The Childcare Struggle – How Do You Decide?

Taking up a private child care courses is encouraged for the healthy development of the next generations and nurturing of all these important foundations, and trends show that parents are increasingly recognizing this. I was just surfing the internet and browsing through questions on a networking website that I belong to for working mothers. There were so many moms on this website 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!

While reading the responses to people’s questions regarding this topic, I was realizing that their answers were similar to the answers I would have given. It depends on what day care centers are near you. It depends on whether you are lucky to find that perfect nanny. It depends on the nature of your business and on your personality. Some people can work with kids playing in the background, and others just cannot get used to it.

I personally found that a mixture of everything worked well for us. Sometimes I had a nanny. When my youngest was really small, I just cut way down on my hours for a while working only at night, got rid of the nanny, and played with the kids all day. Those were the years where my husband watched them for a few hours a day while I snuck down into my basement office and cranked away.

I think the key to making it work is to realize that you need to be flexible, and you need to find care providers that can be flexible. You will always need that backup care provider or backup plan for days when your child is sick, or you have a meeting that happens to fall outside of your care provider’s regular hours. What happens when your nanny wants a day off? Find yourself multiple options. Learn what makes your child happy. Follow what your heart is telling you. You cannot be successful at a business if your heart is telling you that you made the wrong decision with your child. They are young only once. Nurture them and watch them grow. If everyone is happy, then the decision was the right one for your family.

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