Season 3 Episode 22: The Mother of Necessity: Creating a Nanny Consulting Business during COVID with Shannon Parola

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Parenting is not a walk in the park. 

This is why nannies and childcare services come in handy and our podcast guest this week is an expert in this field. 

Find out how Shannon Parola built her nanny consulting business and how it can help families with young children.

2:29 Shannon’s story and how she transitioned her business

10:08 the lowdown on the nanny consulting business

41:42 when do people should start looking for Shannon’s services 

More Shannon:

https://www.theviparolaz.com/

What's the worst day you ever had in your business? I can name a few. It was a five time award winning entrepreneur who burned out because I couldn't give up control of anything in my business. Whether it was because I thought I could do it faster or because I thought I couldn't afford it, I just refused to let anybody else. And consequently, the business turned from a dream goal into a job I hated, and I didn't know what to do anymore. In 2015, I closed my business, walked away and started a whole new life. But I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up. And I realized that what I really love to do is marketing. I love to talk about marketing and create marketing and teach other people how to create value based marketing initiatives that talk to their customers. I've done it for corporations, for entrepreneurs like you, bloggers and everybody in between. I'm here to help you create your dream empire that gives you the freedom that creates your life the way you want to do it. My name is Megan Brame. This is stop sucking your business. Let's go. 

Hey guys. Megan here. Thank you so much for joining me today. I am really excited to give you this interview. I'm here with Shannon Parola. Shannon is a career nanny, sleep consultant and family manager in the Silicon Valley. She's been doing this for 15 years, over 15 years, and now she is world renowned. I'm calling it saying your world renowned parenting coach, and she is here. I'm so excited to talk to everybody. Toe have everybody here your story because this is a very cool story. So thank you so much for being here. 

Oh, my gosh. Thank you Megan, for having me. I'm glad to be here and get some time away to talk to a grown adult. You know, covid it. You're only stuck with my husband, my daughter and I love them both, but it's nice to talk to other people who are, you know, grown ups like I do all the rest of my calls with the other parents. It's nice. I'm like, Oh, I get to connect. Social media can only get you so far. Well, I mean, physically, we're adults. Mentally, it's hit or miss, you know? Yeah, that is true. Parenting does weird things to your brain. Deprivation can make you a little wonky. Just a smidge. It's but it's fine. It's Yes, it's all natural. It's all natural. 

So Let's start Nanny. We started Nanny, right? 

Yes. 

Okay, So let's start. Let's start there and talk about the transition into, like, powerhouse consultant, coach Superstar. 

