MommyMixer: Speed Dating With Your Nanny
Good, reliable nannies and babysitters are always difficult to find, and a service based in Texas proves just how much help mothers are willing to receive. MommyMixer is a boutique babysitting service that not only screens potential nannies, but also hosts mixers for mothers and childcare workers to mingle and essentially speed date their way through a series of hopeful babysitters. Mothers can size up a literal lineup of potential workers over a cocktail-esque atmosphere, getting a feel for just the right person.
Holly, a babysitter since the age of 14, attended a MommyMixer event in San Antonio after hearing about the service from her sister. Holly decided to look for full-time work as a nanny rather “random weekend or night babysitting jobs.”
“This is a really great way to meet a lot of different moms and know exactly what schedule they are looking for and how many kids they have,” Holly tells me. “You can also specify how much you charge so moms will choose you knowing what your hourly rate is.”
She describes an array of “fairly wealthy” mothers occupying the scene: working moms who need full-time help to stay-at-home mothers who need sitters part-time.
The mothers all receive booklets with a page for each sitter that includes a photo, personal information, and availability. After that the lineup begins. Holly describes:
The nannies all stand in a line and introduce themselves to the group; their experience, certifications if any, what ages they feel most comfortable with, and what schedule they are looking for. The moms do a similar, though shorter, introduction about their family size, kids’ ages, desired schedule, etc. Then everyone mixes and you have one-on-one time between moms and sitters.
Holly found the questions from mothers to be the standard: availability, preference in age range, along with comfort with personality, mental, and developmental disorders.
“The mothers are very open and if they like you, they will make it known,” Holly observed. “One mother showed me her booklet and she had written ‘Grab her!’ on my page.”
When asked if there is any competitive tension between the nannies, she specified that she didn’t find that to be so at this particular mixer. However, she has encountered a vying nature at other mixers:
…I have attended a MommyMixer before where girls were quite outspoken about what languages they would teach the kids or how they would make a photo album for the moms to see what the kids were doing while they were away. I personally take a much lower key approach and assume the moms will ask me if they are interested in those things. The moms are jokingly competitive but nothing more — at least on the surface.
Holly managed to rack up a few “date night” babysitting jobs at the mixer in San Antonio, but she hopes to hear about a full-time position soon. She finds MommyMixer to be beneficial to both nannies and mothers but recommends that nannies remain flexible when it comes to finding their perfect match of a family.
“I would advise nannies to go in with an open mind about the number of kids, ages, and schedule because I learned that it isn’t likely to find someone with the specifics you went in hoping for,” she says.
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