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The Nanny Search

Trusting someone to care for your child is not easy. Between the horror stories you hear from friends or on the news, and your own personal struggles to separate from your little ones, the process of finding the right nanny is complex to say the least.

My own nanny search began when my grandmother, who watched my son twice a week, headed south this winter. After much consideration (and anxiety, fear and finally acceptance), I realized I needed a nanny. This would be the first time an outsider would be caring for him, and although I could read every how-to-pick-a-nanny article out there, I preferred a holistic approach to find that one person who would offer support, empathy and compassion for me and my baby. It turned out that all I had to do in order to be most comfortable was simply trust my instincts.

Here’s a few tips to guide your own nanny search.

  1. Think about what you want. When it came to what I was looking for, the long list of adjectives continued to grow, priorities jumbled in my mind. When I was able to focus and go within, the drive to be comforted by her smile started to resonate. Since I was searching for a nanny online, I had solved the first step – look only at profiles that had a picture. Yes, I started my nanny selection based on what she looked like. It felt as if I was on a match.com hunt to finding my spouse, (which coincidentally was a much easier task than this nanny thing), but if I didn’t have a visceral reaction to her smile, I wasn’t interested. Next!

  1. Set priorities and let them guide you. My son is 17 months old. He is in everything. He is running before he can walk straight. He is lifting heavy objects; he is falling, he is shoveling handfuls of food into his mouth. He is a (delicious) wildman! I needed to feel confident that whoever came into our home had the ability to handle an emergency situation, safely and calmly. I clearly noted on my profile I was looking for someone who has, or is willing to receive, CPR/First Aide training. This was a non-negotiable.

  1. Be selective! Since I was searching online, I paid attention to grammar and how much effort it appeared they had taken on creating their profile, if their words exuded passion. I wasn’t looking for a kid to babysit. I was looking for someone to have a vested interest in the growth of my child.

  1. Create an interview strategy that just…feels…right. My strategy wasn’t something I constructed, rather something that revealed itself along the way. Those that made the cut went through the following process:
    1. Email correspondence. Once she passed this test there was the…
    2. Phone interview. I dominated this to see how she would react. This wasn’t a part of the process for her to shine; it was a part that allowed me to see how she could handle an overwhelming mama and to get a sense of her responses to my childrearing philosophies.
    3. In-person interview. This was her moment. I wanted to see that smile in person. I wanted to feel the immediate response it invoked in me. I wanted to hear about who she was outside of watching children (which more times than not completely threw them off guard). I wanted to get a sense that we could coexist since I am a very attentive mama who works from home. I needed to feel her energy, her comfort, her radiance and ultimately her security. If all of these things passed that very strong mama intuition, she went on to the fourth step of…
    4. Meeting my child. At the end of the day, the nannies I invited to meet him had passed all of my tests; it would be he who would have the ultimate decision. He is his own person, he is very intuitive, and I knew I would get a sense not only from him, but also from my mama gut, who would be the right nanny to join our family.

Only two nannies made it through every step. I called the references, more so to be able to say I did. Watching these young ladies interact with my child, and in turn my child interact with them was all the proof I needed. My grandmother stayed in the room as I intermittently left to deal with “work” as I wanted to see his reaction to me not being there, and subsequently their reaction to his potential meltdown. Seeing them engaged, watching how the possible nanny worked with him, followed his cues, stayed in tune with him, delivered me the comfort that only watching my child with his new nanny could provide.

Once both final interviews concluded, it was very clear who we were to hire. My child responded strongly to both, but one stood out. Luckily for me, it was the same nanny that had set everything immediately inside me at ease.

If there's one thing I learned along the way, it's that just because an expert offers a suggestion, I do not need to conform myself into doing it their way. And same goes for you! If there's one thing you can take from me, it's to trust yourself, listen to your heart, and set that mama intuition free!

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Who says you have to wait for birthdays or holidays to give your bestie a great gift? A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs in these more-than-trying times. We've rounded up some of our favorite go-to gifts that are certain to be a bright spot in her week. But be warned, you may want to snag a few for yourself. (You deserve it, mama.)

