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15 Feb

why we decided to (finally) get a nanny

when I first got pregnant and Lu and I started talking about the future, we knew all along that we’d want to get a nanny once I had to go back to work. and by work, of course, I mean working on Inspiralized (some people think when I say “go back to work” that that means I’d go back to corporate America – no, NEVER! fingers crossed!)

I told myself I’d take a full two months of no/little work and then I’d start to play it by ear as to when I needed to get childcare. month three I started getting back into the swing of things, posting a bit more, sharing more food related content on IG stories (not just Boomerangs of Luca – sorry for the overshares there, I’m a new mom!), and thinking about 2018 strategy.

ALSO, I was gone for most of January and will be gone for most of February. I had my sister’s bachelorette party, her wedding, and now I have an upcoming HSN airing (in Florida) and then ANOTHER wedding that happens to be in Florida. so, getting a nanny in January/February just didn’t make sense – we wouldn’t even have time to interview one!

 

realizing it’s time for childcare

month four, I’ve realized that it’s time. it’s time for a nanny. it’s time for me to go back to working on building Inspiralized. before the baby, I’d wake up with Lu (7-7:30am) and be at my desk once he left for work (8am) and I wouldn’t shut down my computer until he returned from work, between 6:30-7pm. so, I was putting in 11-12 hour days 5 days a week, which is why I’ve been able to do amazing things with Inspiralized – like creating the Inspiralizer, getting the Inspiralizer on HSN and sold in stores, filming cooking videos and series, writing three cookbooks, running cooking classes, sharing on social media, posting hundreds of free recipes on the blog, and running this little lifestyle site (which I hope to grow in 2018!)

it’s a LOT of work and I think somewhere during the maternity leave, I thought, “oh, I can do both! I can stay home and when the baby naps, I’ll get my work done.” well, I quickly realized that it was impossible. not with the kind of business I’m running. especially with the older he gets, the shorter his naps are, the more awake and alert he is, there’s not enough time to get anything done, let alone run a business!

even though I had always planned to get a nanny all along, the closer I became with Luca and the more time I spent with him, I guess I started convicting myself that I could work a little less in exchange for more time with Luca (and avoid getting a nanny.) I even flirted with the idea (for, like, a day) of stopping Inspiralized completely and becoming a stay-at-home mother. I am just so in love with this little baby boy, it’s breaks my heart that I can’t be there with him 100% of the time. but that thought track lasted a day and Lu talked me out of it, because he knows how much I love Inspiralized and how much confidence and happiness it brings me.

 

plus, I was feeling guilty when I’d be on my phone, checking social media messages, writing an Instagram post, responding to emails, and not being 100% engaged with Luca. now, with a nanny, the times that I do spend with Luca will be devoted to him, and I won’t have to feel bad about not tending to my business! it’s a win-win!

and then I went to an event in Jersey City where I spoke on a panel with other inspiring business women about being a business owner/entrepreneur! five minutes into the panel, I was empowered and inspired. I got my groove back. I felt what I have felt all along with Inspiralized: a successful female entrepreneur. I had forgotten what that feeling felt like and it was rejuvenating! after speaking for a couple of hours about my experiences and dishing out business advice to other aspiring entrepreneurs, I remembered why I started Inspiralized, why I love it so much, and why I need to continue working on building the brand and the business. it was like a wake up call!

finding a nanny

so our nanny starts March 5, the day after we get back from Florida for our friends’ wedding. how did we find her? well, we were lucky to say the least!

Lu and I went on a trip to the Exumas a couple of years ago. on that trip, we went on a boat excursion and met a woman who placed nannies, assistants, housekeepers, and home care professionals for a living! she had followed me on Inspiralized afterwards and I randomly received a LinkedIn message from her over the holidays saying that she followed me on Inspiralized, saw that I had a baby, and was wondering if I needed a nanny because she had the perfect one for us! she even remembered that Lu was Puerto Rican and Spanish-speaking.