So when my mom grew up, she had cancer. So I was always taking care of my brothers, and I've kind of always been that helper. And then I come from a big family. So started babysitting cousins, and then it was neighbors down the street. And then, you know, as soon as you know I could drive, it was like I had my weekend's booked out because I also wanted to make money because at that point, I'm a kid. I'm thinking, I'm making bank. Let's do this, little did I know. I just really enjoyed it. I liked hanging out with the kids. I liked having those interactions because a lot of the kids I was watching were kids that I knew were their brother or sister. So we had grown up together or I knew them on a personal level, it wasn't like I was out doing random kids to know at that point. Once I hit college, I was going to get my goal was to get my doctor in physical therapy, and I wanted to work in pediatrics. I knew I wanted to work with kids, but San Jose State was going through. This is the time of the budgets where everything was tight, classes were getting canceled. So I had weird openings and pockets like my schedule was just ridiculous. And nobody would hire me because, honestly, when you're on a college schedule, it changes every what for four months, and then you get a whole new set of rules to live, like nobody went on hiring. So I was like, Okay, I'll work for Nanny, go back to doing what I'm good at being nanny, And I started with a few families and kind of snowballed from there, you know, my big step was I started working with police officers in my area who needed night. They were working nights or, you know, were sleeping during the day. They needed someone to pick up the kid, and it just worked with my schedule and when you're trusted within the first responder family you get, You know, everybody was ok. I'll use you. So I started getting books that way, exactly and then, in 2013, I got really, really sick. We found out I had celiac disease. I ended up in ICu for 30 days. Found out which families had my back in which families did not have my back. You know, just life left messes in general, but it kinda ultimately made that decision. Okay, I can't continuous school. I need to get better. I can't really work a regular 9 to 5 job and be in the office. All the families still really enjoyed having me. We're flexible with me staying, calling and going just today is not a good day. I'm not feeling really well. It's not safe for me to drive or, you know, I am just not having a good day. And they would understand Not a lot of jobs have flexibility. I was still living at home, so I wasn't really worried about that financial aspect of you know. You know having a roof over my head. Thank God. so I was just really focused on getting better and kind of the kids became my therapy. It was nice to go out and have that interaction and play with them. And I kind of made that decision from that point on in 2013. Okay My Nanning is my career. Like I love I love child care. I love doing this. So then it was okay. What training can I do? How many training sessions? Can I rack up like that? That's my mentality. What can I learn? What can I add to my roster? I'm a firm believer. That nanny should have a bag like Mary Poppins. You should be able to pull out different play methods. Parenting style sleep techniques like you shouldn't just have one method. You should pull out everything and so I did every parenting class technique, every discipline, every sleep consulting, you know, program you could go through. I did it, newborn care specialist. Night nursing. I took it all. I did it all of a self defense. Gun safety. I mean, like anything. And here's the thing. A lot of the parents were willing to pay for it because I was bettering myself. So it was like, you know, parents were requesting it if they're going to pay for it. True. What? Why not? so In a span of 2013 to 2000 and 18, I just wrapped up all the certifications and learning I could do. And during this kind of period, we know, I married my husband, and we've been together 15 years, we found, you know, we weren't expecting to get pregnant. We were told that that wasn't a possibility. So to find out we were pregnant with my daughter, Marvel was just like, okay. Pivot. Okay. Pivot. I thought I was just gonna be the nanny forever and just take care. That was how I was gonna get my kid fixed. And I was perfectly okay with that. I had made peace, but now I get to have my own, which is even better, so to that point I had a very large large catalog of parents who needed me who were consulting with me on the basis of emailing me. Shannon, what do I do to fix this? Can you watch the kids? It wasn't just Nanning anymore. It was coaching and consulting. and I got pregnant. And once again, life moment, you learn who a lot of people are, some people took it as it was extremely inconvenient for them that I was pregnant. Sorry. Other people were so excited and thrilled for us. And we're just like Shannon. You can come back with the baby and, like that thought in my head, hadn't even liked me. Hadn't even thought I hadn't even got to that part because I was still processing the fact that I'm pregnant. I'm sicker than a dog. But I'm pregnant because I had extreme morning sickness on top of that so I had to have a lot of families who are flexible to that aspect and have kids who were okay with their nanny being, you know? Okay, one minute in the next minute in the sink, You know, not having a good day, as we would say. Lots of I remember my sweet little boys. They're five and six and I remember getting sick one day, and thankfully there Mom was pregnant at the same time. So they This was a common occurrence in their house. And I remember one of them, as I'm leaning over the sink, is patting the back of my leg going. It's ok, Miss Shannon. It's okay. I'll get you some water and you'll feel better. And I just go, My God, I bless your little hearts. I love you. Do you know you're taking care of me too? So we went with the plan of going on maternity leave a month before my daughter arrived and I had the plan of Okay, this is September. My daughter was born in October. Don't contact me until January. Like, leave me be. Let me let me enjoy my first few months with my daughter. Come back in January and we'll talk. Thank God I made that plan. It didn't make promises because I had a very rough birth with her and ended up breaking my tailbone tailbone. So it took a lot longer for me to get back up to speed, let alone just the transition to motherhood and being a mom and having the newborn, that alone is the whole, you know, experience in itself. So once I started to get better, I think I started. We started making plans about February March with some families that I had worked with before to bring Marvel in and then coveted we were okay, So All right. We're in the bay area. We didn't just get sort of like, Oh, you should stay inside. It was no, You're staying inside everything. Shut down. Don't ball. Father Going out on bond. Parents panicked. I mean, just full blown panic. Within 48 hours, I had emails coming out of places. I didn't know I had emails coming out of or places I could have emails. You know, people were calling me texting me numbers. I didn't know what to do. What do I do? You know? So that started the consulting business. It was like Okay, well, I'm not going back to work. Meaning because that was my husband was, like, absolutely not like, you're not You're not going out. You're not taking my baby out like and that was the other discussion of like, Okay, well, I could still go out and work, and then the realization to him Well, no, wait. I have to work to take care of the baby, things are not gonna work, so you know, just like every parent in, you know, with covid. Just the realization of figuring out child care. What the hell are you gonna do? Every situation is unique and different. No family is the same, And. That's why I say it just comes down to knowing all your different options and what's available. Because in certain areas, certain options are available or different on board. It's been a wild ride like t his year's husband. Just a wild ride from January to. You know, we're in the beginning of November right now. I started off this year like, Okay, we're going to go back to work. And I started a whole business and the stand of this year, like, Okay, there we go. Right. Step two, exactly. 

