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The Challenges of Summer Child Care

Author: Jessica Woolwine
Published Date: Thursday, June 08, 2017

Summer is coming!

With its warm breezes and all things hot, summer sounded so nice way back in January. But unless you’re a teacher (almost there guys!) or lucked into some type of profession that has the summers off, you’re now in the throes of getting summer child care lined up.

I thought I was ahead of the game, LIKE A BOSS, in the beginning of April when I figured out a child care plan for all three kids. It wasn’t even that hard … just kind of fell into place.

At the end of April, of course, it fell out of place. Gah!

When things like that happen, I usually give myself a few hours to go into full freak-out mode. I call my mom and my sister. I develop an internal monologue. I consider quitting my job and living off proceeds from my writing assignments and moving into a tiny house in my parent’s backyard just so I don’t have to figure out child care anymore. Maybe I’ll home-school. Make my own soap.

Thankfully, this crazy thinking only lasts until my brain clicks into Olivia Pope mode. Plan A didn’t work, so what does Plan B look like? Eventually it will mean getting the kids dropped off in three different locations three days a week, but often that’s how summer child care works. I’m just piecing it together around vacations until school starts again.

Plan B in place - affordable, safe summer fun while Mommy’s at work. Handled.

I wish I had the luxury of mulling over options like Olivia ponders her problems on “Scandal.” I’d sit with a glass of red wine, eating popcorn under a cashmere blanket while considering an in-home provider, summer camp or daycare center. But life isn’t a TV show, and I don’t know any mom who works like that. Life is unscripted and change happens without my permission.

This week, Abby’s child care provider fell through for the entire month of July. Gah, again!

This morning I’m doing what parents do when they’re down to the wire on child care: posting jobs on Care.com, sending out private Facebook messages and putting feelers out to friends. I am rewarming the coffee from two hours ago, eating the crust from Henry’s toast and sharing Abby’s Moana blanket. (It is her blanket, she tells me.)

At the end of the day, I will figure it out. Third time’s a charm, right?

But until Plan C clicks into place, maybe I’ll also check into what ingredients go in homemade soap. Just to cover all my bases.


 For help finding quality child care, visit ChildcareAware.org.

About Jessica Woolwine

Jessica Woolwine is a native of Hampton Roads and lives in Hampton with her three “miracles” Jackson (9), Abby (5) and Henry (1). As a mother to a childhood cancer survivor and a micro-preemie, she began the blog Mothering Miracles in 2014 to support other families dealing with health issues. Jessica also works as Creative Director for Rubin Communications Group and enjoys mixing her talents for graphic design and creative writing with community relations. She is a past member of both the CHKD Family Advisory Council and the CHKD NICU Family Advisory Council.