Here are some our favorite "just because" gifts to give our hardworking mama friends.

New Mother face + body care duo

volition face + body care duo

This correcting oil and stretch mark minimizer is perfect for the pregnant mama looking to keep her pregnancy glow. The correcting oil brightens the skin while reducing dark spots, and the stretch mark minimizer works to smooth her ever-growing belly.

$70

Allover roller

esker allover roller

This jade roller goes beyond your typical face roller and can be used anywhere on the body. It works to increase stimulation and reduce puffiness and is perfect for applying any oils to the face or body. Plus, it feels like a mini spa treatment.

$65

Kombucha making kit

farmsteady kombucha making kit

What could be a more perfect gift for the health-obsessed friend? This kombucha making kit comes with everything you need to brew your own homemade green tea kombucha. They'll think this is the tastiest gift ever.

$45

Laetitia lipstick

cupid & psyche laetitia

This red lipstick is perfect for your makeup enthusiast bestie who is looking to spruce up her life in quarantine. Crafted in the United States, these bee and vegan-friendly and cruelty-free lipsticks are created to flatter all complexions. Cupid and Psyche Beauty makes finding the perfect red lip way too easy!

$23

Jigsaw puzzle

inner piecec jigsaw puzzle

Mamas need to destress now more than ever during quarantine. This adorable jigsaw puzzle is perfect for the mama who needs a brain break! The 500-piece puzzle designed by artist Ray Oranges features an abstract gradient design that fits a standard frame when completed. Bonus: It's printed on recycled paper and the company donates $1 from every puzzle sold to youth mindfulness programs.

$30

Matilda's Bloombox

matilda's bloombox

If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.

$39

'I Am Enough' bracelet

I Am Enough bracelet

Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."

$35

Glow assorted teas

vahdam low assorted teas

This tea gift box set covers the entire spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy. Individually packaged in beautiful tins, your gal pal will feel like a queen sipping her morning tea. Originally $40, this set is currently on sale for just $24. We'll take two, please.

$24

Find your voice journal

find your voice journal

Journaling is a great way to ease anxiety and will slow your bestie's racing mind before bed. This gift is perfect for first time journalists and includes prompts, daily quotes and coloring pages to help her unlock her potential and find her voice.

$22

Premium frother

shore magic premium frother

This gift is fitting for your latte-sipping bestie who can't go a day without her coffee. All she has to do is add two scoops of collagen to her favorite drink, and she'll have a perfectly foamy drink ready in seconds. Skipping the drive-thru line has never been so easy!

$25

Bath soak infusion kit

maude bath soak infusion kit

Say hello to hydration! She'll be feeling smooth and relaxed as ever after a long bath soaking in these salts. This vegan + cruelty-free set incorporates dead sea salt and dehydrated coconut milk powder for an ultra hydrating experience.

$32

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

It's a hard-earned title she answers to a hundred times per day. Whether she's new to the club or a seasoned professional, this delicate script 'mama' necklace is guaranteed to be a perfect fit.

$105

Superfood honey

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered honey

With a lack of sleep and jam-packed days, getting through the afternoon can be a real challenge. Send her a powerful pick-me-up in the form of a therapeutic blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and raw honey. It makes the ideal companion for tea, smoothies, yogurt or even on its on.

$17

Calming midnight mask with melatonin

Who doesn't deserve a reminder to pamper themself every once in awhile? Even better, this mask does all its work at night while you're sleeping with no extra effort needed. It's an amazing plant-powered antioxidant-packed mask that has melatonin, wild dandelion leaf and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate, repair and reset facial skin. It's so good, you might want to gift it to yourself. We won't tell, mama.

$68

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It's my personal opinion that this belly deserves some love. So starting with my second pregnancy, I've relied on Belly Bandit's postpartum belly bands (which I own in three sizes) to help support my core, reduce swelling, and begin to activate my midsection after nine months of being stretched to the max.

Here's why I love Belly Bandit:

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Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.


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