We have talked a lot about my 5x5 rule - to always have 5 friends and 5 types of sitters on hand especially as a working momma. One of my archetypes of sitters is to have a baby sitting service. If you have not tried one before, or maybe have always relied on family or friends' referrals, you are lucky but missing out! I've found as someone whose family is far away, especially when we moved to a new neighborhood, that a baby-sitting service can be a lifesaver - particularly when they also do house siting, hotel sitting, group sitting, pet sitting and plant sitting! One of my must have resources, that you can also find on my Momma Resources Page, is Time Out Sitters.
Time Out Sitter's mission is simple: "As moms, we understand. We too feel the need for a night out, as well as the stress of finding affordable and available sitters. That’s why we created the service we wish we'd had...
One of the hardest things about transitioning back to work after my maternity leave was finding childcare. Every family is different, and Austin in particular has a variety of options. When I was looking into childcare, I found Moms Day Out Programs, Daycare Programs, Nannies, Sitters, Back Up Care and Au Pair Agencies. I was overwhelmed but did my research on costs, location, pros/cons, and what would work best for our family right now.
I've recently learned a lot more about the au pair program in Austin; I actually grew up with a few au pairs overseas and am eager to share this program and childcare option with other families. In full disclosure, we choose to have a nanny then go down the daycare route as we don't really have the space at home to host another family member, like an au pair, but it's definitely an option our family has considered longer term.