Well, I love that and you know, we were talking before we started recording about where we wanted to go with this. And I love that. I mean, you are the quintessential necessity. Is the mother of invention, right? Like, Okay, I can't do nanny ing right now because I'm going to be around Children and like and my own daughter. And no infections, no infections. But, you know, we still have to pay the exorbitant San Francisco rent. So how the fuck are we going to do that 

Exactly? Oh, yeah. Oh, my God. Yeah, No, Thankfully. And I'm blessed. And, you know, we're very grateful. We're happy we're healthy. My husband's job, He easily transitioned home eso we have that aspect, but you know, Yeah. Either way, you still have to hustle to pay for a child who goes quickly from formula to solid foods and a human dumpster, you know, you still get a diaper from him and the clothes grow out of them really fast. You know, that's the one thing I always tell parents, you know, they're like, Oh, what should you anticipate? The finance? Like I know it's not talked about enough, But that's the number. One thing most parents argue about that first year is you know, they weren't expecting these X Y costs. And then the biggest one is when I have a one on one is Well, I wasn't expecting it to cost that much Childcare, like nobody realized it because everyone waits to the minute they need it to. Look at it when they should have been looking at it six months ago or, you know, a couple of months going. Yes, certain situations arise. Like with the covid in certain families who didn't have a nanny before. We're in the daycare needed by a nanny immediately. Especially our nurses, a lot of our first responders, those people who were dependent, who had a solid daycare system or ah, family system to a lot of people who were depending on Grandma, Grandpa, aunts, uncles. When we got shut off a lot of our you know, we cut off those people for a few months. Those families are now starting to hook up to do pods and whatnot. But a lot of people were going Holy fuck, what do we do? And that's where you came in, like why I love what I do. But it's also sad at some points because, like we were talking before, you get to have some of these conversations with parents who have the sobering realization that either they can't afford the childcare at all. which is just a shocking realization of okay, like. Okay, what do I do now? What? What other resource is Can I look at or they can't afford the childcare that they want. Like, they'll be like, Oh, I wanna nanny. And I wanna at this price and I just looking on my go. I'm not trying to laugh, but that's not gonna happen. That's, you know, daycare rate or in home care rate. That's not you're not. This is what the area rate is going for right now. And you know, a lot of them need 40 hours a week, which then you've got to do the taxes and payroll and make sure everything's done correctly. Have a contract set up, have holidays, vacation benefits, these are, all things nannies they're looking for. And frankly, nannies kind of have the upper hand in this situation. You know, there's a huge demand for nannies and not enough really awesome. There are a lot of awesome qualified nannies out there, but they're getting to choose which family has the best situation for them. They're going to get they're going to get that nanny on. Do you have to be fast? That's what I'm telling a lot of parents right now, like situations, air changing on the day and nannies air posting. And within 24 hours, they've got another job lined up.

Wow. Fantastic for them. I mean, just Wow. 

