My related recommendation about staying one step ahead has to do with childcare. If you plan to use childcare at any point before your child enters the formal school system, I recommend that you start touring facilities when you're pregnant. First, you might have to get your child on a waiting list sooner rather than later, and secondly, it's a lot easier to do a tour without having to secure a babysitter for your baby (since some places ask for you to leave the baby at home).
I have been having a heck of a time trying to find childcare. At first, I thought I would stay home with Henry for the first three years of his life until he started school in pre-K3 (relying on some kind of informal childcare exchange to free up some time for me to go to meetings for Montessori For All). I put him on a waiting list for a Montessori school in Austin when he was about six weeks-old.
However, once I learned that Montessorians recommend placing children in community around one year-old (and I started a part-time job working for a new charter school in Austin and I started to get stir-crazy at home), I began exploring childcare options. I found a former Montessori teacher who does Montessori in her home (and she lives within walking distance of our rental house!) but she's suddenly full. She might start to be able to fit Henry in two days a week on Tuesday and Wednesday, starting at the beginning of March.
Since I'll need to work 20 hours a week at my part-time job and do my own work for starting Magnolia Montessori For All, I'm going to need more than two days a week. Finding an amazing facility on short-notice is not easy. Seriously, every reputable Montessori daycare I call is full. I found one that had a spot open, but I didn't feel comfortable when we toured there.
At this point, we seem to have only one other option. A new daycare just opened in North Austin, which touts being "eco-friendly" and they mention the word Montessori in their brochure (thanks for sending me the link, Kelly!). Since Henry is going to start real Montessori school this fall, I'm less worried about the Montessori piece (although it still matters to me). The downside of our one remaining option is that it is far from our house in South Austin. However, it is right by my work (although some days I won't be going to that job, I'll be doing stuff for Magnolia Montessori For All).
As Facebook says, "It's complicated."
Anyway, my recommendation is to start touring and getting your name on waiting lists when you're pregnant!
Today on 2000 Dollar Wedding: A delicious recipe for creamy tomato soup!