Juggle has saved a very special February love-month shout-out for last. Today, we are wrapping our grateful arms around Mandy Hauer, our very first mom-boss, a forever friend who is the perfect illustration of what “juggling it all” really means. She’s mom to three, a business owner, an advocate for breast cancer awareness, a Juggle cheerleader, the list goes on. She makes it look easy, but it doesn’t mean she’s had it easy. Mandy has struggled with anxiety her entire life. Together with her sister, she created Brand New Day, which sells apparel and jewelry with a message: that those suffering through mental illness are not alone, that it’s okay not to be perfect, and that tomorrow is waiting with a fresh start for everyone. “I feel lucky to be able to follow my passion for helping others through both of my businesses. Juggle allows me to connect sitters and families, resulting in a win-win for both! Brand New Day is a place where I get to work with my sister, share my mental health journey, and sell fun apparel to fight the suicide epidemic. Remember, you are not alone and tomorrow’s a BRAND NEW DAY!” #REALnotperfect
On average, your baby will start crawling at around eight months, but it shouldn’t be a surprise if they start earlier. Crawling is a huge milestone, and like most parents, you are excited that your baby is finally mobile. Movement, however, comes with its set of challenges, especially when you combine it with your little one’s curiosity. This checklist will give you a solid start on how you can make your home safe for your little munchkin.
- Have safe spaces
Create a safe space where your child can play freely, then use doorknobs to keep them out of rooms with items that could hurt them. The kitchen is usually the first culprit. With so many sharp things and breakable items, it’s always safer to keep your little one away. If your kitchen doesn’t have a doorknob, consider installing baby gates around the entryway to keep your tot away. Sitting areas will also have exciting items that will catch your child’s attention. That beautiful photo frame on top of a desk and that vase full of fresh flowers are some of the things parents miss. Keep your little one away when you are not around to supervise them or remove any breakables and things that could fall on and hurt them.
- Keep bathrooms safe
Install safety latches on your bathroom cabinets and drawers to keep your little one from reaching poisonous products. Also, store all machines and washing products in their original containers and away from your little one’s reach. Toilet locks will keep your child from accessing the toilet bowl while anti-scalding devices will keep them safe from showerheads and faucets. When using a bathtub, fill it to cover your kid’s legs.
- Safety around the house
If you have stairs, safety gates should keep your baby out of harm until they learn how to navigate the steps. Corners and edge bumpers are great for furniture and other dangerous places like your fireplace. You should also put your furniture a few meters from high windows, so your child doesn’t climb onto window sills. Secure bookcase, shelves, and heavy furniture to the wall to keep them from tripping over. Also, store heavy items on bottom shelves and drawers.
- Make the bedrooms safe
When your child starts sitting up, it’s time to lower the crib mattress. Stuffed animals are great companions, but they can also be a suffocation risk, so be careful with them. They are also perfect for a child who wants to escape the crib. Make sure the bedroom window has a guard and can only open to around 3 inches. If you are using blinds, make sure they are cordless, so your child doesn’t get caught in a loop.
Your home should be a haven where you and your family enjoy time together. When childproofing, make sure you strike a balance between keeping your home safe and maintaining the haven you love to come back to from a busy day at work. With a little creativity, you can have it both ways.
About the Author:
Hi, my name is Brianna Thomas, and I am a Wright State Business Marketing Major graduating this May. When you can’t find me over-preparing for an exam, working, or babysitting, I am usually hiking with my dog, playing with my dog, or… just spending time with my dog. Well… I do more than that, but usually my dog, Malie, is always by my side!
I, myself, am a Juggle Sitter and have received a great opportunity to write an article about some awesome sitters. So grab your cup of tea, find a comfy spot and let’s get to it!
What’s it Like Being an Ultimate Juggle Sitter?
Managing a busy family is no joke and sometimes we need a break from reality to recoup. Some parents may occasionally require the aid of a helping hand, and others may need it more frequently. Whichever it may be, picking and choosing when to have a sitter is at a family’s fingertips and makes life easier.
