Category Archives: Working Women

Expecting Mom vs. Baby Brain

Greetings, all!

We recently checked in with one of our moms who just found out she is expecting her first child this spring! She was able to share her build up to receiving the exciting news, and some of the things she has done to prep for the newest addition to her family. Here is what she had to say…

“Baby Brain” to many expecting mothers is a term to define a block in your ability to think clearly. To me, it means trying to cram my brain with as much knowledge and awareness about becoming a new mom. I think it is important for moms to be, to not set unattainable expectations on themselves. For many, this is a once in a lifetime experience, and if you think like me, everything will fall into place accordingly. So, sit back and enjoy the ride!

As soon as I found out that I was pregnant, I was overjoyed. My husband and I have been trying for several months, and resorted to a form of fertility treatments. I am in my late 20′s, but the dreaded biological clock seems to be knocking on my door, even though technically there is still plenty of time. I took a couple of weeks to enjoy the news fully and not think about how I should start preparing. That time soon came to an end, as I could no longer keep all of the baby thoughts outside of my brain. Luckily for me, my husband is in the healthcare field, so together we started doing a lot of research online. I made copies of text from his medical books and printed probably 265 lists of things to do/get. Not to mention, I will be a working mom, so I immediately visited my company’s HR site to review and print maternity leave forms. My binder is beginning to resemble a copy of the Old Testament.

At the end of the day, my husband and I are competent people with an amazing support system. I know several expecting moms, and that brings me a sense of solace. Though, it is great to have a reference book with colored tabs and highlighted areas, the most important thing is to enjoy the experience. Don’t be afraid to ask other moms and resources questions along the way. I find other moms to be the “holy grail” of baby knowledge and a great support system.

Also remember ladies, there is always wine at the end of this journey!

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

The New Golden Age

Greetings, all!

Today’s blog is featuring some excellent artwork from one of our own, Michelle Blaser - a Boston girl with Texas charm, and New York City grit. Following her passion of water color and calligraphy, she brings us her simplistic and colorful designs, and we are so thankful that she did!

We did a short Q&A with Michelle to learn more about her work and here is what she penned out.

1. Tell us your story and how you got to where you are today?
I grew up in Dallas, Texas and went to school in Austin. I studied advertising at UT and moved to NYC upon graduation to pursue a dream job at an advertising agency. I lived in New York for three years and babysat for Bell Family Company throughout my time in the city. The families I babysat for became dear friends and I still keep up with them. I met my husband in NYC and we moved to Boston one year ago for his job. With much more time on my hands I decided to start my company that I had always wanted to create!

2. What made you want to start your own company?
I have been passionate about art my entire life and it has always been a creative outlet for me. Both of my parents own their own companies and I always knew I wanted to start one myself, it was just a matter of time. I took a calligraphy class when I got engaged and absolutely fell in love with it. Once we were married and in Boston it was the perfect time to start my company. Golden Quill Designs came into being in December 2014 and I focus on using watercolor and calligraphy to make cards and artwork.

3. What are your plans for your company and starting a family one day?
My plans for my company are to grow it as much as possible while I am still working in advertising and once we start a family my hope is to stay at home with them while they are young and continue to grow GQD on the side. Although owning your own business has many challenges, I see this as a perfect opportunity to be able to work on my own schedule while caring for children.

Thanks, Michelle for sharing your golden touch! Everyone go and check out her artwork on Etsy, and use code “BELLFAMILY” in the checkout to receive a 30% discount on any orders $15 or more.  You can also learn more about her, and Golden Quill Designs here.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

How To: Ace a Childcare Interview

Greetings, all!

in·ter·view  /ˈin(t)ərˌvyo͞o/
noun
Commonly referred to a meeting between a small group, where one or all feel awkward through a series of random questions that no one in the real world would actually ask you. Most often deals with sweating, nervousness, and filling awkward silences.