Right here. No, but if you're not as a parent, that's it can be discouraging because it's like, Well, I don't have time to sit on Facebook all day and read all the posts like I've got a kid to take care of, and I understand that aspect. And so then you have to look at Okay, well, is it worth now paying for an agency, which is a whole nother conversation. Do you want to just pay somebody to deal with the whole aspect of finding you a nanny, which which is great, but it's not cheap. You know, there's a lot of being I tell a lot of nannies who are becoming moms. It's you eat a lot of humble pie that first year, You you have a lot of sobering realizations of holy crap. My mom boss was right. Yeah, she didn't mean it that, you know, I took it one way, but really, she meant it in this way. I just was not seeing in all the perspective. So I just, uh every situation is different in I hate a lot of humble pie. A lot of humble pie that first year. 

Let's talk about when you decided that. Okay? I'm seeing enough of a need to become a consultant in this industry, what kind of plan did you start forming? Like what? What was your plan of attack for? Like Okay, I'm gonna really I'm gonna go hard at this and give it a shot.  

My husband yelling at me in the nicest way possible, and I am one of those people that go gung ho. I will keep helping to the detriment of myself. I am just one of those That is the kind of person I am. And so the reason why me and my husband's relationship works out so well is he's my person who will be the grown up in the relationship and go, stop, Go lay down or stop. You need to get off the I'm a workaholic. I love when I finally get work time. I love to work, but I don't get that time very much because I'm usually taking care of our daughter 95% of the time. So that 5% I go hard working, but he basically, you know, it was a lot of answering emails and taking calls and not charging, you know, and being that person that everybody was bouncing off and starting to get more and more clients and those that's great until it's affecting your household. And, you know, at what point do you need to make a game plan to make this work? And that's how that's where it was like. Okay, something has to change. So that's when I was like, Okay, I'm going to start. You already had a base with our blogged for my husband's funk. Oh, collection. And I was already kind of writing about childcare on our block and parenting so I used that as a platform for uh huh. Excuse me. Got a tickle in my throat. That was not pleasant. Uh, so I already had a base with my husband. You know, my husband and I are on a family website, so I basically just added the coaching package onto that. So I already kind of had a platform. I started telling clients, Okay, book through here. I had certain hours and okay, this is the package. And I had always had, you know, a free 30 minute console. So you want to come and pick my brain because that's a lot of parents just needed reassurance. I'm going in the right direction or I have this question. But if I ask it on the mom board, I'm considered, you know, like they get eaten alive. so It was, ah, a lot of just trying to organize. How do I get, you know, how do I interact with people without being completely bombarded? And That's basically how it was. I was just from the time I left on maternity leave, my email was just piling and piling, piling up, and that's how people were getting a hold of me because I wasn't answering the phone like I made a hard like decision with myself. I am not answering the phone unless it's a happy text message, like checking in with me and asking how the baby's doing like I'm not answering any of your child care questions. But then, in January. I really didn't have an excuse. It was like, ok, well, I've got to do something. Okay. March. Okay. Now, I've really, really got to do something, because now it's getting out of control. And by April, it was like, Okay, websites up. Boom. Let's start cycling through these, you know, the clients who have been working for a long time, they usually just needed directions from Okay. What's safe with it was a lot of covid questions. No. What's a safe option? What do you think? A lot of them. A lot of parents have to add nanny co vid clauses onto their contract, which is something a lot of people who weren't thinking about. You know how what happens if one of us gets covid it do we have to pay for her time? You know, all of these questions start rising that haven't ever been discussed or thought about. And there were a lot of nannies who got completely caught off guard because they didn't have contracts, they didn't have anything. And here's the other thing. If you don't have a contract, your employer can tell you today. Goodbye, right? You know, like if you don't have anything written out, there's no job security. There's no okay, we're paying you out. You know, there is nothing. And that was also a new factor going into Covid It a lot of these families wanted to put in terms, you know, immediate termination. You know, if the situation changed, if the kids got to go back to school, I had one nanny who left her long term family for a another client who is going to pay more and 60 days later turned around and said, We're going to move to Idaho because the kids can go to or we're going to our vacation home in Idaho so that we can get the kids to go to school full time and we can work at home. We won't need your services anymore. And by that time her old family had moved on and found a new nanny. They didn't want her anymore. So now she's back on the job market trying to find something, you know, jumping the gun because a lot of people like, Oh, the situation is going to stay, you know, nannies are you know, I have no idea, but it's just Idahoans.

