One of the most frustrating concepts I’ve had to familiarize myself with as a mom is the fact that everything changes. You get into a super great routine, your child is sleeping/eating/pooping/playing/etc. as they should. And they they go through a growth spurt. Your work is suddenly more demanding. Your nanny moves across the country. Just when life is comfortable, there is inevitable change that requires us to sit back and redefine, readjust, reevaluate, etc.
Childcare is one of those challenges for parents, and this month, the Real Talk Real Moms series is talking all about childcare! Don’t miss the links to the wonderful group of participating mamas at the end of my post!
As always, my family’s situation is so different from everyone else’s! That’s one of my favorite aspects of being a part of the RTRM series…I’ve learned SO much (and changed some of the way we do things) from this group and it’s always so refreshing to read different perspectives! Today I’m sharing out what’s worked for us; I’m so eager to read all the other mamas’ advice and stories on this topic! Please share yours, too!
We’ve gone through really great times with childcare and then rough times, times when we didn’t need it and times where we needed it multiple times per week. The long story short is that our kids don’t go to daycare and we don’t have a full or part time nanny. Currently, I have one girl who watches our children one day per week, and I try to schedule work, meetings, and shoots when she’s with our girls. One of the main reasons why I’m blogging and styling for work is that I can do it from home and be WITH my children, I’m in control of my own hours, and I’m able to take on as much work as my schedule allows. We knew from the start that we wouldn’t be sending our children to daycare for as long as our situation allowed it. From the time the girls were babies, we’ve had to come up with solutions for childcare because inevitably, my work takes me away from the kids, some times a lot more than others.
When Zoe, our oldest, was a newborn, I just brought along a “nanny” (and my incredible interns even pitched in when necessary) to photoshoots, workshops, meetings, etc. The nanny would watch Zoe (always within my eyesight) and I’d work. When needed, I’d take nursing breaks. I was incredibly blessed to always be met with much approval and support from everyone involved! Then, when Naomi was born, I’d typically leave Zoe with family (all of Joe’s family lives nearby…his parents and all 7 siblings) and do the same with Naomi as I did when Zoe was an infant.
Once they were both out of the nursing stage (12 months), things got a little harder, and I realized I needed more consistent help with childcare. Last summer we hired a girl to come to the house once per week, and the girls would go to their nana’s house another day every week. So that gave me 2 days solely designated to work. On the other 3 days, I tried to only work when they were napping or after they went down for the night. This system worked well throughout the summer and into the fall.
Then in the fall and winter, my mother in law’s schedule changed AND my babysitter’s schedule changed, so I had to start back at square one. Our schedule has been super random and inconsistent since finding out in January that I was expecting baby #3, going through morning sickness and hardly working at all, and now transitioning back into work. We’re still trying to figure out how it’s all going to work! But, for now, we have a girl coming one day per week. She plays with the girls, feeds them breakfast and lunch, does educational activities, and takes them outside. This is my MAIN work day where I shoot content for the blog, take care of more involved emails, write blog posts, go to meetings, etc. If I have other days that require I be away from the girls, we either ask family, or close friends to watch the girls.
So, where do I find my babysitters? I’m VERY, very selective of who I hire to watch our children (who isn’t?), especially after hearing some horror stories from close friends. I’m blessed to be connected to the homeschool community here in VA, and that’s where we found last year’s nanny and a handful of other girls who’ve helped with the girls over the past 3.5 years. Connections were made on Facebook through people I know well and trust, I asked for resumes and job history, and then if I wanted to proceed, I scheduled interviews. The same with our current nanny, except she’s from a local college (which happens to be my alma mater!). I posted on a private Facebook page that I was looking for childcare, got a bunch of responses, scheduled interviews, and then hired the one I thought was the best fit for our family!
So, that’s our childcare story! I’m sure we’ll go through more changes come May and we lose our current nanny. And then more changes again in September when baby #3 joins the family! The girls have LOVED each of the folks we’ve brought into our home to help care for them. I’m really grateful for those who’ve pitched in and cared so lovingly for our children and enabled me to continue working! It’s definitely not easy NOT sending our children to daycare, but we really didn’t want that. It requires lots of sacrifice (I think that’s just inherent in parenthood), lots of late night work, saying no to job opportunities, having to cancel commitments last minute when my childcare has to cancel, etc. But for this most part, this system has worked for us. I hope our story has encouraged you (or at least helped you see some of our insanity) in your childcare journey! Please share yours!
And don’t forget to check out the other mamas’ stories:
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