Trying to balance working and looking after your child can be a struggle. The cost of hiring a nanny is already high enough, and with the added stress of our working day and all the challenges that occur at our workplace, we can sometimes end up spending more time, stress and money than we anticipated when we conceived a child. It’s never going to be easy balancing your full-time job and career with your family life, but here are some tips on how you can improve your life significantly and reach your ideal work and family life balance.
- Hire a Nanny
Carers come in all shapes, sizes and experience. Many carers work as freelancers that post advertisements in newspapers or by dropping business cards through your front door. If you trust in these freelance nannies, then you could opt to save some money and hire them. However, it’s recommended that you be careful of scammers and thieves. If someone dropping their contact details through your front door doesn’t seem suspicious enough, then you are a very brave person.
If you prefer to put your child into the care of a professional, then you can hire a reputable business. These businesses will typically operate online or have an office near you. Since they are a professional company, they are liable to compensate you for any kind of damages, repairs and other issues that the carer may cause. They are, of course, far more expensive and you might end up paying more money than you had hoped. But you get what you pay for when it comes to nanny, and if you are serious about the safety and wellbeing of your child, then there’s no other option than to pay the price.
The alternate option to hiring a professional nanny is to ask a neighbor, friend or family member to look after your child. Depending on who it is or their personality they might ask you for some compensation, but it’s probably going to be a lot cheaper than hiring a professional nanny There are many advantages of hiring someone you know to take care of your baby, but the downside is that they aren’t professional nannies and they don’t know how to take care of a child as well as a professional can. If the person you want to hire has experience with children then this isn’t an issue, but if you leave your baby’s care in the hands of someone who has no idea about babies, then you might not get the desired child care that you want.
- Get to Know Your Nanny
Let’s face it, no matter how professional the nanny is, to you they are a complete stranger. You need to find a nanny that you trust. It has to be someone you can connect with on a personal level and build a relationship with. When you hire your nanny, it’s fine to have second thoughts if they look a bit rough, don’t look as motherly as you’d like, or if you have other issues. However, you should always give them a chance. They are a professional, after all, and they have been chosen by the child care company to look after your baby.
When you interact with your nanny, get to know them. Ask them some questions, answer theirs, and build a friendship so that you can be sure this is the person you want to look after your baby. Get to know their habits too. Although you can generally tell the nanny what you expect of them and how to deal with certain things that your baby does, your nanny is a professional and they should know how to handle it. Ensure that you have the carer’s phone number should something happen or if you need their help.
- Invest in Technology
There are many different pieces of technology you can purchase and install into the home if you want to look after your baby and, to a certain extent, the nanny as well. For starters, you can have CCTV cameras installed at key locations around the home, most notable your nursery room or wherever you expect your baby to be in the hands of the nanny. CCTV cameras can also be connected to a WiFi connection nowadays, meaning that you can view the camera from work should you have a stable internet connection. You can now monitor your baby from work and even keep an eye on what the nanny is doing in case you still don’t trust they are doing their jobs.
In addition to CCTV, you should also invest in a security system for the home. There are times when an empty-looking house might be the prime target for burglary. If thieves notice that you’re not at home for the majority of the day, then you’ll become a target to them and they will scout out your home and break in to steal your belongings while you’re at work, and they probably won’t hesitate to harm your nanny or even your child. A security system can be connected to the internet and automatically notify the local authorities, or it will give your nanny the power to call emergency services if you are being burgled.
There are other useful forms of technology as well, such as a breast pump to draw milk from your breasts that can be stored and later fed to your child. They can get quite expensive on top of all the other child care costs, but you can breast pump through insurance if you know the right places to look. This will heavily reduce the costs needed and your child will be able to continue feeding even when you aren’t around.
- Stop Feeling Guilty
A lot of mothers don’t realize it, they actually blame themselves for not spending more time with their child. Many mothers think that by hiring a nanny, you’re essentially putting the wellbeing of your child into someone else’s hand instead of doing it yourself. Don’t think of these bad thoughts and stop trying to put yourself down. Instead, you should be thinking about the positive aspects of working and hiring a nanny.
For example, you are making money and providing for your child’s future. With your savings and hard work, you can afford to buy your child lovely gifts, send them to a good school, and even pay their college tuition fees and possibly even for university. It requires a lot of hard work and dedication to be able to work and look after your child, and every other stay-at-home mother will envy your willpower to do so. In short, don’t think of it as spending less time with your child when they are still young, think of it as providing for their future so that they have a smooth life without any financial worries.
If you still feel like you are suffering from guilt, then it’s a good idea to read up some local mom blogs, join a mother’s community or perhaps even speak with a councillor. Feeling stressed out because you aren’t spending time with your child will negatively impact the rest of your day, and you might have trouble focusing at work because of it, so make sure you seek advice if you aren’t able to dispel the guilt by yourself.
- Stay Organised and Take Care of Yourself
You might be putting your child’s care ahead of yours, and while it’s a noble goal, you won’t be able to take care of your child if you personally aren’t feeling very well. Ensure that you get enough sleep, take breaks from work if needed, and get a schedule ready to keep yourself organised. If you don’t have a plan, then you won’t have much direction to follow and you’ll end up procrastinating or spending more time on tasks that aren’t important, or you’ll forget simple things like when your carer gets off or what day your carer has off.
Something important that many mothers neglect is having a backup. If your carer isn’t available or is in an accident, or isn’t available during a time of emergency, then it’s a good idea to contact family members or friends to help cover for the carer. You never know what will happen in the future, so be sure you have the support of the locals and people in your neighbourhood.
Lastly, don’t forget to eat. With so much going on, it’s normal for a mother to skip meals or forget to eat when they’re rushing around work and trying to make the most of their time with their baby. It helps if you prepare meals beforehand and simply heat them up when needed. For instance, on your day off you can prepare a week’s worth of meals (much like a bodybuilder) and then simply heat them up when you get home. If you do have to buy fast food or visit a restaurant for takeout, then treat yourself to something healthy that will fill you with energy. If you’re not in the mood for healthy food, then nothing is wrong with pigging out greasy food if it melts away your stress—just keep in mind your weight!