5 articles Tag Childcare

How To Balance Business and Parenthood

Working parents understand how difficult it is to juggle a career with child care. Parents who own their own businesses, on the other hand, face an additional layer of difficulty. To an extent, business-owning parents are trying to juggle two kinds of infants: the children they are trying to raise and the business they are trying to build. To be successful, both require nurturing and attention, especially in their early phases, and business-owning parents must learn to meticulously plan and prioritise their time to make sure that each receives the care they necessitate and expect.

Here we look at some tips to help you to balance parenthood and business.

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Delegate, outsource and learn to say no

As a business-owning parent, balancing your venture and family time can be tricky, as both require a significant lot of time and resources. The sooner you realise you can’t be in two places at the same time, the better. Prioritize the moments with your children that require your full attention, and make sure you have someone to stand in for you during those times. Outsourcing is a popular strategy for many small business owners, for example, paying a digital marketing agency to handle your online marketing or an SEO specialist to get your ranking up. This frees up valuable time for you to spend with your family.

Prioritize your health and wellbeing

Use mindfulness or relaxation techniques. Set your well-being as a top priority. When life becomes an unending demand on your time, the first thing to go is your self-care. However, with 40% of firms not having a succession plan in place, taking care of yourself is critical to the future of your business – as well as ensuring you are the best parent that you can be.

Create clear boundaries between home and work – and stick to them

Establish firm time limits. Define when you are and are not available, and stick to those boundaries. This is a good lesson for your kids to learn. When you are not available, you are not available – unless it is an emergency, of course. However, when it is time to be with your family, you leave work behind and be entirely present with them. Create home/work boundaries and stick to them.

Don’t expect perfect balance every day

If we believe that we can remain balanced every day, it is easy to fall into the trap of believing we are pushing extra hard or disregarding our business. Reassure yourself that your children benefit from seeing you work hard at times and that spending quality time with your children benefits your governance

Be in charge of your own calendar

One of the benefits of being your own boss is that you can control your own calendar and be in charge of your schedule. Arrange meetings with clients when the children are at school, switch off completely when they come home from school, and do your admin work when they are in bed, for example. Find a routine that works for you and your family.

Things to Look for in a Childcare Centre

If you decide to put your child in a childcare center, you surely know how important it is to choose the right childcare center. Hopefully, this is where your child will spend the next few years – you certainly don’t want to confuse them by moving them to a new childcare too regularly. This is where they’ll make friends, learn skills, and start to develop their personalities. But how do you know when you’ve found the right childcare center? What should you look for? Keep reading as we discuss just this.

Location

It’s no help finding the perfect childcare center if it’s a few hours away. You need to find a childcare center close to where you live and work. Firstly, because it will save you many hours in traffic. Secondly, and most importantly, because it will allow you to reach the school quickly if there’s an emergency. Finally, this will allow you and your child to get used to the area and get to know people who live there. You should look at centers closest to you before searching for ones further out. For example, if you live in Sydney, start by looking at centers in Sydney.

Safety

Most parents agree that safety is the most important aspect of a childcare center. You might be wondering how exactly to know if a center is safe. Start by looking at the physical aspects: is there decent fencing? Are the playgrounds and classrooms child-proof? Then look at things like how they monitor who enters – do parents get keycards, or can anyone just walk in? Finally, if you know any parents whose kids are in that childcare center, talk to them about their experience. This is likely to get you the most accurate information.

Resources

Look, a childcare center doesn’t need a bunch of fancy, high-tech equipment and toys in order to teach your child. That being said, they should have a variety of methods of teaching, as children learn in different ways, and they require various methods of mental and physical stimulation. You can also ask them about field trips and what a normal daily schedule would look like so that you can ensure that your child is getting a well-rounded education. Also be sure to ask about what meals they serve each day – if possible, you should choose a center that offers nutritional meals.

The Teachers

Your child will spend a lot of time at their childcare center, meaning they will spend a lot of time with their teachers. It is therefore important to make sure that you trust them. Feel free to ask about their qualifications or experience. You can also ask them what they would do in a specific situation. The last thing you want is to reprimand your child for something, only to have them say, “But my teacher says it’s okay!”. A good teacher can make a huge, positive difference in your child’s life. Similarly, a bad teacher can have a severe negative impact.

