Best age to find a babysitter

February 24, 2020
When we moved to Florence, we were states away from my parents and mother-in-law so getting a break or finding a babysitter was a really big deal for us. We were always taking care of our own children since I'm a stay at home mom and would take them everywhere with us. 

The very first time I was regularly away from my first born was when I placed my then 1.5 year old son at All Saints Parents Morning Out so that I could run errands like grocery shopping, dentist visits for myself and other chores while he got some social time with other kids. See my recommended preschool/mommy morning out list for Florence. It was a great program. Every morning for 4 hours, he would get to play and learn with other kids who were around his age. I started out with 3 days a week and then bumped up to 5 days a week. It was really affordable. 

It took us awhile until we found a local babysitter when we wanted to go out in the evenings. We didn't find a local babysitter until after our second child was born. My husband and I shared an extracurricular hobby and that was working out at the McLeod Fitness Center. Thankfully, they have a great nursery/childcare program that we could use up to 2 hours at a time. When we started using the MACK while we worked out, both my sons were in the nursery together. My little one started going there when he was 6 weeks old and because he was a very easy baby and rarely cried, it made it so easy for me to drop them off there together without worrying. I would work out and take a shower (even blow dried my hair) and all of that took me less than 2 hours so it was perfect. It was a life saver for us, especially for me. 

Then, one day out of the blue, one of the nursery workers asked me what we had going on that weekend. She had never asked me that before but oddly, that very weekend happened to be our anniversary and I told her we're going to out to eat to celebrate. She asked us if we have a babysitter and I said 'no' and that we were going to bring our kids with us. She then offered to babysit! I couldn't believe our luck! She took care of my baby at least 3 times a week in the nursery at the MACK when I would work out and had taken care of my older son in the nursery for awhile so they were both familiar with her. We knew she was capable of caring for them well and trusted her. Better yet, she only charged us $12 an hour. Anyway, this was several years ago but that was the very first time we had a local babysitter (who was not family). My older son was only 2 years old and my baby was 5 months old when we started using her babysitting services.

I think the best age to find a babysitter depends on so many factors: whether you already know someone for awhile who just happened to babysit, how comfortable you are with being away from your child without breastfeeding, how attached your children are to you and how much you need a date night with your partner. For us, we didn't actively seek for one. One just fell on our lap! I've also heard of other parents who ended up hiring the preschool teachers who taught their kids at a preschool or morning out program to babysit as well.

I've also had an experienced with hiring a babysitter from Care.com too. The initial idea that we were going to hire a complete stranger to come into our house and watch our kids was a bit scary but I looked into so many profiles and saw one that I thought I would meet her in person first to interview for 15 minutes before I went ahead and hired her. She was someone in her 30s who had just recently divorced her partner and her inability to have a baby caused a strain in the marriage so I was really sad for her. She also worked full-time and poured her heart to me that the only way she could be around kids was nannying or babysitting. I decided after that talk for 15 minutes that we were going to hire her. It worked out very well for two outings and then she disappeared. She did work full-time and had mentioned briefly that her brother in Virginia had asked her to move in with him to help his family watch their two kids, rent-free. I think she went with that plan and never got back to me on my request for her to babysit again. Or maybe, she just didn't want to watch another family's kids anymore.

Now that my kids are older and my older son goes to elementary school, we've had a total of 4 different babysitters that we've tried out. One of them was a grandma (who had watched our kids at the nursery at the gym), one was a divorcee in her 30s (from Care.com) and two were teenagers. The teenagers were related to people we already knew and that helped reassure us because we knew their families. We've moved around quite a bit so these two teenagers are from different towns.

I know finding a babysitter for the first time to watch your precious kids is not an easy task. I think if you already know someone who happens to also babysit or hiring your kid's preschool teacher or childcare provider who already has your trust or getting personal references are so helpful and better than hiring complete strangers. At least you'll already know that they'll be reliable from your own experience with them. The teenagers that I hired were both from religious families and one was even First aid/CPR certified. I think teenagers who you know are staying local for college is also a great alternative to those who are planning on spending their 4 years of college far away. It helps ensure that you can get that same babysitter for a somewhat long period of time and won't have to stress out about finding a new babysitter often.

I didn't have the best luck with Care.com. I tried it and don't think I'll be doing that again. I hope all of this info is helpful for you.

 

Why Little Rock Should be Your Next Vacation Spot

October 22, 2019

Why Little Rock Should be Your Next Vacation Spot

You shouldn't overlook Little Rock, Arkansas, when you are making your vacation plans.  

This is a city rich in history with plenty of cool sight-seeing tours to keep you busy and enthralled during your trip. This is a great place to take a family vacation, and the kids will love the different activities they can try and the treats they can eat. There are even old school style ice cream and soda parlors to take a step back in time and enjoy a delicious treat.  