Who goes there for vacation? 

But it makes sense. I mean, if your escape, if you are. If you have kids who are in school and that's an option for you, I mean that financially. Think about it. You're not paying for a nanny at all anymore. The kids were back to regular, you know, scheduled programming. Except I've got to go pick up the kids now and deal with them from after school. You know, A lot of families were willing to take that if it meant some sense of normalcy again. But the reality is not everyone has that luxury, And Mhm. I just find it kind of sad because there's a lot of families. Who, Yes, this whole covid situation is working out great for them. I'm not saying everything is Sunshine and Roses, to. Education system of our poor teachers air. Just overworked parents are. Yeah, Like I said, it still takes somebody to sit there with the kid in front of the computer. And not every parent working has that ability. Not that not every family can afford a nanny to come in and sit there with their kid or have grandma and Grandpa come over just like I say, every city, every family is so different. 

There's no winners. 

No but the goal is that you just want to find something that works for your family. And if anybody shames you or give you shit for it, just turn around and tell them to blow off. Because here's the thing. We're all just trying to survive, right? We're all just trying to survive this. Yes, I hope. I hope everything kind of semi goes back to normal. 

Hey guys, Megan here just to remind her I have regular Q and A episodes coming out. So if you want your questions answered, head to Meganbrame.com/Ask a question on Woodward and you'll be able to get your question posted, and if I feature it, you will get a copy. A free copy of my book Day one and Practical Guide to Launching Your Business. So again, head to megan brame.com/Ask the question, and if your question gets featured, I'm sending you a free copy of my book as a thank you.

But we have to adjust properly, and right now what it takes is what makes each family work. What works for your family may work differently from what my family works differently from the neighbor down the hall. Who has the baby the same age everybody's. Everybody's gonna make it work somehow differently within their family unit or their pod, as everybody is calling it right now. You know? Who are you letting in your family? If you said, you know, five, 56 months ago, it was just me and my husband and my daughter. Now we've expanded it out a little bit, you know, and that only took time. But we're all still super cautious and everybody, That's I think, the biggest thing that parents are having a hard time with is trusting another human being too, you know, hold up to these, you know, standards. They aren't out partying, you know, they are saying that, you know, anybody can sit here in front of you and say I'm wearing a mask and I'm doing everything and then they turn around and then they're on Instagram 15 minutes later, doing the complete opposite. Right? Right. So they're having a hard time trusting. And now you have a lot of parents who are doing nanny shares, Which means, you know, now you're not only just trusting a nanny, you're trusting a nanny and another family. 

Oh, my God or tentacles. 

Exactly so. But I see a lot of families who are doing where it's like cousins or the neighborhood kids. They've already been playing together for the last, you know, a few months anyway, so they now kind of just made it. Okay, Well, you guys are all the school together anyway, because you're in the same district and on the same, You know? Why make it easy and hire one person to watch all of y'all while we adults get some work done? it's just but once again, not not. That's not available for everybody. Right? 

Well, going back to the business aspect of this. So what I find so interesting is that you have this built in customer base of just stressed people, both Chinese and parents, but when you are thinking about Okay, I'm gonna dedicate a lot of time towards doing this, what did you think about when it came to, like, new customer acquisition and marketing and things like that. Like I see you on instagram a lot, so I know that, like, that's one of your pillars. But what was your thought process behind, like the marketing of your services? 

