Friday, October 17, 2008

WAHM and childcare: Solutions that work

I started out as a SAHM who became a WAHM in order to help with the family budget. I enjoy the time spent with my children. However, there are now times due to business that I need to arrange for childcare. The following are some creative solutions to mine and your childcare dilemmas.

WAHMs in direct sales are very often faced with childcare predicaments. A main portion of their business is conducting sales presentations, usually held at someone else’s home. If you are a party plan WAHM, the most obvious choice would be to schedule these presentations when your partner can watch the children, but what if your partner has an odd work schedule or you are a single parent? You can hire a local high school student to come to the party and be the “party nanny”. Check with the hostess first, but she will probably love the idea (and so will the other guests – since they won’t have to worry about getting a sitter for their children, they will be more likely to come to the party and the more guests you have, the bigger your profits!). This is something you could actually use to promote attendance at your shows. I always end up having to bring my boys to parties and I always feel bad about it.

If you just need an occasional sitter, try setting up a “child care group” with your friends and neighbors. Each woman can designate a time frame on a certain day of the week or month to be “the sitter”. Any of the Moms in your “child care group” who need a sitter that day can drop their kids of at the “designated sitter’s” house. The children will get to play and interact with one another and each Mom can get free childcare on an “as needed basis”.

Check with your place of worship as they may offer a “Mom’s Day Out” type of program where you can drop your children off for a few hours per day, a couple times per week. This may be a free or low-cost service. Also, check with local library as they may have “story hours” where you can drop your children off and the librarians will read the children a book and after the book is read, the children can participate in a craft, game or activity.

If you just need some “quiet time” to do some work, you can hire a neighborhood teenager to come over and play with the kids while you are tucked away in your office. You will have some uninterrupted “work time”, but will still be there in case ‘something comes up’. This should cost less because you can use someone younger with less experience. If you have regular meetings that take you away from the house, check with friends and family to see if they can help out by watching the kids. Offer your product or service in exchange for their time. They may jump on the offer!

The one big thing I use is Grandma, she generally give me 1 Saturday per month where so comes and plays with the boys all day and I do whatever it is that I need to do that day.

And don’t feel guilty if you need to put your children in daycare part-time. Yes, you may have had every intention of working at home in order to spend time with your children, but, there may be times when your business will need your total focus. By taking that time and completing your business tasks, you will be able to focus 100% on your children during family time.


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