The Stay-at-Home Challenge

February 27, 2013

Diana ChiarabonoMarin Mommies presents a guest article by Diana Chiarabano, owner of Rent-a-Parent Personnel Services. Diana has been helping Marin families and nannies for 29 years. You can reach her at (415) 435-2642 or

Lucky for you if you are a parent who can be home with your child. Usually this is the mother, but there are a lot of stay at home dads as well. Most of the time it’s the mother who gives us a call saying that even though she loves being there for her children, it would be great to have some scheduled, regular time every week to do a variety of things (go to the gym, have lunch with a friend, volunteer at the older child’s school, etc.). If you have 2 children under the age of 4, then juggling their needs and yours becomes especially challenging. If you are considering hiring someone to come into your home, here are some tips for stay-at-home parents.

  • Start with really being honest with yourself as to what kind of person will be a good fit for you. Of course you want someone who is kind, loving, and attentive to your child, but how about meshing with your personality? Is being neat and organized important to you? Are you more interested in having an artistic, creative type working by your side? What kinds of duties do you want the nanny to do solely on her own and which do you want to share? Don’t be shy in asking questions when interviewing. You want to hire someone who sees the job as partnering with you. That is very different than hiring a nanny who performs her duties by herself.
  • Look for someone who shares your values and supports your parenting style. Also, since you are around, you probably want someone who can multi task and be willing to say do laundry if you are with the children; or maybe start dinner; clean up the kitchen. Every stay-at-home mom that we’ve helped needs more than just child care.
  • What are your “must haves” and what can you compromise on? Another time to be honest with yourself and what you absolutely have to have (Pet lover? Housekeeping experience? Able to travel? Computer/tech savvy; able to text? Cooking skills? Able to cognitively stimulate your child?)

This is only a short list of considerations. There is of course your budget; days/ hours you need and then conducting the search and what options to use.