Don’t fight it, you have felt some of the feelings listed above in at least one interview in your life. To better your experience in a childcare interview, our coordinator, Ali Sheppard, put together a list of 10 things to know prior to going in. I hope you can redefine my definition of an interview in your next go around.

Good luck interviewees!

1.   Prior to the interview review the Caregiver Sample Interview Questions and the Family’s Job Conditions; you won’t be asked every question, but its good practice to review!

2.   Ask questions about the children; about their personality, interests, do they play sports/play instruments, get to know them better! Do they have any allergies?

3.   Discuss the typical day and responsibilities. Ask questions.

4.   Do not bring up salary in the first interview. The first interview is about the connection, which is the most important factor in finding your family. If the family brings up salary – simply say that you are comfortable with the salary range indicated on their Job Conditions and you are more interested in making sure you and they are a good fit!

5.   Make a connection with the parents, but always engage the children if they are present! Ask about there parenting philosophy and their house rules.

6.   Be open and flexible. Listen!

7.   Be ON TIME. No matter what! Plan for weather and transportation delays. Being late to your interview is never a good sign.

8.   BE professional. NEVER ever get too personal. Do NOT discuss religion, politics or personal problems or other hot topics. Do not over share personal information about yourself.

9.   Dress professionally, but do not overdress! Business casual is a safe bet! A nice top, pants, closed toed shoes and hair pulled back with no tattoos showing, piercings, big jewelry is a great professional look for a caregiver interview.

10.  Be sure to connect with the Placement Coordinator to discuss the position and review any questions prior to the interview.

 

See you all next week!

TB

Introducing NY’s First Premier Nanny Concierge

The New York Nanny Center (a Bell Family Company) and Parenting Expert and author of “Secrets of the Nanny Whisperer,” Tammy Gold, partner to create NYC’s Premier Nanny Concierge Service

 

NY Nanny Concierge Services is the first nanny search and management service run

by licensed psychotherapists, former nannies, educators and mothers who match families with nannies suited to the specific developmental needs of their child. Instead of focusing on the physical match (days, hours, location) we match based on the psychosocial needs as well.

 

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Childcare matched to the developmental needs of your child

 

Our nannies go through rigorous recruitment process that assesses each nanny

based on psychological and social behavior profiles as well as the childcare skills

and experience. We know that “one nanny does not fit all” and our nannies are evaluated against their abilities to deliver the specific developmental needs of Erickson’s 5 stages of child development as every stage, from infancy to teen hood, needs a specific set of caregiving skills.

 

Childcare matched to each specific family’s characteristics and needs

 

We make sure your nanny can handle the specific and diverse childcare needs of today’s families. For example we match nannies to specific medical needs, e.g. Type

1 Diabetes, or psychological needs, e.g. skills to handle the complexities of children

with ADHD or specific family needs, e.g. divorced dual family households.

 

Each Search Includes Nanny Trialing and Assessment

 

You really don’t know if you have the perfect nanny match until the nanny, children and parents are interacting on the job.  That’s why we build Nanny Trials into our search process to that nannies and families can experience working together before an offer or placement is made.  During the trial period we work with both families and nannies to be gain objective feedback and assessment of the suitability of the match.  This ensures a more successful, happier and long-term placement for families and nannies.

 

2 hours of post placement Parenting and Childcare Coaching for Nanny or

Family

 

We have licensed therapists, certified coaches and former nannies there to help with any childcare challenges (e.g. children not listening to the nanny) or relationship challenges (e.g. communication issues between parent and nanny) that commonly arise during the beginning stages of the parent-nanny relationship. This added support to family and nanny allows for stronger relationships, placements that last much longer and most importantly better caregiving.

 

Access to 24/7 Sitter Services coverage for Sick Days, Weekends and Vacations

 

We know that nannies can get sick, may need to travel or leave for an emergency and therefore included in your search fee, is a complimentary one year membership to our premier on-demand caregivers from Bell Family Company. Weekends or at night, our Nanny Concierge covers all your childcare needs and emergency childcare situations.

