Growth season is full of automation and delegation, and using systems you already have put in place. As you’re in the season, you’ll find that many of these systems require stability and reliability. Meaning - as does your childcare. If you’ve been relying on friends or family to help out, but it’s been flexible or unreliable, consider using something more stable for this season. Consider places like a daycare facility or an in-home child care solution. If that is not an option, have a conversation with your family or friends and tell them that child care has to be stable and reliable for this period in your life. Their time may be less, but will be more reliable.
TIPS AND TRICKS
DO YOU HAVE A DEDICATED SPACE TO WORK FROM HOME WITH CLOSED DOORS?
Consider having a babysitter or nanny just a few hours a week. Find someone that can come during non-naptime hours, and have them stay until the child goes down for their nap, then leave. This works great for mornings, so you get your family time right away, can get to work through the time the sitter is there and nap time, and then turn it off for the day when the awaken.
great for: hustle and prune
DO YOU HAVE A SPACE AWAY FROM HOME WITH EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO WORK THAT IS ALREADY SET UP?
Consider nanny sharing! Do you have a friend that uses a babysitter or nanny consistently? Since you’ll be leaving the house anyway, dropping off your child at a friend’s for a “play date” while you go to work is a win win for everyone.
great for: prune or growth
ARE YOU COUNTING ON COFFEE SHOPS OR OTHER COMMUNAL LOCATIONS TO WORK?
Know and accept that you won’t be able to work with your children around you in this situation, and understand that you’ll a little bit less productive during this time. Working in an undedicated space allows for a lot of distraction and urgency. Use this circumstance when you have some extra time to work, but not a lot. For instance, when you have another half an hour with the babysitter and your apt was done early, or you’ve asked your mother in law to help until noon and you have 2 hours to kill before noon comes around. Take advantage of these situations, but don’t count on them.
great for: rest
IS YOUR CHILD OLDER THAN 2 BUT NOT IN SCHOOL YET?
Look into drop in centers, and set up a semi-consistent schedule for you child to go there for their own routine loving heart. Set it up so you know when the same staff will be working, or their favorite lunch is being served, etc., so it seems consistent and safe each time they go.
Consider an in-home daycare solution. These can be harder to find, but generally feel more home-like than a center. Ask friends, family and neighbors about anyone they know and trust. Set up times to go to the home and observe. These situations can be so great, knowing that your child is getting the one-on-one attention AS WELL AS the social aspect with other children.
great for: hustle and growth
IS YOUR CHILD IN SCHOOL AND YOU’RE LOOKING FOR AFTER SCHOOL CARE?
I love when friends asks friends in this situation. Sometimes after school care can be insanely expensive, and you know that your kids would rather come home. Though I’m not in this situation personally, many of my friends have planned with other similar-aged kids’ moms to begin a “play date rotation” throughout the week. The kids all get picked up by one parent, and hang out for a few extra hours at their house or doing that family’s routine. Then another day, it’s another family. Get the gist? If this is planned, the kids will love the extra social time and they still get to be with a family, rather than “in school.” We plan to do this with my girlfriends and Joey once everyone is old enough for school.
great for: prune and growth
IS YOUR CHILD UNDER 2?
The best advice I was ever given as a mom of an infant was don’t expect perfection. The best advice I feel I’ve ever given is don’t tell anyone when you’re going back to “work.” Only go when you’re ready.
We feel so strongly that we have to go back to work so quickly, and we simply just don’t. Take the hurdles as they come, and don’t expect too much. Once you feel comfortable putting baby in the care of someone else, go for it. Being fearful of leaving baby is normal, but know it’s important for both of you to know how to be without each other for the sake of your own well-beings. We will dive further into this in a later chat, but do what feels right. Under 2 is a volatile and chaotic phase of baby life, and finding what works in the moment is really truly the best we can do!
great for: growth and rest