Flexible Child Care or Gaming the System? Decide for a Chance to Win a $10 Sam's Club GC! | 1099 - Mom
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Flexible Child Care or Gaming the System? Decide for a Chance to Win a $10 Sam's Club GC!

This month’s Working Mother magazine had a little something for everyone, including those who are wondering how they can work from home AND take care of their children. We have barely scratched the surface of how to entertain the little ones while getting things done, but these ideas were very outside of the box:

One mom in the article entitled “The New Nanny Solution” admitted to getting all kinds of free child care during the day, including an hour at the gym where she dropped the kids into the free day care while she worked on her laptop in the coffee shop. Another mom told of how she would “hop around to various free child-care centers at grocery stores” so she could take client calls while strolling the grocery aisles. Did she actually do any shopping? Can’t say, but she sure did get good use of a perk that they don’t offer at any stores where I live.

Standing in judgment of hard-working moms isn’t our thing here at 1099 Mom, but it does leave us scratching our heads on a couple of points:

1. Is it OK to place your child in random child-care situations in a pinch? What about for the long haul? Is it safe to trust your child with so many strangers, and what do the kids feel about this merry-go-round of caregivers? (Just the thought makes us tired.)

2. Why isn’t there a better support system in place for work-at-home moms?  We often hear of daycare co-ops and child care swaps, but not usually in the exclusive context of 1099 Moms. Can’t something like this be arranged to provide a more stable (and fun) atmosphere for moms and kids?

We would love to hear if you feel the gym day care should be left to those running the treadmill (or conversely, if you think paying a gym membership fee covers it, hands-down.) Likewise, have you struggled to find fit and affordable care? Do you have a sneaky or innovative way to make sure the kids are tended to while you get your more serious work day tackled? Let us know in the comments!

Wanna Win? Just for sharing your perspective, we are giving one lucky 1099 Mom a $10 Sam’s Club / Walmart gift card. Use it to buy some office supplies or a bottle of wine – your choice! Sound off before September 30th to get your entry in. U.S. only, 18+ please.

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Thanks for Reading!

Linsey Knerl (the "1099 Mom") is a professional blogger, public speaker, consultant, and mom of 6!
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  1. There is a fine line for being over protective and under protective for a child's safety. As long as there is good feedback regarding a child-care institution, I would use it in a pinch.


  2. I am divided on this. Because the stores and the gym offer this as a courtesy to use the gym and shop at the store. I think that if a parent uses it sparingly for NOT doing those things it is ok. However, if a parent constantly uses these services then its not ok.

  3. I have on occasion dropped my kids off at the gym childcare to work on school work in the lobby. However it is a very rare occurrence. I do drop them off three to five times a week for 45 minutes to play while I work out though. I always tour any child supervision facilities before I begin using them to determine if I am comfortable with the accommodations, staff,etc.

  4. I think it's OK to use provided services if you are actually using the facility or shopping on the premises and you have checked out the facility. Taking advantage is wrong and will probably result in discontinuation of a service that many need.

  5. As long as you have checked the place out I think it is ok to use the services. I wouldn't abuse the service though as they may stop offering it.

  6. I never leave my kids with strangers. I honestly don't know how someone could do it in this day and age with so many crazy people floating about. I imagine these type of places are staffed by people with minimum childcare credentials and have a very high turnover, not exactly the quality of care I would want for my kids.

  7. I only think it's ok to use the child care services if you are using the gym/shopping. I think these moms should think about the long term effect of shuffling their kids around from "care-giver" to "care-giver"
    brittneydejajason at gmail dot com

  8. I can't leave my daughter with random people. How do you teach your child about strangers if no one is a stranger? I want my child watched by a licensed day-care provider that has references, experience, and the knowledge to provide my child with quality care, not just convenient care. I would like my child to know this person well enough to feel safe with them. That's the only way I'd feel safe leaving her.

  9. I don't think it is ok to use free child care services if you are not a customer of the business. I also think you should check out any child care facility. Might need to get creative to get your work done--special video/toy when you need to work, another trusted mother, relative or teenager to watch while you work. Work at night when in bed or when your spouse is home.
    slrdowney at hotmail dot com

  10. I don't really have any experience leaving my kids in daycare environments. I've been a stay at home Mom and only leave my children w/family members.

  11. This is pretty crazy! I can see multi-tasking a phone call and my grocery shopping but not using those services specifically to do my work... bad karma :(

  12. Wow. That's one way to get a break. I wouldn't mind leaving my kiddo in the daycare at the gym...while I worked out at the gym. Other than that I feel like you are taking advantage.
    b dot ringer at hotmail dot com

  13. I am a stay at home mom so i really do not know much about this

  14. I think a gym membership should cover the cost of daycare. Thats what a "membership" is all about.


  15. investigate first then maybe use the service. I'm okay with that

  16. I think using it once in awhile is fine but using it often is taking advantage of the service.

  17. Like many others, I think using the child care services is okay as long as you're actually patronizing the store or a member of the gym and you've done some background research to make sure the care providers are qualified and well-reviewed.

    gkaufmanss at yahoo dot com

  18. I wouldnt feel safe leaving my daughter somewhere that offered free daycare like at gyms.

    itsjustme62613 at gmail.com

  19. I usually don't go to the gym unless I know my hubby will be home to watch our little guy.

  20. I don't think a Mom should use random daycare situations because it can be scary for a child to go to new places and be around strangers

    s2s2 at comcast dot net

  21. I am struggling with trying to get the courage to leave my son at the gym day care (he just turned 4). His age is not the issue but their lack of security is. They have a huge binder where you have a page for your last name -you sign in every time you visit on that page and then the book is closed. There is not one way for the one person working the room to know what kids are in the room at any given time. I brought this to the attention of the owner yesterday offering an idea of having a separate sign in sheet that one fills out when they drop off and pick up. She did not want to have anything to do with it. There is no system to identify the children left in there and no locked doors. Everyone thinks that I'm crazy that I have these fears.

  22. Anonymous,

    You are right to be concerned. Our gym uses a similar system,except that you have to show an driver's license when picking up and dropping off. I think a wristband or some other method would be more secure! Thanks for your comment :)