 

We know we are the best way to find the ideal nanny for your child. If you are interested in learning more please call our office at 212.265.3354 or start your application by clicking JOIN TODAY here. To receive a copy of Tammy’s book please contact us for details:

 

Lindsay Bell, lindsay@bellfamilycompany.com or Tammy Gold, tg@tammygold.com

American Cancer Society’s Annual Mothers of the Year Luncheon

One of our fantastic former sitters who is now an expecting mom invited the Bell Family Team to the the American Cancer Society’s Annual Mothers of the Year Luncheon. Bell Family will be at the front door greeting guests & supporting this year’s event.  Read below for more info & get your ticket here http://main.acsevents.org/Mothersoftheyear  Hope to see you there!

-Lindsay

 

On Monday, October 19th, 2015, the American Cancer Society will host the  20th Annual Mothers of the Year Luncheon at The St. Regis Roof in New York City.   Proceeds from the event will benefit critical cancer research, education, advocacy and patient service programs supported by the American Cancer Society. Marion Scotto, Rosanna Scotto, Elaina Scotto and Dr. Susan R. Drossman are the 2015 Mothers of the Year Honorees.

 

The Mothers of the Year Luncheon, is supported by prominent members of New York City’s social and philanthropic community and is one of the American Cancer Society’s signature events in Manhattan.  The Luncheon was created in 1995 to shine a spotlight on mothers – celebrating their daily duties as caregivers to their families and the extraordinary work they do to care for their communities.  Since the event’s inception, the Mothers of the Year Luncheon has raised nearly $5 million dollars for the fight against cancer.

 

Previous Mothers of the Year honorees include former First Ladies of New York, Libby Pataki and Matilda Cuomo. Katie Couric, Paula Zahn, Vera Wang, Kathie Lee Gifford, Susan Bloomberg, Anne and Charlotte Ford, Carolina Herrera, Sarah Ferguson, Cynthia Lufkin, Ann Curry, Tory Burch, Grace Hightower De Niro, Muffie Potter Aston, Anne Hearst McInerney, and Deborah Norville. Ambassador Brenda L. Johnson and Cricket Burns are the event Co-Chairs. Diana K. Feldman, Volunteer Chairman, of the American Cancer Society’s Special Events Committee will receive a Special 20th Anniversary Outstanding Leadership Award for her dedication and leadership to the cause.  Paula Zahn will return as Mistress of Ceremonies.

 

The event will begin with cocktails and a silent auction at 11:45AM followed by lunch and the awards presentation at 12:30PM.  Tickets begin at $500 and Bell Family Company clients will be entitled to a discounted ticket at $395.00.

 

Please visit the events website http://main.acsevents.org/Mothersoftheyear  to reserve your spot!

Disneyland in a Day!

Happiest Place on Earth.  60th Diamond Celebration.  Largest Measles Epidemic in U.S.A.

When I first arrived in Santa Monica with my 8 month old son in January, I resolved that the measles outbreak would deter ANY possibility of visiting the happiest place on earth.  Friends supported my choice claiming most children have their first recollection of visiting and enjoying the park at 4 years old.  A vaccination shot, multiple east coast friends making the pilgrimage, and a dormant need to bring joy to my son dissipated my resolve five months later.

Kermit can officially cross off Disneyland from his bucket list.

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To ensure a positive experience, I pulled an all nighter watching videos online and reading guidebooks to meticulously plan our visit.  Despite an aggressive plan, I lowered any expectation of completing the list and possessed a willingness to abort mission at any sign of a meltdown.  Amazingly, we completed 95% of our list without incident.

We had the BEST time.

