Friday, July 21, 2006

Sink or swim

When I started my business in September 2004, I had to take part-time jobs at Tougas Family Farm and Starbucks to make ends meet. Even so, it was touch and go. Petunia had the patience of a saint, and she encouraged me to keep going even as we struggled financially. I persevered despite my many fears.

During the fall of 2004, I worked those part-time jobs, cared for 2 wonderful little girls in Arlington, and had some drop-in babies here at the house. In January 2005 I had my first full-time enrollment, a 2-month old baby; his brother attended part-time as well. As the months passed, more families enrolled. I got busier and busier. I adjusted my caregiving style as the kids grew older, and now I'm about to implement a full-on circle time, complete with themes. It's all very exciting, and I like the challenge of trying to meets the needs of kids ranging in age from 20 months to 3 years.

In September, however, it'll be back to tummy time, bottles, and teething rings. A new 4-month old will be joining us 2 days a week! I'm looking forward to seeing the older kids interact with the baby, and I'm eager to see the baby grow up with devoted older friends. And also: a baby! I haven't held a baby since my youngest child left infancy, so I'm really excited. Scared, too, but mostly excited. I've never had an infant with so many older kids, but I'm confident it'll work out well.

As I plan for the little guy to join us, I'm considering investing in some products to make life easier. I've been looking at this hip carrier for when the tyke gets a little older, and it sounds like it would be useful for my other kids, too (and Hester too, hello!). Also, I'm in the market for a decent used triple stroller-I've been scouring Craigslist like it's my job. Other items on the "To Buy" list: a stroller cup holder for me and a decent diaper bag. If you have any tips for these items, please let me know.

The upshot of all this is that it looks like I'm in the child care business as long as I want to be. I'm proud of myself for sticking it out, and I owe a lot to Petunia for putting up with me and my big ideas in the early stages of this business. Hell, I owe a lot to her now for enduring a kid-focused house. When I started this program almost 2 years ago, I didn't know if I'd sink or swim. Thankfully, I'm swimming like a fish.


Blogger M. said...

This is awesome. Good for you!

By the way, we just, on the ravingly positive recommendation of a friend with a 5-month old, bought a baby wrap - similar to the hip carrier but you can also do kangaroo style, sleeping position, or backpack-style. You can see one here: (we bought a less expensive version at Babies R Us).

3:34 PM  
Blogger Clementine said...

Awesome, M.--thanks for the Moby Wrap tip. I already have a sling and a Baby Bjorn, but that wrap looks good, too. Maybe I can get a wrap AND a hip carrier since they're business expenses! Once Hester arrives, I'll be able to deduct a lot less for most child care items, so it's better to buy sooner than later.

And hey--your Moby Wrap's going to be getting a workout soon! Let me know how you like it, 'kay?

3:42 PM  
Blogger Hashbrown said...

I love you and would support your dreams to the end of the world.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Canada said...

AJWP, you and your childcare program ROCK! You know that I would send Corwin and Clara to you if it wasn't such a commute!

FYI, check out the Bumbo (Emilin and Brooke from Name That Mama got one for Sanna - it looks very cool - I would have gotten one - or 2!)

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Jenny PP said...

You rock AJWP!!!

6:01 PM  
Blogger frog said...

AJWP, you might check at Mothering Dot Commune for used wraps and slings at good prices--the Trading Post is hopping. The Babywearer site has lots of inexpensive used slings, too.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Clementine said...

Thanks for the tips, frog! You know I love a good bargain.

1:53 PM  

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