One mom’s determination and resourcefulness give new meaning to Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.
So I’m in beautiful Park City, UT on what will probably be my only chance to snowboard with my husband on the great Western U.S. mountains this year. We were spoiled when we lived on the West Coast. Park City, Breckenridge, Tahoe … even Whistler was just a hop-skip-and-a-jump from our LA home. Now that I live on the East Coast, it’s a major trek, especially with the family, to those snow-kissed gems.
Daycare can’t guarantee to take our son because they’re having trouble getting staff to work
We have everything planned: my daughter and her friend (my best friend’s daughter) are set for ski school, my 19 month-old is headed to daycare and we’re in powder-bliss up to our knees all day long. It has been snowing here like crazy with 62″ this week and a blessed 16″ of new snow overnight. THEN WE GET A LITTLE CURVEBALL! Daycare can’t guarantee to take our son because they’re having trouble getting staff to work because of the snow conditions on the road. My husband starts getting REALLY frustrated since it’s still snowing, we’re sitting on paid lift tickets and he envisions us sitting in our room all day. I, however, get into Mommy-MacGyver Mode. I CAN fix this.
I first call down to the concierge and she gives me the number for a babysitting service. I leave an ‘urgent’ message at 9:20 and they don’t get around to returning my call until 12 pm and the message was they they couldn’t find anyone for me. Never calling them again. Not because they couldn’t find anyone but because NO ONE returned my call to even let me know if they got the message.
I get online with sittercity.com but quite frankly, they should have a one-time ’emergency’ free usage policy so you can see if it works for you. i am not about to sign up for a monthly or annual membership just to try this out one time. If they had the one-time emergency option, I would have probably told a gazillion people about the site. As i look at my computer, seeing there are about 16 babysitter profiles of babysitters who live in Park City, who i can’t ge to, I see a reference to a site called skitownsitters.com run by Megan Bohlander.
I quickly went to http://www.skitownsitters.com and called and emailed them. Not only did Megan return my call right away, but she agreed to do the job herself and told me she could come over in 20 minutes!!! Well, of course, my general aura and angelic halo was effervescent in my husband’s eyes and I was just psyched that our problem was solved and we would be up on the mountain within the hour.
Megan was fantastic and told me that she has just started her business in the area and hopes to build it in Utah first with all the amazing resorts and then go national. All of her sitters have thorough background checks, are certified in first aid and CPR and have at least 3 references so you can feel assured that you’re not leaving your child some random person. They babysit in the rooms or condos/homes but don’t have liability insurance to drive with the children or anything like that. Pricing was a little on the high end ($22/hour for 1 child up to $26/hr for 3 kids) but it was money well spent and just slightly higher than putting my son in hotel daycare anyway.
The funny thing that happened was that when Megan arrived, the daycare finally called back and said they could take my son. We thanked them and told them we had other arrangements. I told Megan that I’d rather give her my business anyway because she was quick, courteous, prompt and professional plus she was a real sweetie too and my son had a fun day with her.
All in all, it worked out (almost) perfectly and we had a great day on the mountain. Kids are set for ski school and daycare tomorrow so off we go for a few more days of shredding!
Barbara Jones, Founder of OnetoOneNetwork.com and mother of 3, is an avid snowboarder.