Services-To-Hire That Every Working Mum Should Know About

Working mumThere is hardly any doubt that working mums often feel overwhelmed with daily life. While it can be challenging to stay on top of a chaotic day, especially as a single mum. When you do not have a male counterpart to help you out around the house, there are a few hirable services that will help to make your life easier, and free up some time on your busy schedule:

Yard Care Services

Being able to enjoy a neat and tidy yard with your little ones in your free time is irreplaceable, although, when it comes to keeping your yard up to standard, a beautiful outdoor area is not always easy for busy mums.

Yard care services, such as and other similar services, could be the perfect solution. Relying on a professional service team enables you to enjoy your yard, rather than applying yourself to the time-consuming and strenuous task of mowing the lawn.

Home Cleaning

Many mums shy away from the idea of welcoming cleaning services into their homes as they have several plausible concerns. By opting for a service with an excellent customer review, you can locate a service that is trusted to complete all those dreadful chores.

If you are not entirely for the idea of having full-time help, it would be worth your while to consider keeping a reliable cleaning service on hand for days when you feel you cannot manage. Some house cleaning services may even offer one service instead of a hull-house spring clean, such as only getting your laundry done, or washing the windows. 

Tax Assistance

Even though absolutely everyone does not need an accountant on hand, if you are self-employed, own a rental property, have investments or foreign accounts, or have recently gotten married or moved, it would be worthwhile to consider the assistance. Filling out confusing tax forms for an entire day can be an absolute nightmare for a working mum, which is what makes the extra spend for peace of mind entirely worth it.

Birthday Planning Services

Some mums may be entirely against the idea of outsourcing a birthday party. Although, when considering that removing all the stress of planning and baking and catering will allow you to be a bit more relaxed, birthday planning services are well worth your expenditure.

You will be able to hand over your ideas and have no anxiety over wondering if you can bake that large “Paw Patrol” cake with exceptional detail and instead enjoy the day with your child, friends, and beloved family members.

When to Consider Services-To-Hire

If you are wondering what you should outsource, keep finances and time in mind. Rather than outsourcing everything, you should consider only outsourcing tasks you dread. Should you enjoy planning birthday parties and doing your taxes, having such services might benefit you when it comes to budgeting for the unplannable. It makes sense to keep contacts for trusted services on hand just in case you need them one day. 

Sources

Parentlightly.com Blog

Scrubbi.com Blog

The Wirecutter.com Blog

Lawnstarter

Oasis Turf and Tree Blog

The Balance Small Business

The Great Childcare Debate

childcareSomething which is on a lot of people’s minds at the moment is the issue of childcare, after the Government introduced free funding for 2 year olds from underprivileged families to receive 15 hours of nursery a week. The idea was to get parents back into work without having the expense of nursery hanging over them, but it’s a scheme which has been a bit of a sticking point for a lot of families. Until the age of three, working parents are expected to pay the full price for childcare and the prevailing attitude is that it seems unfair that familes who don’t appear to need free childcare are more entitled to it.

Let’s look at the brass tacks of it:

At the moment, Husband and I both work from home, which works for us and means we don’t need childcare. Now, let’s assume that I wanted to go back to work, full time, as a copywriter which is what I currently do from home. Let’s completely ignore Husband’s salary and assume that this is still going on things like rent and our bills, as it does at the moment.

The average salary for a copywriter is £23,047 per year before tax and National Insurance, so my take-home pay would be approximately £18,840, or £1570 per month. I’d probably have to travel to London to find this kind of work so I’d have to factor in £355.60 per month in season ticket fares. The nursery attached to Sausage’s school charges £4.50 per hour, plus £1.75 for a hot lunch, which would make my monthly nursery fees (assuming I’d need to drop her off at 7.30 am to get the train and not collect her again until 6.30pm) £1110.42. Of course, this also doesn’t factor in needing before and after school care for Sausage.

In travel fees and nursery fees alone, my monthly expenses JUST FOR GOING TO WORK would be £1466.02, leaving me approximately £103 which, as far as I’m concerned would make it absolutely POINTLESS going back to work.

I know that there are flexi options, sometimes family can help with childcare, or companies which allow a homeworking element during the week, but these figures are the exact reason that so many people are up in arms about the government’s scheme. Being a copywriter isn’t the loftiest career in the whole world but it sure as hell pays more than retail work or other minimum wage jobs, which means that even people with hopes of getting a mid-level job will struggle.

