Live Q&A with Steven and Paige on figuring out childcare

When both parents work full-time and you have young children, deciding what form of childcare you want and can afford can be a tough decision. What’s important to you and what factors do you need to consider?

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When both parents work full-time and you have young children, deciding what form of childcare you want and can afford can be a tough decision. What’s important to you and what factors do you need to consider?

Paige texted Tiffany asking just that. In this Live Q&A, Tiffany walks through her and J.R’s decision to have in-home childcare for their family and the benefits it has brought them personally. While it’s not a solution for everyone, it’s important to think about your family’s priorities and how you achieve them.

Have follow-up questions for Tiffany? Text her at (317) 350-8921. She’d love to hear from you.

Live Q&A with Paige and Steven on figuring out childcare

Paige: How did you guys decide? And home care was what you wanted.

Tiffany: I'm your host, Tiffany Sauder. And this is Scared Confident. So in the world of my second Ainslee I am, I am nervcited for today. I'm really excited. Cause I'm chatting with my. Sister and brother-in-law Paige and Steven, but I'm a little nervous too, because I feel like whenever you do something with people close to you, you feel like you need to be really good at it.

Um, so this is our second version of what I'm calling coffee over microphones. Paige texted me after one of my earlier things and said, Hey, I'd be interested to hear more about how you made the decision for in-home care, how to make all that work. The financial aspects of it. It's just like so many work in moms is trying to maximize all the things.

So before we start launching into questions, can you just kind of orient people who are patients even, and, um, kind of the life stage you're at and what is competing for time, attention, resources for you guys right now.

Paige: Okay, I'll go first. So I work full time for a marketing company, headquartered out of Illinois called a perfect promotion.

And the, I do project management there and our graphic design. I have been there for six years, Steven and I have been married for three and a half years. And. Do you have a kid? We have

Steven: super on top of the childcare conversation.

Paige: Uh, we have a son Edison who we call Eddie and he is about nine months old.

And he's he in Quincy? Tiffany's number four are just one day apart. And

Tiffany: so it's been very neat. It's very cool to like, be able to have this journey together.

Paige: Yeah. Super neat. And it's so Jr is 11 years older than I am. So we don't have a lot of, or really any like shared experiences out of like outside of family vacations or something like that.

Yeah. So this is something that I don't think either of us thought we would do together is like Parenthood. On basically the same day. Yeah. Super fast. So that was, it's just super special. Yeah. Super.

Tiffany: Okay. Steven, you're up?

Steven: Yep. I'm originally from Arizona, worked in the software world for a couple of years, and then most recently moved to the economic development corporation where focused on entrepreneurship programming across the state, really just focusing on ecosystem and the people side of the suture state to support entrepreneurship.

Tiffany: Okay. So what would be three words that you guys would use to describe kind of your marriage? Like you guys together?

Steven: Playful would be probably top of mind for me. I don't know if that would be for page, but that's one of my favorite things about our relationship as I, how playful it

Paige: is. Yeah. A lot of just banter back and forth, whether it's in person or via text.

And then you kind of have to like. Touch point like later and it's like, so what are we doing?

Steven: What was the joke? So,

Paige: yeah, that's like number one, I would say I am kind of the like steady baseline, stable, stable,

Steven: consistent, reliable. Should we continue for

Tiffany: synonyms for that? And then Steven is the, what.

Steven: I would say I'm a little more volatile.

I'm not like Tiffany, like diving into chaos sort of thing, but I'm definitely a page, super consistent person. And I'm more

Paige: all over the place. Steven we'll have an entire conversation and play like both sides of like, this is an amazing idea. I'm so jazzed, like all the things. And then like two breaths I've said nothing yet.

And he's like, but this is why it wouldn't work. And like has the whole thing. And then. Sometimes I add sometimes I don't might just get to it on its own. Observe the self better. Yes.

Steven: Observing. And that way I like leaving. It's like what a great combo

Tiffany: she's like it works. So who wins? What is the biggest source of conflict in your relationship?

I would

Steven: say money. I'm a tightwad, generally speaking until I'm not, which I think is what Patriots say about me too. Um, and then

Paige: pages are at Costco and Steven's like, yeah, let's just get

Steven: eight of them. Yeah, of course. We need those cheese balls,

Tiffany: hashtag priorities.

Steven: I think this is where we're balanced is like then pages, like, right.

But I want to have a decent life now. Like I don't want to live like we're super poor and put. All of our enjoyment super ended far into the future. And it kind of balances me out in that way. And then I feel like I balance her out too by pulling her back a little bit. So that's definitely a source of conflict, but I feel like we're getting better and better at that overtime, which I think dovetails into part of the reason this conversation happened is childcare.

