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By Lindsay Pinchuk, Founder, Bump Club and Beyond
I can’t believe how lucky we have been for the past (almost) two years. Since going back to work after maternity leave, our family has been a part of the most ideal childcare situation I could ever imagine. Through Bump Club we found an amazing family (only a few blocks away!) to share a nanny with—and then we hit jackpot with the best nanny ever. Over the past two years our families have been joined by one of the most fortunate situations I have ever been a part of. I always knew that it wouldn’t last forever, but while it did it was amazing.
As our nanny share family is now expecting their second baby, and our needs have changed, we’ve decided to embark on a new childcare adventure. Currently, we are entering the process of bringing a cultural exchange au pair into our family and home. I am so excited about this new opportunity and can’t wait to share how it works out.
As I mentioned, our nanny share was an incredible experience. It allowed me to go through the first two years of my child’s life with another mom who has a baby the same age as mine. Sharing this together likely forever bonded us in some crazy way. Toddler J was with a “friend” three days a week, providing the opportunity for her to socialize with another baby. From the time they were 6 months old they were grabbing hands on the play mat. Today they bite and push, but they also hug and call each other’s names. Toddler W has been a close friend and almost a sibling for the past two years which is an irreplaceable experience for my daughter and an unbelievable thing for me to witness.
As our nanny share is coming to an end, I don’t regret a minute of it and would do it all over again if given the opportunity. For two newborns, it can be a great situation given the right circumstances. As we move forward and prepare to bring an au pair in our home, I myself am looking forward to more flexibility with my childcare as well as the additional coverage that it provides at an unbeatable price.
The reason I am sharing this with all of you is that without Bump Club and our “Finding Mary Poppins” seminar, I never would have realized how many different childcare options were available to my family, our changing needs and me. Two years ago, our expert panel opened my eyes to these different possibilities. Without that first panel, I would never have known having an au pair was an option.
Even though I myself am not a official speaker on our childcare panel, I received a lot of questions at our seminar last night about nanny shares, my opinion about the au pair program, and the logistics of it all. This has prompted me to post a bit more often about childcare options as it has related to my specific situation. I look forward to sharing my experiences in this realm with all of you. In the meantime, if you have any specific questions about nanny shares or my au pair experience thus far, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask. I am more than happy to serve as a resource for all of you!
Bump Club and Beyond has now hosted five signature “BCBU: Finding Your Own Mary Poppins-Everything you need to know about Childcare in Chicago” seminars. This is a permanent event on our calendar. We will be back again with our expert panel in November 2012. In the meantime, we will be posting more often on our blog about this important topic and will be introducing some other new resources in the coming weeks to assist with your childcare needs.