Us Juggle Sitters love to help when it comes to times of need. Parents no longer have to drag their kids along with them while running errands, thus avoiding the inevitable temper tantrum! Juggle Sitters help moms and dads become a little less frantic, all while fully juggling their lives. Some are full-time college students who work and babysit. Others are recent grads using their spare time to watch little ones. No matter the case, stepping into the life of a Juggle Sitter helps you appreciate what we do just a little more. I interviewed 6 of Juggle’s top sitters on what their journey has been like as a Juggle Sitter, and here is what they had to say:
Juggle Sitter since 2016
“Working for Juggle has been the best thing I have done,” says Samantha, who has completed 208 sits. Samantha likes that Juggle implemented a way for the sitters and families to see information on the app; whether that is a background check, how many dogs they have, or what their hobbies are. For her, all of that information creates comfortable and long-lasting relationship with families.
Samantha has found communication is key when it comes to babysitting. Usually, she will reach out to them beforehand to become more comfortable with the parent(s). This allows her to offer any additional help they may need during her shift. Also, she states lack of communication can get stressful. Sometimes Samantha will have jobs back to back and could potentially be late to her second one if the first family does not show up on time. She does manage her time wisely and, for the most part, does not have problems with flex times. However, she wants families to know it is okay to expand their flex times. In return, it will help sitters plan their time better.
Juggle Sitter since 2017
As a Junior at Ohio State University, Grace has done 193 sits in the Columbus and Cincinnati area. Grace appreciates when families are very accommodating, such as providing the Wi-Fi password. Often, she can get school work done after the kids are in bed. Grace has met many great families with whom she has formed a long-term relationship with, which is her favorite part about using Juggle (My favorite part too!).
Juggle has helped Grace in many ways. With a career path in pediatric/neonatal medicine, her interactions with children have a significant advantage in her profession. Furthermore, the advantages of sitting for Juggle have allowed Grace to save money as she begins her process of applying to medical school. Whoop whoop, go Grace!
Juggle Sitter since 2016
A recent graduate from Ohio State University, Kaylee has completed 491 sits in the Columbus area and continues to do so while working a full-time job, you go girl! Kaylee noticed that when she reached out to families before her shift, they were more considerate of her time, wanted her to come back, and were more relaxed. With the help of the Juggle app calendar, Kaylee can easily plan her sits around her busy schedule.
Throughout her time at Juggle, Kaylee has made many memorable connections. In particular, one family practically became her second family. They even helped her find a full time job!
Juggle Sitter since 2017
Sabrina attends Mount Carmel College of Nursing and has completed 353 jobs since becoming a Juggle Sitter. Sabrina enjoys that families are considerate when it comes to returning home when her shift ends. If parents happen to be late, they are very mindful and let her know in advance. She also likes that families have bios and use a profile picture on the app. Doing so allows her to get a first impression and feel more comfortable when it comes time for her shift.
Juggle Sitter since 2018
Juggle Sitter since 2017
Courtney has been a school teacher for the last three years and has had many years of experience working with kids. Since being a part of the Juggle Squad, standing at 131 sits, she has met a variety of kids. Interacting with different personalities has helped her form better relationships when meeting new kids. Being a Juggle Sitter has given Courtney valuable experience that she can apply towards her teaching career. She appreciates the flexibility to work around her schedule, and the quick compensation that comes with it.
Recently, Courtney decided to step down from her teaching position to attend grad school (How awesome!). As of now Courtney is a substitute teacher, and in her spare time she babysits evenings and weekends.
Now You Have Virtually Met Some of The Juggle Squad…How Awesome!
I would like to reflect on what has been mentioned. Sitters juggle life as well–between classes, working, and extracurriculars–we tend to keep pretty busy! However, as you can see from the sitters I talked to, we will always be there for families during times of need (Which we find important!). All in all, everyone agrees the most rewarding aspect of being a Juggle Sitter is the bond created with the families and children!
