Monday, June 20, 2016

3 Great Reasons To Hire A Summer Sitter

Today I'm sharing how we use Luvs in our life as part of a 
sponsored campaign series for Socialstars. 

When it comes to raising children there's that saying "it takes a village" and while I was initially of the "I can do it myself" mindset when I had my first son, by the time I had my third son, six years later, I saw the village light and happily admitted defeat.

Like many mothers, I could always use an extra set of hands when it comes to the daily care of my children. With three boys so close in age, yet in varying seasons of their childhood, their demands are constant and at times I find myself overwhelmed at the task of keeping up with them as well as all of the other responsibilities I take on as a homemaker and wife.

That said, help can come in many forms. I have girlfriends who rely heavily on their mother or mother-in-law, girlfriends who swap children on a weekly schedule in a "you take mine, then I'll take yours" manner and even a girlfriend who hired a live-in au pair, all to ensure that the needs of their families are met in a safe, less-stressful manner. 

While I always tossed around the idea of hiring a nanny or part-time mother's helper, there were several thoughts that always held me back. First and foremost, I thought that hiring a nanny wasn't something a stay-at-home mom should do. After all, wasn't it my job to stay home and keep the household running smoothly? I have the same amount of hours in the day as everyone else and they seem to be getting their laundry folded and put away without an issue, so what's my issue? Second, would we be able to afford the extra paid help? What sacrifices would have to be made in order to do so and was I ready and willing to give up those little luxuries? Finally, how in the world do you find someone you can trust to enter your home and care for your family and better yet, where do you find them?

After many late night conversations with my husband, over many baskets of half-folded laundry, he decided that it was truly in my best interest (and therefore the best interest of our family) to hire a summer nanny/mother's helper to come and spend some time with our boys each week so that I could get done what I needed, be it tidying up, organizing closets, prepping meals or writing, and not at the sacrifice of missing time with the boys. Sure, some may view it as a stay-at-home-mom failure but the reality is, I feel much less stretched thin each day when I know the boys will  be engaged, happy and playing for several hours while I'm doing boring homemaker things.

Our summer sitter has been with us for several weeks now and I can't convey enough what a difference she has made in our household. Not only do the boys adore her and look forward to her scheduled mornings each week, but I, too, find myself looking forward to her mornings as well because I know they'll result in productivity, a clean house and happy, played-out children.

If you've been considering part-time (or even full-time) help in your home, here are 3 great reasons to hire a summer sitter: 

3. You Can't Do It All: For the longest time I felt like I should be able to prioritize and meet everyone's needs while simultaneously juggling everyone's changing schedules, running a household, meeting writing deadlines and keeping up with my children's social calendar. Not to mention keeping them socially, educationally and emotionally engaged while school is out and maybe sneaking in some time to meet up with my girlfriends on occasion. The truth is, just the thought of doing all of that leaves me overwhelmed and exhausted. Hiring a summer sitter to come in and share just a bit of that responsibility during the summer weeks has been a godsend.    

2. Your Spouse Matters: Often times the care of your spouse can easily be overlooked in the day to day doldrums of working, keeping house and raising a family. At the end of the day it can be a challenge to connect which is why taking time for each other together should be a priority. While my husband and I used to be horrible at scheduling date nights, now we use our nanny at least one night a month to make sure we can get away from home and focus on maintaining the relationship that began it all. 

1. YOU Matter: Let's face it. moms are notorious for putting the needs of their family before their own and it's no surprise that we're always meeting our own needs last and sometimes, not at all. It's so important to take time for ourselves so that we can be in the best shape mentally and physically to care for and perform for our families. Whether it's to skip out of the house to grocery shop alone or head to the nearest coffee shop to sit in the quiet for just an hour without anyone touching me or asking to fill their sippy cup, these kinds of mornings are just as important as the ones where I'm holed up inside meeting deadlines, catching up on laundry or meal planning and prepping while our nanny is outside with the boys on a bug hunt or other wild adventure. 

While I'm home nearly 90% of the time that our summer nanny is in charge of the boys, I always make sure to have new games, craft supplies and other knick-knacks readily available for her upon her arrival. I know what it's like caring for three boys under the age of 6 and I want to make her job as easy as possible. In addition, I want her to enjoy the boys and to want to come back! I also want to make it as easy as possible for her to keep my boys safe and happy. 

That's exactly why I leave everything she might need in case of an emergency readily accessible. This means all emergency contact information (free editable download here.), medicines and doses, allergy information as well as changes of clothes and plentiful diapers and wipes are all left within reach. This way she's ready for whatever her comes her way, especially if I decide to run out for a few minutes. 

While we've been through our fare share of diaper brands over the last six years and three kids, Luvs has always been our go-to diaper of choice, especially during the the busy toddler years. We quickly learned that you don't always have to spend a lot to get a lot and the same rings true for diapers. A great diaper, at a great value and I don't have to worry about leaks and blowouts, especially when my babies are in the trustworthy care of our sitter.

It's funny to look back on our differences as first time parents and now seasoned parents of three. For the longest time we only left our children in the trustworthy care of family and even then could hardly enjoy ourselves without worrying about them. Now I'm happy to say that we've  I've embraced the wonderful things that can happen when you welcome a safe, reliable, trustworthy caregiver into your home to watch over your children. It's worth every background check, every reference, every dollar spent. 

It truly takes a village to raise our children and I'm so glad we took the leap and welcomed a summer sitter into our home. In the few weeks she's been with us she's become so much more than just our sitter. She's a consummate playmate for our children, a little relief for two exhausted parents when they need to reconnect and some great adult conversation that I don't get nearly enough of on the day to day of caring for our kids and keeping house. 

The only regret I have about hiring a summer sitter is that I didn't make the decision earlier!  

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