I just hired part-time help, legal Filipina married to a Chinese-Filipino man. I hope she works out! She’s been working for a friend of my friends for the last 2.5 years and she won’t be living in but will be here at our place from 8 to 5, 3 days a week.
It’s interesting what the different rates are. Tell someone you’re American (or other foreigner) and they’ll tell you their rates are $350/hour. I really lucked out with the lady who’s going to start on Wed. My husband may be away for a week during the month that I have my baby so she’s also agreed to spend nights with us during that time.
I don’t call her a nanny–I’ll be here all the time anyway–but rather a mother’s helper. I’ve been told by three people that she’s excellent with kids, and she also cooks and does housekeeping. (This must be my reward for going 3.5 years without any help!) She’ll be an extra set of hands for when dear husband is at work and I’m on my own with 3 or 4 kids.
Good points about cameras by Rascal. I think if I was leaving an infant with her I’d be more concerned, but since I’ll have older children with her, and I don’t plan to be away from home much when they’re with her, I don’t think it’s necessary for us.
If you installed cameras, would you be upfront about it and tell her where they were? Or would you keep it from her? I’m not sure how I’d handle it.
One idea that a friend in the states shared was having a webcam at home so that she could peek in while she was at work, not so much to spy on the nanny as to see how things were going. Some daycare centers/preschools do something like this so parents can see what the kids are doing.
Quite a few of my friends have live-in help. Some are just terrific, and others are so-so. The thing about hiring foreign help is that you just don’t know what you’ll get. If you know someone with help they’re happy with, maybe you could ask for their pesonal recommendation. They might have a sister, friend, cousin, other relative in their home country that they’d be willing to vouch for, and then the agency you use can make contact with them. Not sure how that works.
Another thought, I do envy my friends with live-in help who are able to go to a movie or have a date with the spouse on the spur of the moment. These aren’t parents who are out golfing or playing mahjong all day long while the nanny is at home with the kids–these are involved parents, mostly stay-at-home-moms who just happen to make time for themselves on a Friday or Sat night. I think that’s very important too–to stay connected–just something that’s been very difficult for us to do in the last 3 years with schedules and finding someone we trust, and we do see the effects in our relationship.
Hoping all that rambling helped just a tiny little bit… :?