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Never mind Mr Right, try finding Miss Right

"Who's that girl with Gary? Is she your new nanny?" a neighbour asked me the other day.

"Yes, she's the new girl from Brazil. Actually she's not that new any more. She's been with us since the summer so she's well settled in now."

"You seem to go through a lot of nannies."

Well, no, this is our fourth and Gary is nearly four so that's an average of about one a year," I explained.


I think I'm doing fairly well compared to one lady I know who can never keep anyone for more than six weeks. She cannot understand why the nannies keep leaving to go to other families, but I can. She has four kids under four and it's always chaotic around at her place. I, for one, can only ever manage to stay 15 minutes at her house before my ears feel like they're on the verge of exploding.

Her husband conveniently works abroad for most of the year and so is never around to help.

I feel sorry for the string of enthusiastic young girls that regularly arrive at her door only to flee again weeks later. Honestly, her house is like a train station with all the passengers coming and going!

This lady was never a nanny herself and she doesn't know how to treat her nannies properly. Caring for children isn't an easy occupation by any means.

Raising your own is tough enough, but raising other people's kids can be one of the most trying jobs in the world. I've been a nanny three times so I know what it's like.

My first experience as a nanny was a complete disaster. Three nights after I arrived to live with my first family, the wife went into hospital to give birth. No sooner had she left in an ambulance than her husband was banging on my door looking for a celebratory kiss.


At the time he was wearing only his underpants and an awful ugly thing he was, too. I was only 16 years old and I was stunned to say the least. I fled the house in the middle of the night and my nanny agency found me another family.

The next man of the house wasn't a sleaze like the first fellow, but he was a bit of a slave driver. The day after I arrived he handed me a cloth and asked me to clean the swimming pool! I hit third time lucky when I went to live with a couple of farmers and their adorable kids and ended up staying a year with them.

They treated me with respect and so I was happy to stay. My nannies happily stay with me, too, which is great because I don't like too many strangers coming in and out of my son's life.

Only one nanny hasn't worked out so far. That was the girl who would clean the dishes and leave the jaycloth on my pillow. Another time, she texted me asking me if I wanted to see a naked picture of her.

Then she realised with horror that I wasn't her intended recipient. Needless to say, we parted ways soon afterwards. Hmm. It's not easy finding Miss Right.

Marisa is the author of The Secret Nanny Club