Cause like outside of your home, that's going to be the most expensive thing for most people with young kids. So yeah. We've talked about that a lot, I would say

Paige: at length. Yeah. And we come from different upbringings in that way, too. So I had in-home care, like babysitters my mom, by the time I was around I'm number three.

So she just worked part-time when I was little. So

Steven: yeah, my side, my family owns and operates childcares across the greater Phoenix area and Arizona. So I grew up super comfortable, grew up going every once in a while to childcare's. So to me it was kind of a no brainer. Nanny was never an option. It was always childcare.

And then. My mom was a stay-at-home mom until I think I was out of high school. She was one of my, she still raised mellow sister, but she went back to work some, but it was always childcare or mom where the options never

Paige: nanny. Well, and I feel like if, if Steven and I were each going to like cast a vote for tomorrow, I would probably vote to like switch to in-home care.

And Steven would vote to stay at a full-time. Childcare that Eddie currently goes to. And so we're just here to dive into that conversation more and hear from you. How did you guys decide in home care was what you wanted

Tiffany: for our family and home care has been the right choice. It has helped me being able to maintain the home better.

My nannies have been extensions and Ben capacity, from that perspective, it's been allowed me to create more consistency for the kids, which is an important thing for me and my mom. Heart wants them to be able to be in their space as much as they need to. I've got a couple of introverts and I know they recharge best at home.

And so being able to. Afford them that place consistency, even though I thrive on being gone and in and out and jumping around has been a perfect balance for our family. So if you individually, we're going to summarize how you see the pros and cons and why you've voted for the thing. You voted start with your here's my vote.

And here is my sort of supporting rationale. What would you say?

Paige: So I would say my vote is. For in-home care because when I look at other families that have in home care, like Tiffany's family, for an example, just the added, like a help that it can bring into your home, not just to your family, but also the freedom to your own time.

And that like right now, I'm at home and I don't wake Eddie up. I let him sleep until he gets up. But then I do kind of like morning routine breakfast. And I do love that time with him, but it's also like that's an hour at a minimum to like then get him dropped off. And then my day started. So it's, it works for now, but I just think ahead too.

Where if work picks up additional kids and just, what if I really need that time back? And so just creating this life for our family, that functions like as smoothly and efficiently as possible,

Steven: my vote would be childcare, at least at this current stage. I think it fairly consistent on how I think about it, but it's almost entirely economical.

I am. Becoming more in line, I would say with like the different value drivers that Paige thinks about flexibility and then like convenience factor and all those other things. But nanny care with one kid is the economics are just terrible. Like you're massively overpaying in my opinion, for what you're getting.

And childcare seems to work just as well. There's some inconvenience that goes with it, but two plus kids super open to the nanny conversation, but. With one kid, I wouldn't a hundred percent vote childcare.

Tiffany: Every time I should add this. When we add one kid, we could only afford four days a week of in-home care.

And so my mom came down every Friday. But Audrey was the first grandkid. So I had that luxury of there were nobody else. So that was a very unique scenario. Once my mom didn't come down, we shared a nanny with another like girl that was about Aubrey's age. And that parent dropped that kid off at our house.

Three days a week so that we shared it. So once we had to go to five, because my mom wasn't coming down to afford it. We found basically like a nanny share, but it was in our home. So like we had to cobble it together. And again, I Jarrod and I were totally jamming on this this morning. I was like, what? And how are two different questions?

What you want to do? Like, my heart was committed to having a home care, how we did that was like, Real clumsy for awhile until we had more kids are earning potential was different, but it was like how we made it happen. What we wanted to do was different. I think you growing up in the childhood, you had different experience.

I grew up with a stay-at-home mom and so going from complete stay-at-home mom, like my cousins babysat us and a couple of girls from church. And so my own. Leap to other people are going to watch my kids most of the time during daylight hours, I think it was my own fears and comfort level that just couldn't get all the way to childcare, to, you know, daycare outside of the home.

And so everybody's got a different starting point for that. There's some kids who grew up in town daycares and had an amazing experience. And so that's their starting point. I think that is relevant to this whole discussion with couples and where, what sort of the right thing is for your family?

Steven: I think the only.

Thing I would add, I'm trying to change my mindset and Paige is helping me on this, but like, for me, it almost becomes like a purely economical decision, which is not the right way to make decisions, but, um, I have a hard time getting past that. So yeah. But I think that's

Tiffany: really real. I mean, there's a lot of couples who have this exact same thing where one of the partners sees it as.

