Off Duty Mom

Thoughts from an exhausted mom who is NEVER really "off duty"

Archive for the month “March, 2014”

Guest Post

Don’t Feel Guilty About Running a Background Check on Your Nanny

by Rachael Cherry

Some parents may feel a little apprehensive when it comes to running background checks on prospective nannies. However, whether you’re worried that it’s an invasion of privacy or simply think it’s an unnecessary expense, you’re potentially putting your child at risk by not running a background check. Even the most seemingly innocent, well-mannered people can have a dark background – a chance you don’t want to take when it comes to the safety and well-being of your children. Potential risks of not running a background check include:

Our Home is Your Home: Although you may have checked the nanny’s references, it’s unlikely that your potential new hire listed the contact information for any references that would give them a negative review. Background checks, on the other hand, allow you to find out if the person has a habit of stealing – a problem some unlisted previous employers may have faced. Instead of finding your valuables listed on eBay, wouldn’t it be more prudent to dig deeper into a person’s history?

Hospital Visits: No parent wants to receive a phone call from the hospital telling them their child has been hurt. Without running a proper background check, how can you really be sure that this new nanny doesn’t have a history of negligence? Gaps in employment that could actually be due to a problem with a prior family can easily be explained away as needed time off or a job opportunity that fell through. Are you willing to take the chance that this individual is telling you the truth? This person could be allowing your child to have free run of the entire house without supervision. It only takes a paperclip, a power socket and a fraction of a second to cause a great deal of harm to your little one – if not worse.

Strange Markings: Children have a knack for getting into all kinds of predicaments that wind up leaving physical marks behind. You may even have a child that has a habit of not watching where he or she is going before slamming into the doorjamb at full speed. However, some markings can look awfully suspicious, even to parents of accident prone children. Are you sure that your nanny doesn’t have a history of being physically abusive? Frustration and anger can easily well up inside someone, causing them to physically vent their irritation. A background check may be the easiest way to find out if you prospective nanny has a history of violence.
Traffic Accidents: Most nannies drive their charges around during the week, whether it’s to school, extracurricular activities or even just out to run errands. However, finding out a potential nanny has racked up speeding tickets and other traffic violations may make you think twice about letting your child jump into a car with her behind the wheel. A background check will tell you about any vehicle violations you need to be aware of.

While these circumstances are extreme and in all probability unlikely, you can never really know a person’s true intentions from a few meetings. Don’t be afraid to run a background check on anyone you’re hiring to come into your home. Your child deserves the best care you can provide, so you should be absolutely sure that the person you hired is a good fit when it comes to caring for your little one.


– Rachael Cherry is a wife, mother, and writer who is passionate about helping connect families in need with high quality caregivers. She has taken that passion and put it to work through NannyPro, a respected online nanny referral service. Learn more by visiting @NannyPro on Twitter.

I’ve Found Him

I was a total nerd as a kid.

I got picked on — big time.

The cool girls used to throw popcorn at me when I ate lunch alone in the cafeteria in 7th grade.  I was usually alone, cafeteria or not.

I didn’t date a whole lot, but I grew into myself as I got a bit older.  However, when I was a younger teen, I would snuggle up on my side in my bed with a pillow and I would lay my head on it and pretend that it was my boyfriend who was letting me nuzzle into his shoulder.

I had daydreams about meeting a boy who would not know that I was such an outcast and he’d like me just because I have intrinsic value.

I had this incredibly silly fantasy that this magical boy would really know the real me and he wouldn’t judge me because I wasn’t wearing the coolest clothes.  He would know all of my idiosyncrasies like how I only ever eat French Fries two-at-a-time.

Eventually, I met an amazing man who became my husband.  We fell in love and made a house a home and are living happily ever after.

But, it was just a few weeks ago when my oldest son, age 5, mentioned that he wanted to eat his fries “just like mommy” and he popped two Five Guys hand-cut French Fries into his mouth.

Somewhere in my torn adolescent soul I felt sure that my time would come and I would meet the man of my dreams and he would fulfill all of my silly musings about love and he would make up for all of the emotional bruising I had muddled through.

I just never expected the man of my dreams to be my 5-year old son.

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