 

seriously, it couldn’t have been a better fit. this woman is Colombian (Lu’s mother is from Colombia), Spanish-speaking (she’ll be speaking exclusively to Luca in Spanish, something that’s very important to the both of us, but especially Lu), is a mother of THREE, two of which are twins (I feel like if you can raise twins, you can do anything!), and her current family is relocating to Switzerland and she needed to find a new family to nanny for.

after our first meeting with the nanny, we knew she was right for us. Luca took to her immediately, gave her a big wide smile, seemed happy and content in her arms, and the nanny was just incredible kind, sweet, nurturing, and during our interview, she already seemed comfortable with us. we can’t wait to welcome her into our family!

why a nanny

since Lu and I were both raised with stay at home mothers, a nanny seemed like a familiar fit for us to mimic the same way we were raised and frankly, in the NYC area, daycare is nearly as expensive as a full-time nanny AND extremely competitive to get into the reputable ones (my friend who is 20 weeks pregnant already secured a daycare because she was anxious she wouldn’t get into one post-delivery). plus, we have friends in the area with nannies and look forward to Luca meeting up with the other nannies and helping Luca socialize more once he’s older!

 

also, I’m breastfeeding and I loathe pumping. I could not imagine pumping throughout the day (and I give MAJOR props to working mamas who have no other choice – you are my HEROES, and you should be given a medal and a glass of wine every time you come home from work) and I truly enjoy nursing. I knew that if I had a nanny, I would still be able to nurse Luca and have those special 20 minutes with him throughout the day that was just the two of us. if I sent him to daycare, I wouldn’t get those moments, and I am very grateful for being able to work from home and have that luxury. I’ll never take it for granted! of course, I work very hard to be able to do this.

 

so breastfeeding was a major factor in the nanny-daycare decision making process. another factor in general was that I just wanted to have more time with him! if I want to take a break from work, I can relieve the nanny and play with the baby. or, once the weather’s nice, if I want to take him out for a stroll, I can. and thankfully, our nanny has worked for another work-from-home mama before, so she understands the balance. of course, once Luca gets older and is aware that Mommy is in the apartment, it’s going to get a lot more difficult, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there – with more working from coffee shops, the nanny taking Luca to hang out outside, etc, etc. we’ll make it work!

and that’s it! for those of my fellow mamas who have a nanny and work from home, give me all your tips!

13 Comments
  • Allie

    You pretty much wrote exactly what we just went through! I unfortunately had a terrible experience with our first nanny and the second one who we loved moved away, would you be able to share the woman who placed the nanny with you’s information? Thanks!

    Thu February 15 at 3:28 am Reply
  • Kelly

    We had a nanny for our first son until he was almost 2. Then he and our second son (18 months apart) started daycare 2 days a week. It was an adjustment (they were sick for a year!) but the socialization aspect was SO wonderful for them. Our third son had the luxury of being with my mom (who retired after he was born) but is about to start kinder this fall. Honestly each experience had its pros and cons, but it’s incredible how the kids are able to adapt in every situation. You’re such an inspiring female entrepreneur! Your son will be SO proud of your achievements. Whether he has a nanny or is in daycare, or a combo of both…you and Lu will make it awesome. I live in an area where most of the moms stay home, and sometimes I wish I could do the same. But my boys see their mama work hard at the office and at home, so I take comfort in knowing that. Keep up the great work Ali! You can have your cake and eat it too!

    Thu February 15 at 3:58 am Reply
  • Joanie

    Ali, This is exactly what I was hoping for you! I think you will LOVE having a nanny there for Luca while you are working! And you have the best of both worlds-you can do what you love (Inspiralized) & be with Luca for walks, breast feeding, etc.! I’m so happy for you…this is so exciting for you! And like you, my husband is also Puerto Rican & we have our son in Spanish classes at the HS. It’s a beautiful culture, language and the food is amazing! Again, so very happy for you & Lou and baby Luca!!! Xo Joanie

    Thu February 15 at 4:35 am Reply
  • Jessica

    I am a nanny for a work from home mama & it has been my most favorite job I’ve had! Everything you said is basically what we do everyday! She’s there to nurse and play whenever with the baby and she also has her office when she needs to work, it works really well! Plus, I get to learn all the Mom tips from her for whenever I become a mother 🙂

    Thu February 15 at 12:39 pm Reply
  • Noelle

    We have had 2 Colombian au pairs and they are the most wonderful, nurturing, caring women (as I’m sure you already know). It is such a wonderful culture! Best of luck!