Well, which one costs less as it relates to the financial expenditure. And I think that's one of the questions like, well, what is cost. What all is in that column of things. One is certainly the financial aspect of

Steven: it. Yeah. But then I think the, the cost that I don't feel or see as much as, I think you could talk about it more about like the demands that, that can create through like some inflexibility.

Paige: Right. So Eddie, a couple months ago was sick, had an ear infection. Just yeah. Fever and not in a great spot. So when that happens, he couldn't go to daycare. And so then I just, I felt like Steven's world wasn't really disrupted or changed and it was just kind of assumed cause I have a more flexible work schedule anyway, but that doesn't mean.

That it's just like a walk in the park to be able to keep a seven month old at the time or whatever, home with me. So it just kind of rocked my entire week and I had to like push some things and I hate to use this word, but it, I was just true, truly inconvenienced. And so when it's something that is in home, I feel like.

That doesn't really rock my work world as

Tiffany: much. Right. There's there's pros. Yeah. Cons to both. And I, this, this is not like an episode where it's like at the end of this, everybody will, can be convinced having home care. I just think it's important to talk about what are both sides of it, because. On one hand, people who have nannies would say, well, if that one person is sick, you're screwed because there's not, it's the school's job to find other teachers for that room.

If your teachers are sick. So it, it is definitely. You've got to kind of pick your poison because neither one of them is perfect. One of the things I found, whether you're doing a daycare or you're doing in-home care is moms, families have to understand. You have to have a backup figured out before you need it.

And probably second or third tier. And that way you can just kind of staying in game mode and be like, this is how I've solved this versus your, it never happens in advance. You know, often it's super inconvenient. It's always on the day where you have the most important meeting of your life. It's just Murphy's law plays out.

And so that would be a tip I would say is like, have your backup plan figured out in advance because you're going to need one, no matter which path you choose. I think one of the big things for me, as we thought through in-home care, and I would say I'm more comfortable living. Uh, lean it like from a stuff, things, experiences perspective, to be able to get freedom and time.

And so in the early years when we had a nanny, we, we straight couldn't afford it. And we weren't living on credit cards together, but there was a lot, we had to cut out to be able to make that happen. And again, this is not to tell people this is the right thing to do. It's just how we thought about it.

And when I did the math in my head, I believe having in-home care gives me about 15 more hours a week. Of time personally, I know it doesn't take an hour every day to drop off and pick up, but there's switching costs and loading the baby up, getting them out of bed, getting them changed, having to take all of that.

That is a, that is a heavy load for me. I don't enjoy that transfer. And especially when they're young, The idea of just letting them sleep in their own bed and not having to be disturbed just gave my heart, my mom, heart, just peace that like, my life was crazy and I might have to leave early, but they don't, they get to stay here and be in their own bed.

So that was one of the things. The other thing is in my role. Having to be somewhere at an exact time was a very complicated thing for me, because sometimes I was having a really important meeting with an employee or an important meeting with a client. And it wasn't all the time. Sometimes that was excuses for being late, but there were times it was really consequential to the big picture of what I was working towards.

And so being able to text a nanny and, and them understanding the big picture of what I was trying to do with my life, they were partners in that. And so. I could be 20 minutes, late, 40 minutes late, whatever happened without the sort of big penalty. And then the other is, I think, especially as you get more kids, when there's someone in your home, they can help you do things like today.

I got all my Instacart stuff delivered and my nanny was able to. Put it all away from me. And it's not that she's our housekeeper by any stretch, but it gives me capacity to be able to walk into a home. That's clean that girls is lunchboxes are unpacked. There's things that happened and I wasn't here.

And so I estimate it gives me about 15 hours a week in personal capacity to have somebody in my home. So when I was 25, 26, 27, thinking about this, I would say, well, I know I have to get 10,000 hours of experience. In something to get paid a lot of money to do it. And so this was the thing I was picking and I'm like, I get basically two extra work days where I'm speeding up the w the day on which I'm going to be able to say, like, dang, I'll never be able to prove to myself that that's true, but I just knew I had more capacity to focus on the thing that was ultimately going to be what I was working towards.

And I believe I moved that time up. Years because I was able to be really focused on the thing I was doing and really peaceful with what was sort of what

Steven: was set up at home. Part of why I like childcare besides like my obvious bias from the family business. But it's just easier to plug in more people because like what nannies, like your sister's experience, like.

You get a nanny that you like train basically on how to handle your kids and sort of like your expectations for their role, whether it is like unpacking lunchboxes, because not everybody does that naturally, but you get them all acclimated and aligned and then something they can just bail randomly. And like, that's one of my, I would say fears is like, you get into that and it's just, you commit all this time and then

Tiffany: yeah.