Obviously, this is all part of a MUCH bigger problem. The cost of living is too damn high in the UK, whilst wages are depressingly low. Family-friendly working is more-or-less non-existent and women are usually expected to bear the burden of this. I know that there’s a prevailing attitude that women SHOULD be the ones to bear the burden because they’re the ones who CHOOSE to have the babies (obviously the men have zero say in this and we’re all just sperm-harvesting lunatics…*sarcasm*) but this is a hugely outdated notion and many men also feel penalised because of their inability to contribute towards the childcare duties.

I don’t begrudge families who are on a low income the opportunity to have free childcare, I really don’t, but I also don’t think it’s a solution. It’s a really romantic notion, hoping to help people back into work, but let me ask you this: 1. how are they supposed to afford that childcare once the funding runs out and they’re on a low wage and 2. WHERE ARE ALL OF THESE JOBS THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BE FILLING?!

I think we can all agree that the Government has well and truly got its head up its arse on this issue and that more help needs to be given to ALL parents who want to go back to work, not least of all because we’ve probably got a massive pool if untapped talent in this country, desperate to get back into the workplace but unable to afford it. It’s all very well for the hate-mongers in the right wing press to be content with demonising benefit claimants but the Government has basically created this viscous loop of never being able to AFFORD to come off of benefits, for so many people, who are essentially tied to living in permanent poverty.

I’d really love to hear your thoughts on this. Are you a Mum who’d love to go back to work but simply cannot afford to? Would you have a career if the childcare was cheaper or more affordable? Are you in receipt of two-year-old funding but still unable to find a job? Please leave me a comment below.

Guest Post: I’m a parenting expert…

Yesterday, I put out a call for help. My blogging mojo is having a week off and I asked my blogging chums if they’d like to step in and write some posts for me and gawd bless ’em, I had lots of offers, which made me love our little community even more. Today, I’ve got a post from the lovely Fi who blogs at Childcare is Fun, who I must confess is one of my secret blogging crushes, I totally want to be her and have her hair and have her be my best friend, all at the same time 🙂 So, here it is: 

Parenting. The minefield of mothers and fathers doing their best in a conflicting world of advice. Hands on parenting, comfort parenting, practical parenting, attachment parenting, oh the hokeycokey parenting. It’s a headache before you’ve even popped out your first baby isn’t it?

Having the opportunity to guest write here on the lovely Jayne’s blog, I decided to open up, take off my professional cap, and talk frankly.

“You must have it so easy” someone once said to me, “you know everything and anything parenting, it must be a breeze!”

No. It’s really not…

I’ve 21 years experience working in childcare, I have a degree in Childhood and Youth studies, a diploma in Childhood studies, I’m a qualified Nursery nurse, I’ve a gazzillion training certificates from baby signing to special needs practicals, and I’ve a few awards for my work with children, but I’m also just a mum.

I wake up tired. I go to bed tired. I often feel like hiding under the duvet when my two under 3 are wrestling on the bedroom floor over a postman pat van. I cry when things seem too much, I hurt when they tell me I’m ‘horrid for turning off Cbeebies so we can go do something creative’ and I sigh when I have to do mundane household chores daily.

I eat too much cake, drink wine, gossip, moan, sometimes lose my patience and wear baggies and no make-up on days when nobody is coming over and we are having a home day.

Daily I advise parents who ask for my advice through the FREE email service via my website (www.childcareisfun.co.uk) based on all those years of experience, and qualifications, and I love putting my professional head on to help them. I love writing my ‘Top Tips’ and guest appearing as a ‘parenting expert’ on BBC radio and local stations, I’ve even done the odd TV appearance which is so exciting and something I’d like to pursue one day, but above everything, I’m a stay-at-homemum. A mum to a 2 and 3 years old born 364 days apart who rock my world and wipe bogies on my jeans.

I clean up sick, wipes snotty noses, scrub spaghetti sauce off the walls, do the washing, shopping and cleaning. So when you hear the word ‘parenting expert’ and you roll your eyes and think “Oh, another know-it-all” remember I’m actually just a parent like you. I’m still learning all these years later.

I’m a parenting expert. I’m a housewife. I’m a domestic engineer. I’m a mother. I’m me.

Thank you so much to Fi, I love Childcare is Fun and think you should all go and subscribe to her email service immediately! Oh and show some comment love, yeah?!