Here are a few things you should check out when visiting. And if you love it so much you want to stay, check out some Little Rock homes for sale that you might fall in love with.

Visit the Governor’s Mansion

No trip to Little Rock is complete without visiting the Governor's Mansion. The mansion has been home to Arkansas governors since the 1950s. If you are lucky enough to score a ticket, you can take a tour of the inside of the mansion.  

It has a fantastic antique and art collection. Another area that you can check out are the gardens. They offer specific garden tours that will delight the most seasoned arborist. 

Culinary Delights

Little Rock is known for its barbecue. It has some of the best sweet and tangy sauce in the country, and you must try it. When you do, make sure to dine at Sims Bar B Que. Sims has been around almost forever and is a favorite haunt of most locals.  

But aside from that, it is a celebrity hot spot. Celebs and food critics flock to Sims to indulge in their barbecue with the special sauce. Try it once you are hooked.

Museum

Try something different and visit the only purse museum in the country. The museum was started by a private collector to showcase her collection and grew into what it is today.  

The museum takes you through the history of purses and shows how styles and fashion have evolved over the years. If you can't get enough, visit their gift shop which has an excellent collection of vintage purses for sale.

Visit Downtown

Visit the Capital Hotel, which was built in the 1870s in downtown. The hotel has hosted many presidents over the years. And, it is known as the front porch of Little Rock by locals. If you can't stay there, you can at least drink there. Check out the bar and treat yourself to specialty mixes or try some of their signature cocktails. 

Conclusion

There is so much that Little Rock has to offer; it is impossible to squeeze it all into one trip. Aside from all the tourist destinations and tours, there is a whole lot of hidden gems that locals know about. Don't be afraid to ask for suggestions on places to eat and places to visit. I'm sure they would be happy to help!

 

Do You Know a Local Hero Who Deserves Recognition? Nominate them for a Holiday Award.

October 16, 2019

Do You Know a Local Hero Who Deserves Recognition? Nominate them for a Holiday Award

Do you know a person who has impacted your life for the better through an act of bravery or service? The holidays are the perfect time to make an effort to recognize the people in our lives who have made sacrifices to make things better for all of us.

With this in mind, The Joye Law Firm has founded an annual contest designed to recognize a few of South Carolina’s unsung heroes with a holiday award. The SC local hero contest will award three holiday cash prizes of $1,000 to local heroes in December 2020.

Any South Carolina citizen can nominate someone for one of the awards. The only eligibility requirement is that the person making the nomination and the nominee be South Carolina citizens. The nomination process involves submitting an essay explaining why the nominee deserves one of the prizes.

The nomination prompt is as follows:

"To nominate a local hero, the entrant should write an essay of 600 words introducing us to the person you consider a local hero. Explain why the individual should be recognized for his or her deeds. We are prepared to be overwhelmed because we have encountered a number of people over the years who deserved recognition for their selfless and heroic actions. We know that they are out there."

Entries are due on 11/01/2019, and the prizes will be awarded in December.

Nominations can be made through the contest's page: https://www.joyelawfirm.com/local-hero-contest/

The Joye Law Firm partners are excited to have a chance to read about and recognize some of South Carolina’s unrecognized this holiday season. They look forward to reading the stories of courage and service submitted by SC citizens from across the state.  

Bio:

The lawyers at the Joye Law Firm believe that everyone should be involved in giving back to their community to the best of their ability. They give back to SC residents with their annual scholarship, their annual local hero contest, and by giving to many local charities, such as the Charleston Animal Society.

 

First Newsletter

October 13, 2019
FlorenceMom.com has just sent out our very first email newsletter today! After running the website for over 4 years, we've finally had the opportunity to send one. Thank you for all of those who have subscribed to get more information. I've had the form submission up on the events page for over a year. Thank you to all the subscribers for being so patient.

If you'd like to be included in the email list, go to: http://www.florencemom.com/family-friendly-events.php and scroll down a bit after the event list to fill out the form. 

To see a copy of the very first email newsletter, go to: Fall Newsletter.

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Halloween Costumes at ROSEGAL

September 1, 2019
ROSEGALcom's Halloween Sales are starting on Sept 5, 2019 through Oct 31, 2019!

Choose from Gothic Style, Pumpkin Print Style and Halloween Party Costumes.

There will also be a variety of Halloween home decors available on ROSEGAL too that are up to 80% off on Halloween items!

See all Halloween costumes on ROSEGAL.
 
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About Me


FlorenceMom.com Originally from Southern California, we had moved here when my husband got out of the military and began his civilian work at the Duke Energy Power Plant in Hartsville. I have two sons who were both born in Florence. Visit the "Events & Activities" Page for upcoming family-friendly events!
All local photos under the homepage, events & activities page, food & drinks page, relocating page, mom fun pageday trips page and more were taken by FlorenceMom.com from our personal visits.

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