The Art of a Mental Health Day

We talk a lot about self-care and taking time for ourselves but putting that into practice is kind of a science. In the past, I have worked to carve out time for myself only to self-sabatoge and end up cleaning, doing laundry or paying bills during my time “off”. Earlier this week, I decided I needed a true mental health day and I made it happen! Here is what works:

  1. Get out of the house

I know this is particularly hard right now but I find that if I stay home, even if I am alone, I end up worrying about my house or other chores and I don’t truly unwind. This time, I scheduled a massage for right after I dropped my girls off at school. This meant no time to go home and gave me something to look forward to. 

  1. Set a budget

I tend to shy away from spending money on myself and so when I do have time alone, I don’t do anything because I feel guilty! That is ridiculous–and this time around, I told myself I was going to spend X dollars throughout the day. That meant freedom to get coffee, hit HomeGoods and buy lunch–without feeling bad. 

  1. Don’t check in

I tend to be a hoverer when it comes to letting others care for my kids. I call or text frequently and this snaps me out of relaxation mode. For my mental health day, I told myself I was going to stay off my phone and that if someone needed me, they’d call. It made a HUGE difference in my day. 

  1. Set your evening up for success, too

Nothing unwinds a good mental health day like coming home to dinner to cook and a house to clean. I planned on doing takeout and picked it up on my way in. I made a mental note to overlook any messes and gave myself permission to set aside house work until the next day. Just mentally prepping myself for what I might walk into–and warding off some of it with takeout–really helped keep the peaceful feeling I worked so hard to earn. 

Right now, things are hard and you’re more strapped than even. Taking a mental health day really did change the trajectory of my week and being intentional about the planning and execution made it truly effective. Make the time to to do it! –and if you need a sitter? #wegotya

5 reasons that Halloween 2020 could be our best yet

Everything about 2020 has been an actual dumpster fire but I think we can redeem ourselves next month. Here’s why:

  1. Halloween is on a Saturday. 

This is a big deal. No rushing home after school and work to try to get kids to eat a decent meal and get their faces painted before 9 pm. You can say yes to one more house, let them eat some extra candy, and have a drink on your stroll. Sunday is the perfect Halloween hangover day. 

  1. Masks are like, a thing, now. 

If there was every a time to encourage your kid to cover their face, its 2020! 

  1. We get to see one another, safely. 

I don’t know about you but I am super excited to just see some friendly faces outside of my own home, even if it means someone is chucking a reese’s at me from 6 feet away. Doing something that feels normal and gives a sense of community but that is also deemed a safe social practice is the holy grail of 2020 events. 

  1. We finally get to say yes.

Easter Egg Hunts–cancelled. Fireworks–cancelled. Birthday parties–cancelled. But Halloween?!? Yes. We are doing it, kids. Pick your most outrageous costume fantasy–yes. Have 45 pieces of candy–yes. Carve Blippi into the pumpkin–yes. YES!

  1. We cannot be scared. 

Bring on the tricks, ya’ll. We have seen it all in 2020 and no zombie apocalypse is going to phase us now. The ghouls and ghosts, goblins and witches are all just quaint little cherries on the 2020 sundae. Spooky season, we are here for you!

Hopefully this season of celebration will revive us as we head into the big holidays of 2020. It can renew our sense of community and excitement about the mundane. I, for one, have never been more excited to wrangle a toddler into a costume. 

Why In-Person Instruction is Important–and How We Can Help

The vibe is different this year. Instead of staring down our calendars in mid-July, wondering when the kids will go back to school for our sanity, we are staring down the calendar–wringing our hands, wondering what the plan is and what is best for our family. 

It is undoubtedly a lot. And if the virtual learning from the spring taught us anything, it is that every family and circumstance is different. Every child learns differently. And for most, in-person instruction is best for a variety of reasons. 

Young student doing homework at home with school books, newspaper and digital pad helped by his mother. Mum writing on the copybook teaching his son. Education, family lifestyle, homeschooling concept

Relationship-Building

We tend to want to work for and please those we care about, trust and have something in common with. This is why teachers who work to connect with their students produce such fantastic results. When someone is really cheering you on, sincerely, it makes a world of difference. 