We arrived at the parking lot an hour before its opening, took the tram to the gate, crossed security checkpoint and arrived in front of the ticket counter a half hour before the park opening upon the advice from the authors of “The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland”.   Fifteen minutes later, we walked down Main Street and stood in front of Cinderella’s Castle.  As one of the park attendants administered the countdown for the official opening, goosebumps rose on my arms and an entangled knot of excitement grew in my stomach.  Two little children holding hands RAN through the castle doors a few hundred feet before the general public.  I cried.

Kermit’s magical experience was sparked.

We made a beeline to Fantasyland and were able to ride 7 attractions within the first 90 minutes before the crowd arrived:  Dumbo, Alice in Wonderland, King Arthur Carousel, Pinocchio, Casey Jr. Circus Train, Mad Tea Party, and Storybook Land Canal Boats in that order.  Then Kermit guzzled his milk and napped in his stroller while we walked down Main Street and visited Mickey’s Toontown to see Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, and Goofy.  It’s a Small World and Finding Nemo rounded out our adventure in the east side of the park.  After another feeding and during a nap, my husband and I enjoyed lunch in Frontierland.  By this time, the park was really crowded.  When Kermit awoke, we went to New Orleans Square to see the Haunted Mansion and ride Pirates of the Caribbean.  We took a break in Critter Country to visit Tigger, Eeyore, and Winnie the Pooh and ended the day with a ride on Mark Twain’s riverboat in Frontierland.

Obviously we did not experience the most popular attractions such as Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Matterhorn Bobsleds due to height restrictions.  We were also unable to view the Enchanted Tiki Room or Disneyland’s Story presenting Mr. Lincoln due to Kermit’s fatigue.  We missed Peter Pan’s Adventure and the Disneyland Railroad because they were not operational.  This did not mitigate our enjoyment.  Overall, I was genuinely surprised how accessible Disneyland is for infants.

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Disney truly understands the intricacies of fulfilling their visitors’ needs at every age and has thoughtfully provided the necessary amenities to guarantee a return visit.  A baby center centrally located on Main Street and outfitted with a feeding & diapering station, a nursing and pumping room, and infant/ toddler provisions like diapers, formula, bottles, and baby sunscreen are available at a nominal price.  I visited the baby center three times and each time, it was at full capacity.  The Lost and Found unit is also extraordinarily efficient.  One of my friends told me she lost her purse on two separate occasions which was returned to her without anything missing.  Another visitor lost his hat while on a ride and when found, was mailed to his home.  Strollers are available for rental and stroller parking is abundant throughout the park.  Fast passes alleviate the mental stress of waiting in queue and photo passes capture a momento of the whole family.  I read that VIP escorts are available by the hour.

Added measures for improvements keep the park current yet retention of the mainstays spark nostalgia.  For example, one of my favorite childhood memories is holding a mouse-eared shaped balloon while watching the parade on Main Street.  Nearly four decades later, my son was able to enjoy the same experience.  The picture of his very first adventure ride on Dumbo mirrors my own childhood snapshot.  But unlike me who rode 10,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Kermit experienced Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.  I teared up as I watched him enjoy the updated wonder of “It’s A Small World” while I recollected my own memory of the voyage.

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We will take Kermit to Disneyland this week before we return to New York.  It really is the happiest place on earth.

Nanny Know-How with Lindsay

Finding the right nanny for your family is essential! We work with both caregivers and nannies to pair up the best match for both our member families and caregivers. However, maintaining a great nanny-client relationship is equally important.

Lindsay sat down with Leigh Goldman, a Gymtime Mom, to share some strategies.

Some of the key points are:

  1. Outline expectations
  2. Clarify your policy on days off
  3. Spread good karma
  4. Talk the talk
  5. Avoid being over friendly
  6. Exercise common courtesy

Check out the full article here to learn more about each of those bullet points and get the full run-down on Lindsay’s nanny know-how!

