📣I started with my list… every possible childcare center within a 40 mile radius of home/work. I wasn’t even looking at prices; I was just trying to find an opening, or even a possibility of getting an opening in the next 6 months for an infant.
This below… is how it went [you might want some coffee while you read, or calming music in the background ☕]:
“Soooo… if I want to get on the “list” for my 4 month old (at the time) how long would that be, sir?” I asked, hoping for the best… but realizing this was the TENTH call I’d made, I knew what would come next.
“Well our newest openings will be eight months from now for an infant, and then he’ll be a toddler, so that would be…”
I interrupted — “When he’s five? You might have openings when he’s five and in kindergarten?” I didn’t mean to be sarcastic and matter-of-fact but this really wasn’t my first rodeo with these folks.
“Haha, I don’t like to say never, butttt…we do have a pretty long wait list.”
“No I understand, there’s just not a whole lot available for infants these days. Just out of curiosity, what’s your weekly tuition rate?”
“For an infant, it’s about $250 a week, $230 a week for a toddler.”
“Hmm… that’s great, we’d get that big $20 off the weekly rate… and do you do partial weeks?”
“No we do not ma’am, unfortunately.”
“Haha, offff course you don’t. Thanks so much.”
“Have a nice day ma’am.”
Click… rinse, repeat.
After doing a lot of calls, consuming innumerable cups of coffee, and wanting to jump off my balcony a couple times, I regrouped. I had an epiphany, if you will. The childcare solution for a working mom may not be childcare. Here me out. The solution may not be an actual daycare.
Who knows of a retiree who loves kids and needs some extra income? Who has a grandma, and aunt or an uncle who could watch your cutie a couple days a week? I’m sure you do. In your community there are so many baby boomers who would love to watch a little person a few days a week for little or even no pay, just for fun.
Let’s face it. The traditional, brick and mortar childcare centers are super expensive. You don’t know what goes on there, you read the reviews, you hope it’s great – especially since MOST of your paycheck goes there. Maybe the government will come up with a new idea for childcare… ehh most likely not.
My solution to the childcare dilemma, the getting on the lists, the crazy mornings is this: find a trusted baby boomer and let them watch your children. They are in your church, your community, your family; they may be your friends. But they are out there and definitely could use a new found purpose and some extra cash to fill a need that you desperately have.
This is what I did. I have two boomers watching my son during the week. They divide up the task and do a great job. Not only do you avoid the “lists” the mayhem, and get personal care for your babies, but you also get some knowledge. Odds are your boomer has been a parent before, they know stuff. They know about eating solids, the blowout diapers, putting cereal in bottles, etc. And their knowledge and sharing parenthood with you can be so helpful and rewarding.
It really does take a village, and that’s okay. So moms, avoid the lists and find your boomers.
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