And it will happen like you and I, I think of it. I mean, I employed people too. It's like, it's the same thing as like, dang, you are awesome at your job and you just got a promotion or you went somewhere else. Like that sucks. I have to start over. It's just part of the human experience. So I have accepted it as a reality of our choice.

And it's the same thing. It's like, if you choose daycare, there's going to be things that are easier about that. You just have to accept it as a reality of your choice. The thing for me was the return on time. Was my most important factor. And I was personally willing to sacrifice a lot of things financially in the short term, because I believed it would be the right thing in the big picture and for what I needed, I felt like it was easier on my kids, but that's probably because he was easier on me.

I'm not good at that kind of hectic, like packing everybody up, taking, I would forget something four out of five days. It's just, I'm not. Organized in that way. And so that was stressful for me. And so I felt like that would be stressful for them too. So I think it's really what your priorities are, is a really big piece of it.

Steven: One of the things I think Paige and I probably aren't aligned on are all the different costs that go into either choice. Like, like I said earlier, it's pretty purely economical for me, for her. There's definitely the time costs you're talking about, but I think there's like the subliminal one on, I don't know the right way to say it, but like the cost of care, like how.

Like your kid being asleep in their own bed. I don't know the right phrasing for that, but there's a cost there too, for their comfort. Maybe our consistency for them. Like what are all the items we should be thinking about considering when you're looking at it? Yeah, I

Tiffany: would say as my kids get older and it's a little bit different, but like right now, what they would do instead of coming here is go to practice or afterschool care.

And for me as. We start getting out of like behavior and Moring to character, you know, molding the fact that they, they just there's continuity. And I know what Mrs. Garcia is going to speak into their lives is a really important piece of it. So she's been with us for a long time, but that part of you're in my home.

And so I really get to pick what we do and what we teach and what's okay. I think as I get older, I have more. Appreciation for that. That is a really important piece as they continue to get older, I can more control external, um, influences. Yeah, exactly. And when they're young, I mean, I, you know, it's not like we run a super tight ship, but there's a lot of things that we just don't need to let in.

And so I think exposure influences is definitely another piece of that cost as you think about that, even, even in like three, four or five years old, like. What you say, how you react, all of that kind of stuff. It really, I think teaches, you know, what? They start to get a read on what's approved.

Steven: Yeah.

Definitely. The more you can control that in my mind, the better, like, that's not what I had thought of a whole lot. At least at this point with Eddie being nine months old, it doesn't come to mind as

Paige: much. But yeah, I mean, right now I feel like daycare or childcare in the positives column is like the other kids and just like socially and.

I mean, we want him to be like comfortable with other people, like sleep wherever, like there's definite perks to that right now. But that kind of transitions into another question we had discussed. Like, so when we are starting to think about. Expanding our family, our kid, number two, it becomes like, well, this childcare facility, like we're in it.

We know the routine. We know the people, it kind of becomes a well-oiled machine. Like when it's working, it's really working. And there's not any thing that derails it. What would you say to people? Like, it seems like it'd be such a big transition then. Like if we did go in home, like what. What would you say about like keeping a good thing going versus like trying the next thing?

Cause I feel like when you have another kid, everybody kind of takes you take it. You reset again. Cool. 20. Yeah. Like you gotta reset. Yeah.

Tiffany: You guys just have to close your eyes. Anybody does and figure out like, what do you want? There also is the cost on the other side. And I'll answer your question kind of indirectly as somebody is in your home all day long and.

I went to the place. I'm fine with that. Like, my spatula ends up in like six different possible drawers like that. That's, it's just sorta like pages, like I'm solidly out, but you know, somebody else's in loading a dishwasher that sorta like there's somebody in your house, that's just part of it. And yeah.

I think you just have to like, be really clear if you do have somebody in your home, it's uncomfortable, how clear you have to be in your expectations. It feels like it's going to be, but when you are, then everybody knows the plan. We use the example of like unpacking the lunch boxes. It's like, you can't leave it to the intuitive because then you do get a random experience for kind of everybody involved.

And I think as you roll forward in your mind, you know, you'll go, it could be from daycare to preschool to kindergarten. Which again, my mom heart is then like, so they spent most of their childhood outside my home in that experience. And that for me, my mom heart, I'm like, I, I want their memories to be in our home with their toys, with me walking through.

And I like that. I value that I'm willing to pay more for that. But if you're like, I like separation of church and state, and this is helpful to us. And the idea of. Coming home to a clean home and their mess being at daycare. I know people think about it that way too. I don't want the crafts in my house.

