energetic one year old. He had regressions in crawling when he spent a lot of time with her. She lacked energy and didn’t engage with him or try to teach him new things. I liked her as a person, but something made me hesitant about her. I felt uncomfortable leaving Wes alone in the house with her. We were keeping her because she was referred by a friend and said to be “trustworthy."

At risk of sounding hoaky, shortly after I met her I had a vision of her going through a wallet. I saw the details of her face, how she moved her fingers while sifting through bills, and how she tilted her head back, exposing her crowned teeth. I brushed it off as me being “imaginative” or “paranoid” but it was my insight and intuition. I needed a sign – or a video clip in this case – to push me to take action.

It wasn’t a good fit. She wasn’t focused on giving to Wes because she was focused on taking from us. She was a kind person but it was a dirty habit and hopefully this helps break the cycle.

I’m not writing this to talk about what a bad person she is. Good people can do bad things. While I’m disappointed, I do hope life works out for her. I’m writing this as a reminder to trust your instincts. Something too often ignored. Trust your instincts because it’s the deeper primal part of yourself giving you a head’s up. Any nanny will pass a checklist of interview questions (like these or these), background and reference checks, but your intuition is what will ultimately guide you. Walking away from this experience, I see it as practice to trust my intuition on bigger issues related Wes and our growing family.