WWW – Sheryl Sandberg and “Leaning In”

Sheryl Sandberg has been in the news a lot this week, showing her incredible strength and drive as not only an executive, but a woman as well. We wanted to honor one of the world’s most visible  working women by highlighting some of her infamous “Lean In” tips.

Sandberg’s notes in her best-seller, Lean In, that it is difficult to manage both career and motherhood even before giving birth (something many women can relate to as they head to work in the same flats they wore before their feet ballooned up a size!).

Sandberg believes despite obstacles many women face in the workplace (discrimination, lower compensation, etc), it is possible to still “lean in” with careful planning and a supportive partner. Forbes notes that the five best pieces of advice Sandberg offers are as follows:

  1. Be more open to taking career risks
  2. Skip the people pleasing
  3. Visualize your career as a jungle gym, not a ladder
  4. Allow yourself to fantasize about your career
  5. Start a Lean-In circle or peer group of women you can talk to monthly

 

Do you agree with Sandberg’s tips? Leave a comment below about your experience with working and motherhood!

WWW- Annie Riley Fashion (Pt. 2)

Annie Riley, BFC Chicago sitter, shares some additional fashion looks for moms. Annie has been featured on WGN Chicago, Fox News Chicago, and Fox Magazine addressing “how to make the most of your wardrobe” and “what styles to look for when shopping.” You can check out some styles Annie shared on our blog last week as well.

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A green cargo pant, blazer, with v-neck tee or sleeveless blouse, and oxfords or flats.

 

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Grab your favorite white button down, a fun sweater, your distressed, painted, or plain jean with a kitten heel or flat.

 

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Maxi skirts are easy with a boxier top, loafers or flats, and a long necklace to “grab and go.”

 

 

WWW – Run, Carole, Run!

Today, we are feature BFC’s resident marathon runner, Carole Dempsey.  Carole has been with Bell Family Company for three years, and has really enjoyed meeting other great sitters and families. She’s also passionate about her job as an Associate Buyer at Macy’s in the Fragrance division.  Originally from Maryland, Carole moved to NYC after graduating from Dickinson College 3.5 years ago. She also played basketball all four years in college and still plays during the week, when she’s not training for marathons that is.

We sat down with Carole to hear about how she balances training for a marathon, why she’s running, and more! 

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 Why are you running the NYC Marathon?  

I have run 6 half marathons and always thought I wasn’t interested in doing a full marathon, but it was so inspiring to watch the NYC Marathon last year! There was so much excitement and support for the runners, and it was so cool to see people travel from all over the world to run in the race.

 Why did you choose to fundraise for the Michael J. Fox Foundation?

In recent years, Parkinson’s has affected my family and changed our lives. I never knew much about the disease until a few years ago, and now I feel the need to make others more aware about it. I’ve also never had a charity or cause that I was passionate about until now, and this is such a great organization with a huge support system.

 How do you balance training for a marathon with the other parts of your life? (I.e. family/ friends/ work)

It is extremely difficult, but I just think about how much easier the race will be if I make the time to train. There were a few half marathons that I did not train for, and they were HARD. I do not want to experience that during a 26.2 mile run. Family and friends will be supportive of something that is important to me, so that is what also makes it easier.

 Is this your first marathon? 

Yes, this is my first! And I want to finish this one before I start thinking about the next.

 Many adults want to be physically active, but don’t think they have the time in their days to go for a jog or work out at the gym; do you have any advice?

I struggle with this as well. However, having a marathon, half marathon, 10K, or some goal makes it easier to stay active. I also feel much happier when I’ve been active. When I start to take a week or two off, I feel sluggish, tired, and eat more junk food. And a friend of mine always says, “You never regret that workouts you do, only the ones you don’t.” It is so true! 

Any other comments?

My goal is to raise $5,000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation, so I have a ways to go and need all the support I can get. Any donation, no matter how small, would be SO appreciated!

You can donate to Carole’s run here:  http://www2.michaeljfox.org/goto/caroledempsey

 

Good luck, Carole!