How to tap into affordable childcare to create work life balance
Updated: Mar 22
Stop spending so much of your paycheck on childcare!
When you ask moms who work full-time about their ideal work schedule, many say they would love to work part-time. They wish they could spend more time with their kids. The same is actually true when you ask stay-at-home moms who don't work at all: they would love to work part-time. They wish they spent more time interacting with adults and pursuing their own goals.
For years, I felt like I had the perfect work life balance because I spent two days a week as a reporter maintaining my career, and five days a week as a hands-on parent engaged in activities I loved -- crafts and homework with my kids, volunteering at their school, running a girl scout troop, coaching soccer, and watching every assembly, practice, game, tournament and recital. But there was one big downside: I spent just about all the money I made on childcare and commuting.
How to work less and have more money
Because I paid about half of my income to childcare, if I had worked full-time, I would have made about $150 more per week after expenses. I decided I would rather my family wear hand-me-down clothes and drive older cars than miss those precious hours with my kids, but some mothers don't have that choice. They need every penny to pay for essentials like housing and food, so they work full-time even if they only end up with 50% of their wages because of childcare.
But what if those moms paid a "discounted" rate of $1 per hour for childcare instead of $15 per hour? That means they would have more money working three days a week and paying "discounted" childcare than working five days a week paying typical childcare costs. Those moms who really wanted to work part-time but never thought they could afford it would suddenly be able to welcome a new normal: a three-day work week and more money to pay bills.
“You can trade with just other moms you know, or expand your network and meet new mothers who become part of your village.”
How to find childcare for $1 per hour
But what is the catch? Where can you possibly find childcare for $1 per hour? The answer is a childcare exchange like MomSub that allows mothers to trade childcare with each other. You can trade with just other moms you know, or expand your network and meet new mothers in the MomSub community who become part of your village. Either way, another mother is watching your kids when you are working. And on some of the days you are not working, you are supervising your own kids and someone else's kids at the same time.
Many of us don't mind having other kids at our house, even in the era of COVID. If we know their family is healthy, we feel safer interacting with one or two kids than having our kids exposed to an entire classroom or daycare center full of children. Another bonus is that sometimes two kids are easier to handle than one -- because their kids and our kids can help each other with school work, socialize and play together.
The time is now for a childcare revolution
Our current pandemic has only exacerbated an ongoing problem of increasing childcare costs and difficulty in finding childcare that has put a terrible strain on families and especially mothers, who have repeatedly said that working from home and overseeing remote learning is "not sustainable."
MomSub wants to offer relief -- a chance to have a day or two a week to focus and concentrate with no kids around, and in exchange you welcome someone else's children to your home one or two days a week. They can be kids who go to the same school and are participating in the same remote learning sessions.
If you're ready to leave the old system behind and enter a new era of work life balance focused on all of us helping each other, join the MomSub community and bring calm, confidence and clarity back to your life!