Real-time Feedback 

When you are bent in frustration over a new concept in math, it is far from helpful to have to wait all afternoon for “office hours”. Often, students forget where they left off or can’t get the one-on-one explanation they need. 

Reliability

Teachers keep things moving at the pace they’re intended to be done. Imagine doing problems 1-5 over the course of an hour, only to realize you still have 6-20 to go. A teacher can help pace the work in a way that makes sense, skipping over what you’ve mastered and lingering longer on what is a challenge. 

Real-World Experience

There is something about interacting with other adults that is invaluable. Students need to learn to take feedback and instruction from other trusting adults. It helps them to navigate their place in the world in a way that isolation at home just can’t mimic. Even one other guiding force can help create a dynamic where they learn from others and about themselves. 

Mother and child doing homeschooling, e-learning at home

At Platinumsitters, we recognize that things are uncertain right now. Some parents will need to keep their kids in virtual environments regardless of the governor’s decision. We are working to match families with experienced sitters who have educational backgrounds so that they can play an active role in virtual learning–and relieve some of the burden for you as you try to also work remotely or return to the office. Rates start at $25/hour and we would love to consult with you about your family’s needs. Simply email hello@platinumsitters.com for more information. 

 

Back-to-school may be different this year but as always, #wegotya.

Back-to-school may be different this year but as always, #wegotya.

Our New Site!

Have you checked out the amazing new look that launched over atPlatinumSitters.comlast week?!

We are so excited to unveil a look that is a fresh and fun as our team of trusted sitters and community managers.

Booking is easier than ever — just tell us a little about your family, your babysitting needs–is this a one time thing, someone you will need occasionally, or do you need someone for an event/wedding–and our system will do the work for you!

We are working hard each day to ensure we are hiring the best sitters out their–people who love children, are engaging and fun, and who meet the highest standard of professionalism. Now, more than ever, we want to make sure you feel comfortable with someone coming to your home to care for your children.

So, take a minute and check out the new site! Reach out to us if you have any questions: hello@platinumsitters.com

Most importantly, let childcare become something that simplifies and streamlines your life. #wegotya

cropped-logo-solo-1.png

15 Ways I Angered My Toddler

I was inspired by a friend’s recent Facebook post about how enraged his toddler gets about being safely strapped in her car seat. Here are 15 ways I have recently angered my toddler:

  1. I opened her breakfast bar completely instead of opening it half way and folding back the wrapper.
  2. I folded back her banana peel instead of peeling the banana completely.
  3. I would not let her touch a dead frog.
  4. I took a bite of my own breakfast.
  5. I offered her a bite of my breakfast.
  6. I tried to help her put on her shoes.
  7. I suggested there is a correct shoe for each foot.
  8. I put a bow in her hair.
  9. I immediately took the bow out of her hair.
  10. I put her down when she wanted to be picked up.
  11. I picked her up when she wanted down.
  12. I failed to intervene before the dog’s tail brushed her shoulder.
  13. I suggested carrying my hot coffee around was beyond her skill set.
  14. I won’t let her turn on the stove.
  15. I let her choose her own snack thus allowing her to choose incorrectly.

What we learned here is that sometimes toddlers are crazy. But we can all get a little crazy, right? Our sitters are well versed in navigating the ups and downs of toddlers, babies and teens–and we have vetted them to be sure you can trust them. #wegotya

Camp is Cancelled–Now What?

The current pandemic has changed the landscape of virtually every thing we do. Not only have schools shuttered for the year but now many summer camps have made the tough decision to close as well. This leaves working parents, who depend on summer camps as childcare, in a lurch. Especially because under the various phases, if all goes well, many business will reopen–and many parents will return to work.

This is where PlatinumSitters can help! Whether you remain a work-from-home employee or are headed back to the office, we can send you a recurrent sitter who can not only “babysit” but provide engaging activities to help keep your kids active and learning during the summer months. 

Our sitters are vetted via background checks, reference checks and interviews with our PlatinumSitter staff. Additionally, we are talking to our sitters about additional safety precautions–correct hand washing and sanitizing techniques, staying home when ill and maintaining social distancing when in public. We also give you the opportunity to state your preferences during the hiring process so you can make sure whoever is coming to your home knows and abides by your expectations!

