A new mama recently told me that she’s second-guessing her original childcare decision. She’s gearing up to return to work after maternity leave in a few weeks, and given COVID and other factors, she’s re-thinking her first plan. “I’ve now been thinking about nanny share options,” she said, “but I don’t even know how they work. Any advice?”
First, I’ll start by reminding you that no childcare option need be permanent. It’s okay for your opinions to shift. Your feelings to change. New circumstances to arise. And for you to change your decision as to what’s best for your child and your family.
I know how much work goes into finding the right (or even just a sufficient) care arrangement. So having to pivot can be incredibly frustrating. Not to mention labor intensive. But the more we give ourselves freedom to change and evolve in our own decision-making processes, the more relief we will feel.
COVID has also been brutal for working parents in terms of the number of childcare options we have. Or rather, now, that we don’t have. The pandemic has decimated the childcare sector. (I watched as the beloved neighborhood daycare my kids went to had to close its doors permanently.) And the Federal Reserve reported a number of months ago that more than 60% of parents would need to change their childcare situation again this year.
Mindful Return’s Childcare Blog Post Roundup
As you assess what’s best for your family, remember that Mindful Return has been studying childcare options and experiences for a long time. Here’s a consolidated list of our blog posts, written both by experts and by mamas who have “been there done that” in terms of a given childcare option – whether that’s a daycare center, nanny or nanny share, au pair, in-home center, or family:
- Demystifying the Nanny Share: Advice from 4 Moms Who Used Them
- Choosing Daycare as Our Childcare Option
- Your Guide to Finding Daycare (In a World Where That Hasn’t Been Easy)
- What is Back-Up Childcare and How Does It Work? An Interview with 3 Working Mamas
- In Home Daycares: The Scoop from 5 Moms Who Have Used Them
- Exploring the Au Pair Option for Child Care
- 5 Tips for Finding the Perfect Nanny or Babysitter
- How to Have a Successful Nanny Relationship from the Start
- When a Family Member is Your Childcare Provider
Once you choose what feels right for your family, you’ll probably then want to start thinking about the actual transition and logistics. When that time comes, turn to these three posts for guidance on how to make the childcare transition process go more smoothly, build trust with your provider, and figure out how to feed your little one once they’re there!
- Transitioning Your Baby to Childcare
- Trusting Your Child Care Provider: Two Pieces to the Trust Puzzle
- Sending Milk and Food to Daycare: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Hope you found this Mindful Return childcare roundup helpful. Please do share it with a new parent friend, and feel free to drop your own childcare wisdom and advice in comments below!
Want more practical tips on working parenthood? Check out my book, Back to Work After Baby: How to Plan and Navigate a Mindful Return from Maternity Leave