The sun is shining. Wolf Blitzer is on the radio. My iced coffee is near by and still cold (for now). And, thanks to my WordPress app, I’m coming to you live. From the field. Or the Cabella’s parking lot, but close enough.
All and all, things could be worse.
Today is one of the many times, as of late, where my little comrade has boycotted one of his two naps. No matter what I try, or how hard I try to schedule the afternoon so he will take a nap…he always falls asleep in the car. So here I am. Trying to make the best use of this time and stick to my resolution of two posts a week. So far, so good.
My setting is rather appropriate, though, considering the topic of today’s #tbt post – my new job!
In a past life I was a teacher, and then a recruiter of teachers, with Teach For America. Having a portfolio of schools (and managing a team) across New England meant that I spent many hours in my car. Driving to Boston to meet with my team. Driving home again. Sometimes all in one day. Then driving to Bates. Or Bowdoin. Or Colby. Sometimes two in one day. Then it was off to Boston College. Heck, why not Dartmouth? Needless to say, I was no stranger to long stretches behind the wheel. Now a days, though, a fifteen minute car ride can seem like an eternity as I fret about keeping W occupied so he doesn’t melt down.
But, shortly after returning from maternity leave I parted ways with a job, a team and a mission that meant so much to me. I definitely missed it. That’s why, when my former boss Skyped me about a part-time opening on her team atTeach For All (the international parent organization to TFA), I couldn’t refuse! It was an amazing opportunity to work 10 hours a week. From home. Without travel. Without managing a team. Just me, some good ‘ole work and a mission I cared about. So, for several months now, I’ve been employed outside the home once again 🙂 I work on the Talent Acquisition team and spend my time reviewing applications and working on learning and development resources for hiring managers…eek! I love it.
In all honesty, though, I was actually pretty terrified about going back to work. Even though I hadn’t been “out of the game” for too long, it was long enough to make me question whether or not I’d still be any good. Whether or not my brain would still function at a high enough level to be considered a competent addition to the team. Considering I was only going back 10 hours a week I felt a little ridiculous about how nervous I was feeling, but it was going to be different than the groove little W and I had gotten in. Thankfully the learning curve wasn’t too steep as I’m doing somewhat similar work to what I’ve done in the past, so that just left one more emotion hurdle to overcome.
Hiring a nanny.
Going back to work meant that someone (other than myself, my husband, or our parents) would need to watch W. I got right to work on SitterCity and began contacting sitters in the area. I definitely wanted someone responsible. So, if I Facebooked you and all of your pictures were of you drunk in the Old Port…welp, you weren’t getting a message. And yes. I absolutely did that. My former occupation required me to learn a special set of sourcing skills that I eagerly put to use when trying to learn more about people who would be alone with my kiddo. After I found a few seemingly responsible individuals, I set up a series of interviews. Yes, that is an “s” at the end of interview. As someone who recruited and selected for a top-notch organization, it was hard to let those rigorous standards fall by the wayside. After all, the qualities you’d want in a great teacher are similar to what I was looking for in a nanny. I wanted a high-achieving, go-getter-of-a-leader who was organized, timely and not afraid to speak up.
The first round interview was conducted by yours truly and included a litany of questions about challenges and emergencies they’d faced while babysitting, how they handled discipline, what their philosophy on child care was…all the while watching for how confident they were and how they interacted with W. I really wanted someone who was going to take charge and speak up – I know it can be strange babysitting while a parent is home and I didn’t want a shrinking violet who was afraid to tell me what was happening, etc. The next interview was with both my husband and me so we could norm on whether or not we thought the person was a good match for our family. After all, hiring someone to watch your child is like voluntarily adding to your family. It’s serious business.
Finally, we found a match and gosh, is she amazing.
She’s a first-year graduate student in the school of occupational therapy and she’s fantastic. Little W lights up when she walks through the door. On her first day with W, she even taught him how to go through the play tunnel we have…something we’d tried to do for months! And, much to my delight, as she was leaving on the first day she turned around and said to me, “I just wanted to tell you that he took a bite out of one of his blocks downstairs. Just so you know, and aren’t surprised if you see a piece missing. He didn’t swallow it, though, I was able to get it out.” It was amazing! That was precisely the kind of thing(s) I wanted a babysitter to tell me and the reason I’d hired her…I just knew she wouldn’t shy away from being direct with me.
And that sealed the deal on my utter adoration of her.
The rest is history, folks. I’ve got a new job at a familiar company, and we’ve added a member to our little family. Maybe we’ll even have a date-night soon, now that we have a fantastic sitter! Wink, wink, honey 🙂