Many of our sitters are college students who have graduated (some earlier than expected) from college or high school. Some are child care providers furloughed from other positions or looking to supplement income while they wait for the things to return to normal. In such an unknown time, there is actually a bright spot–there are energetic, experienced child care workers who would love to help ease your workload this summer. 

We offer one time, full-time or part-time placement. Please contact hello@platinumsitters.com for more information. #wegotya

Dating your Spouse–at Home

The social distancing that has become our new norm can take its toll in a lot of ways. We are all working from home, trying to implement “virtual learning” and trying to tackle the mountain of dishes that accumulates from cooking 78 meals a day. Its amazing just how exhausting it is to…go nowhere. One of the conversations that as begun amongst my girlfriends and I is how it feels like theres nothing left to say to our spouses at the end of the day–I know what you did…I was here, too. However, more than ever, it is so important to be intentional with your relationship. Here are a few tips for dating your spouse from home:

Canva - Young Couple Relaxing in Bed at Home

  1. Pencil in your Date

Add it to your google calendar alongside your 400 Zoom calls. Make it official, otherwise the Groundhog Day-esque feel to each day somehow gets us all to 9 pm before we even realize it. 

 

  1. No Phones

This is the song as old as time but more than ever, it really matters. Put your phones in the other room and really disconnect from the endless stream of bad news and social media opinions. 

 

  1. Plan an activity

Plan to play a game or tackle a small project together. The night will feel no different if you’re staring into the abyss that is Netflix. It’s about elevating this experience. 

 

  1. Get dressed

I know, sweatpants are the new suit. Let’s up our game for one night, shall we? It seems utterly ridiculous but go through your usual process–the hair, the makeup, maybe even the heels? Honestly, its fun to rememeber what getting dressed up feels like. 

 

  1. Change the scenery

If you always hang on the couch after bedtime, don’t host your date there. Play your game at the kitchen table, play darts in the garage, have wine on the porch. Actually “go somewhere” and appreciate a new aspect of your abode together. 

 

  1. Avoid Complaining

This is the hardest one but I am certain, if you’re like me, you’ve already aired your grievances about how much this situation stinks at multiple points during the day. Use this hour with your spouse to make plans, reminisce on better times, or just talk about the common interests that brought you together–there’s a ton of new books, movies and tv shows out there these days!

 

There is no doubt that the world is changing–and it’s HARD. Building in some date time with your spouse will go a long way to establishing a feeling of normal. And, when the time comes, we will be here to help you find a great sitter so that you can leave the house in those heels. We can’t wait. #wegotya

 

The “new normal.” Day In the Life of a Work-From-Home Mom

6:00 am –Open eyes to the sound of your toddler yelling “EEEEEAT!”. Wonder what day it is. Realize that no longer matters. 

 

6:15 am — Shove yogurt at the toddler and fumble through making coffee. How are we so tired when we go nowhere?

 

6.30 am –Despite all of those online schedules that imply meal time lasts an hour, its over and now you are scrapping breakfast off the table while the toddler watched Frozen for the 48th time…this week. 

 

7:00 am –Check email. So many emails. Converse with spouse about who has a Zoom call and at what time. Debate over who needs more quiet time. 

image0

7:15 am –While you chose to have a conversation with your spouse, the toddler has upended the container of Duplos and is now chasing the dog. 

 

7:30 am– Morale is dipping. Head outside for some chalk and bubbles. Exchange weary looks with your neighbor as they pass by walking their dog. Here we go again!

 

9:00 am — Decide to take a walk. Try to maintain balance between walking as far as you can humanly handle while also not going so far from home that you’re stuck out with a toddler who has to pee, refuses to stay in the stroller or insists on picking up trash. 

 

11:00– Lunchtime! You made it! Lunchtime is the gateway to nap time. PB & J with a side of justification that they’d eat no better at school. 

 

12:00– Ahh, naptime. This used to be your weekend break but now its your daily chance to cram 8 hours of work into an hour and a half. This is so daunting that you spend the first 45 minutes blissfully staring into space while no one touches you. 

 

2:00– Toddler is up. You unwrap one of the many items you panic-bought on Amazon. You basically have  a treasure chest in your hall closet now with the hopes of buying another hour to work. 

 

3:00– Toys and Frozen have lost their appeal. Your house is a total disaster and the idea of cooking dinner AGAIN is looming. Time for walk #2! Even the dog is tired of walking. 