So I tended to just go where I had already had a word of mouth. So, like my local mom sports, I didn't realize this as a nanny. But moms talk, they talk a lot. so Then you go on the mom sport as a mom and realized, I was talked a lot positively as a nanny, like I was being recommended among moms and they couldn't get, you know, like I you know, a lot of them were saying, Oh, she's not taking clients or anything like that right now. But it was nice to see that I had a report with others, you know? So I started. They started in the nanny group, saying, you know, like, Hey look covid, it sucks. But this is what I'm doing. Do you need help and just started? You know that aspect with just different boards. I started doing a lot more on Instagram. Our instagram was basically basically toys up until our daughter arrived. And then it became our daughter, my daughter and parents. And so now it's toys, parenting and my daughter but it was more commenting on social media posts and interacting with other nannies and just talk, you know, building other friendships, doing lives with other nannies, uh, talking to other parents who may have different, you know, aspects to this whole thing, seeing the different situations that were happening for different families and then also finding out that different is different. Like I said earlier, different places, certain things didn't apply. Like I'm like, Oh, I didn't know that in New York. It's similar to Santa, you know, to San Francisco. But you know, in Kansas, they have these options, you know, they have overnight daycare and all these kinds of things. I'm like they don't have that here. You know, nannies are like they have that. I'm like, No, no, no, that's not even an option here. But now that's good to know information. You know, you know that if I get a client and you know, I now have to have a location bar. And you know when you book with me, Because Okay, I wanna make sure that I'm looking into your area that I know you know, the rate that Viennese are going in daycares going and you know that Oh, they do have overnight care or this type of care is available and keeping up with the you know, every state has different laws on what's going on do to covid. So it's finding out, you know, certain certain counties don't have daycare open unless your first essential workers still or they're only taking certain clients and then in certain counties, it's, you know, everything's back to normal, so it just depends. Everybody wants something different. And I was just adjusting to that and finding all the different situations. That's what's made me more. Merkaba was just okay. Now I was in San Jose in Silicon Valley, And now okay, branching out. Okay, now California. Okay, now I'm looking at, you know, nannies across the United States. And now I've done, you know, I've done lives with Manny Schaars and she is over in the UK, so it's just, you know, going internationally and learning. You know how things are different, how things are similar because it's not just like the U.S. is dealing with covid. Everyone's dealing with covid. 

Interesting and I love that I love again like you had this building customer base. But I love that you're still like, I'm going out and I'm engaging and I am learning and I am finding and I am still going to grow. I mean, I feel like that's so critical, especially once again, like what's in my head is like, Once again, you have to deal with such stressed out people. And so I think that you selling peace of mind is I mean, I know a lot of people do that, but the niche that you're in just like it's ok, we'll figure it out. I think that that has to be such a relief to your clients. 

It's a relief also to me like it's once again I'm back to helping them. You know, I've worked with so many different clients. I've worked with high end clients who have two or three nannies rotating through the batch. I've worked in a family where they were literally working their butts off to afford me and to be able to put food on the table because this is what they want for their kids. And, you know, I appreciate every single walk of life because at the end of the day, those one either the kids always appreciate me, which is I love that aspect of it at end of They always know that I care about them and that at most I know a few of them probably hate me for some of the things I've made them do whether it was eating their broccoli or making them wear pants outside. Uh uh huh. But they care, but a good 95% of my, you know, parents have respect and appreciated what I've given them, whether that was peace of mind, knowing that their kids were taking care of all that they were at work or the parents who couldn't make the baseball game but knew that I was there and rooting for the kids or the school activities because I had a lot of police officer families where they, you know, couldn't make the kid's school function and they felt bad. Shannon, can we pay? I'm like, No, you're not even gonna pay me. I'm going. I'm going to the ice cream social. 

Let's do this because one of the gifts of Jason Momoa opening up the camping chair, you know? 

Well and that's the fun part was I would start with, you know, I would go to the kids function and then Okay, now their whole class knows who I am, which was always Oh! Oh, that's our nanny. Shani on Ben. My, my love, my family. Shani! Shani. Super. No! Shani. Nanny of the Supernanny. There you go. Wow. Been a while since I've said that. Probably a whole year. That was a mouthful. 

That's amazing. 

