I was just browsing through the questions on this website. There are so many moms asking the same question. “How do you make the decision about what to do with your children while you work?” The question came up many times and each time the answers were all very different. So with so many different answers, how do you decide?
My children are school-age now, and it makes it so much easier to work that I can’t even imagine how I got it all done before when my three kids were home with me all day. Reading everyone’s answers was bringing back memories of the times when I struggled with the decision to use day care centers, family day cares, nannies, or just work with them around.
As mothers, we all go through the same struggle over and over again. You know what the options are, but how do you know which one is right for your child? There is always the emotional battle in your head. You want a fulfilling business to grow as a person, yet you want to stay home for the children. You want to work from home to be there for the children, but you do get anything done when they are always striving for your attention. It is a constant dilemma both emotionally and physically. It is a common problem that many entrepreneurial and working mothers struggle with. How do mothers manage to decide the best course for their family?
I have been through it all. I have used day cares, nannies, babysitters, working at home with just myself and my children, using my husband as the provider when he can be available. My parents and in-laws all work, so that was never an option for me. I can’t even tell you which option I liked the best. None of the options seemed to be just the right thing. They all had their pros and cons. Also, our decision changed every time we moved or had another child.
Each of our children was different. Our son craved the social atmosphere of day care. Our oldest daughter loved the one-on-one attention from a nanny. Our youngest daughter was only happy when I was spending time with her. She refused to like anyone else.
I also found that the location you live in makes a huge difference in the quality of care you can receive. We lived in a college town for a while and there were always smart college students willing to babysit in between their classes. In another area we lived in, I found a great family day care. The family day care worked really well because I could use it as a drop-in for my children. If I had a meeting with a client or a day when I just couldn’t have the kids with me, then the family day care always had room for me to just drop them off. She was a lifesaver!