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Summer Childcare Update


Hi guys! I hope your Monday is off to a good start!

Remember when I talked about our summer childcare plans? We ended up opting to hire a babysitter whose been coming to our house to watch the kids 3 days per week. I wanted to give a little update on how it’s gone.

First, in case you hadn’t noticed from our recent budget update, our childcare costs have been way down compared to the academic year! Part of this is because we’ve been out of town a bit and we only pay our babysitter when we need her, so we haven’t had to pay for chunks of time when we’ve been gone. The other reason, of course, is because we’ve only been using part-time care instead of full-time care. Overall, we’re paying more per hour, but less overall (since fewer hours, etc.)

I did have some concerns about the route we decided to go. First, I didn’t love that the kids were going to be stuck at home all day every day. Second, our babysitter doesn’t drive (she’s old enough, but just doesn’t have a license) and she lives a solid 45 minutes away, so arranging pick-ups and drop-offs has been really exhausting. Generally we meet her parents somewhere in the middle, but on the rare occasion we have to take her all the way home, we’re talking a solid 1.5 hours in the car for the round-trip. Far from ideal. And, finally, the time has been another big issue. Remember, I work a full-time job + a part-time job. So getting all my work done in 3 days/week (and nights while the kids are sleeping) was a big concern of mine.

Status Update…

I don’t regret our decision with the babysitter for this summer, but I don’t think we’ll do it again next year (or, if we do, we’ll probably do a mix of camps and babysitter). Most of the summer has been fine, but now that we’re nearing the start of the semester (5 weeks left!) I’ve been struggling with tension/stress headaches just about every day over the stress and anxiety of all that I’ve got to get done in such a short period of time. The struggle stress is real.

Also, I miss working at home badly! During the academic year I try to reserve one day per week to work at home. I tried to work from home with the babysitter exactly once and it was just not working. The kids are loud and make concentration difficult. Plus, when I’m home (even if I’m locked in my bedroom), they keep trying to come in and see what I’m doing, bang on the door, yell for me, etc. I also found myself coming out and helping a lot when I heard screaming/crying/fighting. Basically, I was not able to get much done. But we live a good 30-40 minutes from campus so when I physically go IN to work it’s a solid hour round-trip out of the day just for driving. Its a fast drive and doesn’t bother me during the academic year, but paying more per hour makes me realize the cost of that drive on a daily basis. And I’m just able to be more efficient when I’m home! I can start a load of laundry and meal-prep for dinner in-between emails and work stuff. It’s much harder to cram all that stuff into the nighttime hours (or on the babysitter’s off days while the kiddos are home with me).

Hubs has been stepping up, too. He’s stayed home a few days when I’ve had a meeting or something else that I’ve had to get to. But even so, I find that I’m rushing home to try to relieve him or whatever and I’m just not being as productive as I need to be.

This week, only, their school has a week-long camp. I signed them up but it’s only Mon-Fri from 8:30-12:00pm. The plan is to work from home this week (to eliminate the long drive to campus). When I pick them up, we’ll come home and eat lunch, then I lay them down for naps and (fingers crossed) get another couple hours of work done in the afternoon.

I was SO THRILLED to be taking them to camp this week! Like, I CANNOT WAIT for their school to open back up in Fall! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved having more time with them over the past couple months. But I’m sure other parents can relate to the feeling of being OVER summer (especially when its 10 million degrees, options for activities are limited, and I need to freaking WORK!). Here’s a picture I took (while at a stoplight – not moving!) of me taking the girls to camp this morning. To say I was excited is the understatement of the century, lol



Oh, oh, oh!!!!

Also, we officially got my Dad’s Utah house on the market! It went live in the MLS on Thursday night. It’s had 7 showings since then and we got our first offer late last night. It was an over-list-price offer, but it’s not great because the couple is still “shopping lenders.” We don’t want to accept and tie the house up by going under-contract until we know for sure that the people’s financing will go through.

Our realtor is reaching out to the realtors of the other people who’ve looked at the house to get feedback and let them know there’s an offer on the table (in case others were on the verge and decide to put in an offer, too). We have until tomorrow afternoon to respond to the first offer so hopefully we can drum up a bidding war (though, being cautious of the fact that we don’t want to go too far above list price, as the appraisal might come in lower and ruin financing for anyone offering over-list). We’ll see what happens. Lots of moving parts. None of us siblings have sold real estate before (my bro & sis both own, but they’ve only bought once and have never sold), so it’s all new to us. Luckily, my mom is a real estate broker and although she and my father are divorced, she’s very sensitive to his health issues and has been more than willing to help navigate and guide us (the kids) through the process to make sure we’re taken care of and doing things properly. Our realtor has also been a dream to work with, so I feel lucky in that regard.

Anyway, gotta run and get some work done in the short time I have before I go back to pick up the girls from camp!

Have a great week! I’ll be back soon!


  • Reply Julene |

    A couple of times that we had a sitter during the summer that didn’t drive, we would just have her spend the night between the days. They made it a fun time and it saved the drive. Since you’re saving the drive time too you could offer her a bit of a bonus as a result. That only works if you really love the sitter but it did help us. I did that as a teen too. I would stay the week with a family that lived out of town to babysit for them. They gave me time by myself at night but then I was responsible during the day. Just a thought!

  • Reply Shanna |

    There has to be neighborhood kids nearby who can babysit and drive! 45 minutes away for a high school kid is nuts, especially if you don’t “love” how it is working out. You can put a job up at the local high school or college that you are looking if you want to try sitters again another time and mandate that you only want drivers. and ps-One trick I used to do if I wanted to get stuff done at home was to pretend to leave and then sneak back in 😉

  • Reply Taira |

    Hey Ashley – totally unrelated to this post, but you said you have ordered things from the wish app and I was wondering what the quality of the products is? Have the things you have purchased for the girls held up through a washing? Have you purchased anything besides clothing?

    • Reply Ashley |

      The quality is hit-or-miss. The products are produced from several different over-seas retailers, so it’s not just a single company. I’ve only bought clothes so far and I’ve been happy with about 85% of what we’ve received but there have been a couple items that were total crap and fell apart after just a few washes. I find it helpful to read others’ reviews since they’re pretty spot-on and I stay away from products with bad reviews (or no reviews).

      • Reply Parul jain |

        thank you. I was waiting for your response as well. I installed the app after I read about it from you and gosh, it is addicting. I keep exploring and putting stuff in my cart 🙂

        • Reply Ashley |

          Totally addicting! It got to where we were getting a package or two every week! After our cruise I had to control myself and not visit the app for a bit. I still have it on my phone, but I may delete it. It can be scary-easy to overspend!

  • Reply Henry |

    Hey Ashley,

    My name is Henry, and I’m part of a little company (dolla.co) that’s trying to build a price comparison/shopping tool for Google Chrome.

    Would you be interested in testing it out and providing your feedback and review in exchange for a Amazon Gift Card? Shouldn’t take more than 15-20 minutes. In particular we’re looking for honest feedback on its usefulness and intrusiveness.

    I’d really appreciate it if you can help us out. Your feedback and opinion will directly contribute to how we proceed with development. Please let me know.

    And sorry for hijacking your blog post here, but I could not find a more direct way to contact you 🙁



    • Reply Ashley |

      Hi Henry, You’d need to contact the blog owner directly. I contribute here, but any requests of that nature are vetted through the owner first. His name is Jeffrey and his email is: savingadvice@gmail.com

      • Reply Henry |

        Ok will do, thanks Ashley! On a side note, we’re really just looking for honest feedback, so if you personally wanted to check out our product and get back to me privately, that would be amazing.

        Have a great day!

So, what do you think ?