Throughout the interview process, I noticed that communication, consideration, and awareness are the three biggest factors when it comes to having a successful sit. With those three things in mind, a family can be comfortable and grow better relationships with their sitter(s). The Juggle Squad continues to blow families away by being Ultimate Juggle Sitters who will always lend a helping hand. In the end, families continue to juggle it all, and having someone there for the kiddos can be the icing on the cake!
p.s. Check out some of our favorite quotes below, all from the Juggle Squad!
The verdict is out on this Season’s hottest gifts, and the Juggle kids want it ALL! Although Santa’s elves won’t be able to deliver all of these goodies, we wanted to share what the hot ticket items are for our kiddos! So here comes the looooong list…..
Hydro Flasks, who knew that a water bottle would be SO high on so many lists? But yes Hydro Flasks are in high demand for all ages! Something about that cute little symbol has boys and girls of all ages wanting one! The cool trend about Hydro Flasks is adding on cute stickers that represent who you are. I ordered a bunch of stickers from Etsy for very cheap. Hoverboards are still landing on everyone’s list! But thankfully for Santa, the going rate has come down quite a bit! It looks like lots of our kiddos are keeping it real and wanting Barbies, Legos, and American Girl Dolls. If you have a daughter like mine, who wants a fancy Barbie Dream House, I have some great advice. Check out those Facebook Buy Sell Trade Groups. I found a gently used one on there last year for a fraction of the price! Your bank account will thank me later. Electronics are always going to be on kids wish lists, I mean hello, it is the 21st Century! If an Xbox is on your child’s list, Costco sells them for a great deal this season! Nintendo Switch is a great option for the kids, as it’s a handheld device that can travel with you easily! Chromebook is another electronic that is at the top of the list (they can do school work on this device, so we can’t argue with this option). One of my favorite electronics on our wish lists was a Ninja high speed blender to make smoothies. Now this is a gift that keeps on giving! For those active kids out there (or parents who need some help wearing their kids out), electric scooters (wear a helmet please!), glow in the dark basketballs, Pop-a-Shots, air hockey, ping pong tables, lacrosse goals, footballs, dirt bikes, razor motor bikes, new soccer cleats, dribble up soccer balls (super cool if you haven’t seen it!) have all made the list! Wow, now I would be excited to have any of those with my name on it! And move over LOL dolls, Mini Brands are the new and thrilling tiny piece surprises! Have you seen them?! I am not going to lie, they are absolutely adorable. Brands such as Mentos and Franks Red Hot come in miniature sizes to collect. But don’t worry, LOL dolls are still flying off the shelves!
Here are some other gift ideas for kids of all ages:
Clothes, clothes and more clothes! The most popular trends this year seem to be Justice (again), Nike (always!), Patagonia, Abercrombie Kids, Vans, Air Jordan, and sports jerseys. The list continues with art supplies, Treasure X, Paw Patrol, dinosaurs, sharks, bath bombs, pretend makeup (yikes!), Calico Critter house and Owleez. Also a great idea for this year is buying experiences for your kiddos. Some of ours have mentioned skating lessons, build-a-bear gift cards, pottery making gift cards, sporting event tickets, etc. I love the idea of creating memories like this!
As always, if you’re looking to spread the Holiday spirit with your children, GIVING, GIVING, and more GIVING! Every year that we’ve done a charitable event, or worked with a community organization, we hear our kids talking about it for weeks afterwards. Something as simple as dropping off canned goods and toys to the local fire station seems to make an impact on them every time!(Bonus: If you just ask, the kids usually get to take pictures in the firetruck!)
I also thought it was necessary to add in an item that WILL NOT be making it under the tree this year: a hamster. Sorry I’m not sorry!
Well, thats a wrap!(get it?) I hope this was somewhat helpful! Also, for all the parents that are soon to have the kids home Every. Day. For. Two. Weeks, we have some other gift ideas! (See: Beer/Wine section of your local store). Happy shopping from your Juggle Team!