Erin Flynn Jay’s new book, “Mastering The Mommy Track: Juggling Career and Kids in Uncertain Times,” is the perfect book for moms struggling to balance work and family life. With chapter titles like, “Mental Health: I Am Overwhelmed – How Can I Cope?” and “Communication: How Can I Stop Fighting with My Spouse?” any mom who has a career (or is looking to jump into or return to one) can relate.
Here is an excerpt on that hotbed topic, “Childcare: What’s the Best Solution?”
Quality childcare is critical for infants and toddlers. Many mothers struggle with returning to work full-time after maternity leave. They feel guilty being away from their babies and miss them throughout the day. For the majority of working families today, both spouses (or partners) have to work. Or one spouse is working while the other is unemployed due to the economic downturn. It’s no longer the generation of the stay-at-home mom who tends to house and kids while Dad is the sole breadwinner.
Our childcare situation was not traditional. For the first year and- one-half of my daughters’ lives, I worked when they napped during the day and were asleep at night. When she was 18 months old, we put Kaitlyn in Moonstone Preschool for three days a week. Same with Emma – we put her in Moonstone at the same age for three days a week. I get a babysitter as needed when they are not in school and continue to work early morning or evenings to meet deadlines.
I did local research on daycares before Kaitlyn was born. I asked mom friends and city moms at the park (or play dates) what they were doing and which centers were the most reputable. When Kaitlyn was just a few months old, I toured several daycares that were within walking distance and highly regarded. I knew there were waiting lists at the city daycares, so I did not procrastinate and put Kaitlyn on these lists. We were thrilled to get notification she was accepted into Moonstone. It was the perfect start for her early childhood development.
Wise moms seek out the opinions and recommendations of other mothers, if possible, agreed Marissa Kiepert Truong, PhD, an educational psychologist in Philadelphia and former director at Kindercare. In addition to the local library or playground, ‘community pages on Facebook or other online networks are als0 great places to connect with other working mothers,’ she said. A mother can ‘check the availability of the different childcare options in her area via the Internet. A quick search should return daycares or nanny placement agencies. See what mothers are saying online. A search for rankings, ratings, and reviews of the type of childcare a mother has chosen can be quite telling.’
Kiepert Truong offered other pointers:
- Conduct a face-to-face meeting.
- If you are interested in daycares, visit several for a tour. Be prepared to ask many questions regarding the health, safety, and education provided.
- If looking for a nanny, you should conduct multiple interviews.
- Ask for references. Once you have narrowed down your search to a few options, ask for references of the child’s new teacher or nanny.
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You can order Mastering the Mommy Track on Amazon and barnesandnoble.com.
Visit Erin at www.erinflynnjay.com.