I want them to finger paint at daycare so that we don't have to clean up. And that's just different styles. You guys, you know, we joked at the beginning, I'm super comfortable with a mess and I almost love it. Like it means to me, there's people and things and energy around. And I think from my mom heart, when I lay in bed at night and think about.

Than being out all the time. It's like, no, I want them here. And I want their memories to be here as kids inside that they're not, I mean, it's not like, but you get the idea. The thing to understand, if you would move to in-home care is when you drop him off right now, you are a part of their program. If you would have in home care, it's your job to create the program.

And that's the difference. And I think people like I had an in-home nanny and they just, they did this all day long. I was like, well, your job is to create an understanding of like, here's kind of how I want the day to go. Here's what I want to have done. Again. I almost used it as a like house administrator and a nanny, and I've always set mine up that way.

It just helps me have. Arms and ears in places where I can't be. And that's really helpful. I value that a ton again, I think it's in how you set it up

Paige: so far. One of the biggest things we've learned is like being on the same page, like what we have right now, and Eddy going to a childcare facility. Makes sense financially, it's working for us.

We really liked the place. His head teacher has been there for like 11 years, which we find really comforting because we were at a different place prior, and then we moved. But at the initial place, there was tons of turnover. And so it's like, you'd go in and you'd be dropping them off. And it's like, Stranger you like re-introduce yourself and him every time.

So that didn't feel quite right. So this new place is smaller and it does feel just more familiar every day when the head teacher is there most days. So we've got a good thing going right now. I think it's just the, just kind of being on the same page and in agreement on it. Doesn't maybe this'll be what we do, or maybe we'll reevaluate and pivot.

If a career change happens for someone or like it's kid number two, whatever, it may be. Just keeping the dialogue open.

Tiffany: So in the spirit of the podcast in scared, confident with like, what's behind it for you guys, like what's the fear in getting it wrong?

Steven: Yeah. I mean, messy and idea, right? Like for definitely for us, it's like, how are you going to mess your kid up?

Like everybody messes their kid up. In some way, they don't know how, but like they do. And you know, we obviously want to do that as little as possible.

Paige: So Steven always says, we want to give him just enough trauma so that he's funny, but like not too damaged,

Tiffany: hilarious.

Steven: The tasteful amount of trauma page consistently asks that question of like, is this what's best for Eddie?

Which like helped snap me out of that. Like purely economical. Frame of mind of, Hey, this is a lot bigger than like the next six months of our budget. It's like, this is his entire life that we're setting them up for, which might feel dramatic when you're talking about childcare, but it sort of sets the mindset for how you consider decisions for like child upbringing, period.

And you hopefully take that context into future decisions as well.

Paige: I would say the reality of it is Eddie spends more time with other people than he does us, but we're. We're doing that to like, create this like life or lifestyle for him and our future family. So I think it just is the constant, like mom guilt or whatever it may be of there's days where it's like, what are we doing or what am I doing?

Should he be home with me all day? But then you feel selfish being like, No, that's not actually what I want. And like, I am my best self working. Like for him, I need that, like, right. Yeah. And like, I just pick up is like, for either one of us, we both love to do it because we're so jazzed to see him. He's jazzed.

We like love our evenings, but yeah, there's some days where it becomes like, well, why are we doing this?

Tiffany: I remember. I was pregnant with Opry our first and I was at church and I shared that I was going to be going back to work and we were getting a nanny and a mom said to me, you understand that 90% of like their physically mental formation has done by the age of three, and you're going to let somebody else do that.

This was, she said to me, it was like, I got punched in the face and I had to sort through that for a long time. About if I like, I don't even know if that's true. I have no idea if that's true, but this is what this person said to me and this feeling of like somebody else's seeing my choice so negatively because I didn't see it negatively.

And it was shocking to me. I think it is. I think it is not yet socially comfortable for us as women in particular to say, I am really enjoy myself away from my kids doing my job, that I feel good at. And for that to be totally okay. That does not mean the opposite side of that is I don't enjoy being with my kids.

Like, you know, that's not the inverse of that, right. It's not one or the other right. Super courageous of you to say that page. And I think we need to give more language to that. It doesn't mean you're not an exceptional mom. It doesn't mean that you don't love your time with your kid. And it doesn't mean that you don't want the best for them.

It just means that the way I've been stitched together as a human being, this is part of the way I get whole, so that I have a lot and enough to give my kids in a really productive way. And you can be an amazing mom. Like your kids are incredible and work with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm for what you're doing there too.

And. I think that there's room to give that language.

So what else is on your mind? Text me (317) 350-8921 (317) 350-8921. And be sure to follow along on your favorite podcast app. Thanks for listening today.

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