By Gabriela Gerhart, Founder & President of Motherhood Center
You’ve spent nine months making decisions on everything from nursery décor to breast pumps and baby strollers to birth plans. Just as you think you’ve finally got a handle on this whole mommy thing, you’re faced with yet another decision – child care. When that tiny bundle of joy finally makes his or her debut your maternity leave comes to an end, where do you go to find quality child care?
You traded in one full-time job for another (except this one doesn’t come with weekends off!) and are on-call 24/7 to the tiniest boss you’ve ever worked for. Biggest challenge for stay-at-home-moms? Finding time for you. Between the non-stop baby care, constant feedings, and irregular sleep schedule, it’s easier said than done. But finding ways to socialize with other moms (adult conversation is important too!) and take care of yourself is imperative when balancing the hectic life of stay-at-home motherhood. Signing up for a Mommy & Me Yoga class or joining a local moms group are great ways to spend time with your little one and work in some mommy-time too.
Whether you choose in-home daycare or a daycare center, finding a program that works for you and your baby is key. Every family has different needs when it comes to schedules and hours or curriculum and parenting styles, so visiting each center you’re interested in is an important step when making a daycare decision. Be sure to inquire about the staff-to-child ratio, safety standards, and sick policies. Using the same list of questions at each daycare tour will help you to compare the pros and cons of each center and ultimately decide on the perfect daycare solution for you and your child.
Having someone you know and trust care for your child makes the back-to-work separation easier and can give new moms great peace of mind. While this can be a great solution for parents with family nearby, it’s important to be sure that your and your relative share the same parenting philosophy or have come to an agreement on any specific parenting techniques that you would prefer to be utilized in your absence. Treating the relationship as business transaction and having conversations in an employer/employee format will make addressing any issues that may arise much easier on all parties.
Working From Home or Part Time Work
Many new moms seek work-from-home or part-time employment options in order to secure both continued income and the ability to provide their own child care. While this takes a particularly dedicated (and heavily caffeinated!) mom to balance both work and child care, some companies are beginning to offer more of these flexible opportunities. Discussing both your work schedule and performance expectations up front will help to ensure that you and your boss are on the same page.
Working with a professional nanny placement agency can help you navigate the often-overwhelming process of hiring a full-time or part-time nanny. There’s a reason busy executives and professional parents turn to Motherhood Center to assist them in finding quality child care. We know that a nanny is a valuable extension of the family unit, and finding the perfect nanny is about combining the immediate needs of the family, while still considering the skills necessary for the future growth and development of your child. Our nannies are experienced, educated, CPR and first aid certified, and often possess other special talents or skills such as being multi-lingual, gifted in performing or visual arts, accomplished in culinary arts and more. Motherhood Center does all the initial screening, background checks, and interviews prior to you meeting a handful of pre-qualified candidates. When it comes time to hire the perfect nanny for your family, our agency is there to help create a work agreement to ensure that your care requirements and expectations are met and exceeded consistently.
No matter what child care option you choose, it’s important to feel confident in your decision. Remember, you are still your child’s essential caregiver – and along with the help of your well-chosen child care, your baby will flourish and develop into a healthy, happy child.
About Motherhood Center
Founded in 2000, Motherhood Center is a pregnancy health and wellness service provider focused on educating, supporting, and nurturing both the physical and mental well being of expectant and new moms. Motherhood Center is located at 3701 W. Alabama, Ste. 230, Houston, Texas, 77027