 

4:00–Time to start dinner prep. In an effort to assuage some Mom guilt from all of that TV time earlier, you invite the toddler to help with dinner. 

 

4:05– Lose patience with your helper. Turn on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. 

 

5:00–Dinner time. Conversation is hard to come by–I’d tell you about my day but like…you were here. 

 

5:30– Fight over  who gets to do this dishes as this is now classified as “alone time” while the other spouse entertains the kids. 

 

6:00- Back outside to burn off some more energy. Soccer, cartwheels, tag. All the classics!

 

7:00– Baths! Pour a glass of wine and enjoy your thirty minutes of contained entertainment. 

7:30–Kids in bed. Sit side by side with spouse while you both try to wrap up your nonexistent work day. 

 

9:00–Get in bed. Scroll social media to see that every single person you know did the exact same thing as you. Realize everyone is essentially the same and vow to remember this when life resumes. 

 

10:00–Fall asleep watching The Office for the 38th time because desperate times call for soothing sitcoms and the news is absolutely off limits. 
So, what does your day look like? Comment below to share!

Maintaining Sanity: Social Distancing with Young Kids

These are strange times–recent world events have impacted our daily habits and schedules in ways no one could have forseen. And now, staring down several weeks of quarantine with your family can feel overwhelming. But, we have ideas. 

child-1073638_1920

Learn something new

Que up YouTube for something productive. Look up videos on how to draw animals, finger knitting or kid’s yoga. This is a fun, easy way to pass a half an hour for free! 

 

Travel to a check out a museum 

Yes, travel–virtually! Let your kids scope out art and culture in various locales. The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the Guggenheim Museum are two that host online tours. You can also use Google Arts & Culture for walk-throughs of dozens of international museums.

 

Use those free resources

Your first web search should be for your local library. They have tons of of online resources, including access to audio and e-books. Next, check out your child’s school webpage. Likely, their school pays for access to various learning platforms. If all else fails, try this resource. 

 

Other Goose

Want to take that learning one step further? Other Goose is providing three free weeks of access to their online homeschool curriculum. Their site places an emphasis on play and structure. 

 

Talk a Walk–but make it fun

Some sort of daily outside time is going to be imperative for everyone in the coming weeks. Try a nature trail, explore new routes in your neighborhood, play “red light, green light” or “eye spy” as you walk. Pack a lunch for a picnic down the street. Draw a map of your neighborhood when you get back. Keep it fresh!

 

FaceTime

We typically FaceTime grandparents but reach out to those you would normally see in person. Schedule a “Facetime Playdate” with a preschool friend and let them show each other their rooms. FaceTime with aunts and uncles who can show off different cities. Call up your college bestie and let your kids play twenty questions. 

 

Indulge!

Lastly, shed the mom guilt and try to make the best of it. Enjoy the extra cookie, play the movie, nap when the kids nap, let them make the mess. Just like this situation won’t last forever, neither does childhood. Make those treasured memories–and also give yourself some grace. You’re doing great! 

 

Here at PlatinumSitters, we value family and kids. We know how important it is to keep them safe and so we are taking extra precautions to ensure our sitters know proper CDC guidelines and are not reporting to work if they are sick. We are passing along extra ways to keep kids engaged without taking them to parks and public places and most of all, we are still here. If you’re a parent who needs to work or has another need for childcare–please reach out. 

 

Reasons My Toddler is Crying

Kids are crazy, man. And nothing is crazier than a toddler with a limited grasp on the english language and absolutely no impulse control. So, now presenting Ten Reasons My Toddler is Crying

crying child, depression and sadness

  1. She asked for a cheese stick so I took the wrapper off. I TOOK THE WRAPPER OFF.
  2. I am trying to change her diaper. She would prefer to keep her dirty diaper on.
  3. She wants to jump head first off the back of the couch. 
  4. I am peeing and won’t hold her in the process. 
  5. She threw her milk cup in frustration. She wants her milk cup. 
  6. I wouldn’t let her lick the cart handle. 
  7. I won’t give her a sip of my freshly brewed, piping hot coffee. 
  8. She can’t pet the dog on TV. 
  9. Frozen waffles have to be cooked before consumed. 
  10. I insist she buckle her car seat straps. Every. Single. Time.