Making music takes time, focus, and rehearsals. Finding regular childcare is essential to allow for the space to be creative. Are you struggling to find childcare solutions? Read on and see if these options might work for you!
When my kid was turning one, I was desperate to find affordable childcare. I needed time to rehearse regularly with my band. We didn’t have family nearby, my partner was also the drummer, and money was tight. I did as much as as possible during nap times, but the sound of my voice would wake my son. I recorded demos, practiced guitar, and wrote arrangements at home, but we still needed time to play as a band. Eventually, we found these three main childcare options let us rehearse without breaking the bank.
1. CHILDCARE TRADES
If you’re watching one kid, you might as well watch two! In our case, I met a family in an online neighborhood group who was interested in doing babysitting swaps. The mom was working on her graduate degree and also wanted some time to herself. The dad was super sweet and worked long hours so he wasn’t home as much. Their baby was 8 months old, so just a few months younger than ours. We met for a few playdates until we were comfortable and confident in each other. The boys loved each other and became very good friends. And so did the parents!
It also made me more productive at rehearsals to not be watching the clock, stressing about a babysitting bill.
Are you and your bandmates are free during the day? Scheduling a few days of daycare each week can help make space for writing and rehearsing. Like many things in life, you can pay A LOT for daycare and there are also affordable options.
Definitely talk to your neighbors and friends to get recommendations. At first, I was totally overwhelmed. Internet searches were returning private school prices for daycare – and we just couldn’t begin to afford it. I visited a few places that were in our budget, but I didn’t like the vibe. Our dream daycare turned out to be a block and a half away from our apartment. It was reasonably price and had a super loving and family-like vibe. One day, I was getting a slice at my local pizza parlor. I was telling the owner my troubles while I waited and he said oh, yeah – go across the street! He pointed to a door across the street with no sign that I had never noticed. Inside was a kid paradise, staffed by loving parents in a spotless and fully certified space.
3. HONORARY AUNTS AND UNCLES
We’ve all heard it takes a village to raise a child. It’s true. I’m so grateful for all the wonderful people who love my kid and are part of his life. My BFF is like a second mom to my son. Since we didn’t have family nearby, my BFF frequently pitched in to hang with the kid while we rehearsed. Often, we would drop him off at her place. This was more convenient for her because she could continue with whatever she had planned at home that night. She would put our son to bed at her place and we would pick him up after rehearsal.
I also had a few other close friends I could count on for 2-3 hour adventures. We would meet at the studio and they take our son on nearby outings while we rehearsed. Typical outings were to the park, out for a slice of pizza or ice cream, or just strolling around. Our kid enjoyed being taken on adventures and spending time with our friends. This gave us enough time to run a setlist for a show or work on a couple songs.
Asking for help takes some getting used to. The more often you do it, the easier it gets for everyone!
Remember every other parent is figuring out too.
It can feel overwhelming sorting out childcare, especially when family isn’t an option. Remember that there are loads of working parents that figure it out every day and you can too! Talk to your friends and neighbors. Stay flexible about when and how you rehearse. Be open to asking for help. You’re bound to find options that works for you!
Have a different idea that you recommend? Share it in the comments!
Keep on making that music, Mama!