    Thu February 15 at 2:14 pm Reply
  • Kristin

    I was a nanny to twins for three years for a work from home momma. It was a great experience and I felt blessed to be able to help her not only with the kids, but also housework and other things so at the end of the day when her work ended she could focus on her babies. <3

    Thu February 15 at 2:28 pm Reply
  • KV

    Good luck with your nanny. It sounds like a great option. I just want to add that the daycare scene seems to be super competitive EVERYWHERE. I live in upstate NY am 19 week pregnant and am hoping to have daycare secured tomorrow. I’ve been working on it for weeks and it’s been a big stressor but I think we’re close to the finish line. There were many places I called that had a waiting list of 1-2 years! (So you basically need to get on the list the moment you decide you want a baby.) Others may have a different experience but it’s certainly not limited to the NYC area – and was definitely something that I wasn’t expecting, so good luck to any expecting moms out there who need childcare. It’s not easy!

    Thu February 15 at 5:05 pm Reply
  • Debbi Herman

    Ali- are you able to share the name of the agency you used for your nanny. My DIL and son, have twins. She is Polish and will go back to work 9/2018. They live Rockville Centre NY and would like a Polish nanny.

    Thu February 15 at 6:45 pm Reply
  • Hillary Gras

    Do you still have your office apartment?

    Congrats on finding a perfect nanny fit! You are an inspiration and happy to hear that you are still fired up about Inspiralized – all of us are too!

    Thu February 15 at 7:47 pm Reply
  • Linda Sutherland

    You don’t have to justify your decision. You’ve done your homework and made your decision. Whatever makes you all happy. I applaud you.

    Thu February 15 at 8:51 pm Reply
  • Maile

    I was running a business while taking care of my baby too (now he’s 4!) I hired a nanny when he was about 6mos bc I just couldn’t do it all like I thought 😉 she was a great help and when he was napping she would take care of house chores and if all that was done she would help me with my business. It was great. I ended up leaving my husband and needed to return to corporate America and put him in daycare in the northern nj area (clifton) when he was about 18mos. I felt so guilty but we ended up finding out that he had behavioral issues that we wouldn’t have found out otherwise until later! Now he’s progressing wonderfully. You have to follow your gut and what works for you!

    Fri February 16 at 2:01 am Reply
  • Melissa

    I work from home full-time, we have a part-time nanny since my husband’s work is flexible and my son is now 20 months. As far as being a working mama, it is definitely tough getting back to working full-time when they are little. However, for me after he turned 1 it felt a lot easier for me and honestly I couldn’t imagine not working now since that is such a big part of who I am. Working from home with a nanny is truly the best of all worlds for me. I actually did still pump for some of the sessions while I worked since I had some meetings that just made it easier to pump once or twice a day, but as he gets older the nursing sessions will decrease so that really isn’t much of an issue for long but yes such an advantage to be able to nurse directly. One issue that will come up as he gets older is that he will eventually know you’re there and come banging on your office door or the saddest is when he sticks his little fingers under my office door. That probably won’t be until after 1 also, but just something to think about for your workspace depending on how your office is set up. We live in LA and have a backyard so we are actually building a separate little office for me in the backyard so I can actually take calls more easily and not have a loud toddler in the background. Our nanny also speaks Spanish exclusively to our son which we love also. He really does love her and it’s so sweet to see their bond grow. So, it gets easier and I’m sure you will be so happy you stuck with it!

    Fri February 23 at 4:09 am Reply
  • Meredith

    This is so great! I just decided to hire a friend’s 12 year old daughter to babysit 3 afternoons a week, just so I can get a grasp of my sanity back. A nanny is a big step, but I love that you’re teaching Luca (and others) that a woman can wear many hats. You’ll do great!

    Fri February 23 at 6:27 pm Reply

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