Little Treasures - - CHILD­CARE CHOICES -


Jug­gling two school-age chil­dren, an en­er­getic tod­dler and a grow­ing busi­ness is no easy feat, so when Wanaka mum Emma Dixon found her­self in this sit­u­a­tion, she knew some­thing had to give. Her work as a beauty ther­a­pist and make-up artist for Beauty Bri­dal Lounge means wed­ding sea­son is non-stop, there’s plenty of late nights and she’s of­ten out and about with brides on week­ends. But as busi­ness boomed, Emma crashed. “I hit the wall with sheer ex­haus­tion,” she says. “I would work 9am-3pm, col­lect my youngest from day­care, then pick the girls up from their dif­fer­ent schools. Then I would take them all to their af­ter­school ac­tiv­i­ties, go home and cook din­ner, then do the house­work and a bit more work on the busi­ness at night. I soon re­alised that I just couldn’t do it all.” With her part­ner Jared run­ning his own build­ing com­pany, the cou­ple con­curred they needed ex­ter­nal help, so they ad­ver­tised on a com­mu­nity Face­book page. En­ter Abby Pater­son: a lo­cal snow­board­ing in­struc­tor-turned-nanny. They all met and clicked straight­away, and the cou­ple knew they’d found the right part-time carer for their kids Ella, 11, Sum­mer, eight, and Carter, two. Emma says the big­gest perk of hav­ing a nanny is that it has en­abled her to be more flex­i­ble with her work sched­ule – Abby is em­ployed for three hours per day, ei­ther in the morn­ing or af­ter­noon, on four days a week. As well as car­ing for the kids and fer­ry­ing them to and from school and their ex­tra-cur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties, Abby un­der­takes light house­work du­ties, bak­ing and meal prepa­ra­tion. “I was try­ing re­ally hard not to get help be­cause of the ad­di­tional cost but hon­estly it has saved me. Abby is amaz­ing,” she says. “Jared and I can ar­rive home and the kids are fed and the house is im­mac­u­late. I now feel like I have more time to en­joy my kids and fo­cus on be­ing a mum, rather than rush­ing around clean­ing the house, fig­ur­ing out what we’re hav­ing for din­ner.” Emma says it was im­por­tant for them to find a kind, car­ing, fun and or­gan­ised nanny, whom the kids would trust and feel com­fort­able with. Al­though Abby has only been with the fam­ily a cou­ple of months, the chil­dren have al­ready de­vel­oped a strong bond with her. The by-prod­uct of hav­ing less-fraz­zled par­ents has also been wel­comed by the kids.

Emma, Jared, Ella, Sum­mer and Carter.

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