But they know, they appreciate what I've done. We've made memories, you know, I've had families that have been with me for a decade, and I've watched their kids. Now they see me with a kid. It's like the circle of life, you know, like I love it, you know, And and then there have been some families where, you know, I've lost contact with them, but there are situations. I find myself with either my daughter or in just life, like I'll be going around somewhere and I'll be reminded of them. And I think, Oh, I hope they're ok. I hope life is good for them, I hope, you know. And for me, uh, there was a good chunk of my time spent with special needs families. So I think a lot about those kids now, like, I hope that they have achieved the next milestone. I hope that they're doing well in school, now as a mom, the fields get me a little bit more on those kinds of subjects. 

I can imagine. Especially in this line where you have such a connection with your clients, whether it's consulting or just nanny ing. I mean, you're you're such a critical part of their daily life. 

You are but also as the nanny, you have to kind of step back and realize that they aren't yours because sometimes we get so wrapped up in, especially with families we've been for a long time or you know, the kids were growing. We started with them. When they're babies. Now it's a whole new ballgame. As you know, an elementary school or a teenager even, we feel like all their decisions are waiting on us, and we have to step back and go. Okay this is not on me, because at the end of the day, I have to walk away. I'm not with, I'm not with them. 24 7 70 cases for them to do that or you know, a lot of it before I had Marvel. Okay, I'm not going to do that as a parent and there was a lot of that, but also then once I had the marvel of Oh, that's what they were talking about, okay. I get it now. So that's why I like there's a big thing right now about the phrase that moms used to Danny's, you know? Oh, you'll understand when you have kids of your own. And yes, sometimes it can be used as a defensive mechanism. But now, as a mom, I realized it was just That's just not gonna work right now. That's just I love you. But that's not gonna work right now. And that's the nicest way I can say this right now. Because I became that. You know, I was that nanny who, You know, the mom would call, and I'd be like, What do you need? You know, I'm not not on call. The baby will not go to sleep. I'm losing my mind. I'm like she like she be in tears and of course. Okay, I'm getting the car. I'll be right over. Don't worry. Get over there. I'd have the baby, not 10 minutes. Baby, be asleep. I put her down and you know, and this is once again don't have a child of my own, you know? Kind of go. Oh, you're supposed to do X, Y and Z. It's okay. Like it Z, this is what you're supposed to do you can do it. And then I became that mom e became that I became that mom going. I have 15 years of trading. I am trading how many sleep consulting ways and trading ways. And my own child will not follow any of them and then once again. But then, as a mom, I was like ok, researching new people, learning people, bringing in new knowledge, and now I'm like, Okay, well, now I have a new view on this. I have a different view on how this works because now, seeing both sides of the coin , you, that seems like a right idea and Anne. But there are other ways, too. It's been a learning experience, and that's what I kind of enjoyed the most is that I'm always a learner. I guess that's my thing. 

It's not a bad thing to be. 

No. 

Where do you see it going for 2021 league? What's your plan?

Just helping more parents, I think, as you know, a lot of parents, especially in our area, are waiting to see what the school district's decide in January. Uh, they're trying to wait out this holiday season to see if it spikes again. If you know, some districts have started to do hybrid, where some of the kids are in some of them out times only going to tell me I can only, you know, I help parents as they come. I think I got a huge influx because of covid. I think things they're just going to kind of be at a steady right now where nannies are, we're going to kind of be at a limited quantity on dpoint. They're just going to need some tough love and realization of realistic expectations of Hey, this is what the childcare landscapes, you know, looks like, I am really, honestly hoping at some point we just have a discussion that the child care system and the education system are really, really messed up. And they need a recall. They need a massive overhaul, our kids' future. We always say that where, I mean, that's what we've always said, our kids are our future. Put your money where your mouth is The first five, the You know, your first years of education. You know, at preschool we've lost a lot of daycares that we're teaching a lot of these kids whose parents couldn't afford a formal pre K program or preschool, you know, the daycares were supplementing it, child care. Like I say, if childcare is costing us rent, there's something wrong with that. Like you're basically telling moms that you can either stay at home or you can work to have somebody else take care of your kid. And the sad part is a lot of moms. They're having to make that decision. Okay, well, it's either my career or my kids. What? Like I'm sorry, but that is the shittiest decision to have to make as a mom.

Because you don't win either way.

No either way, you go to bed at night with it eating away at you because you're just trying your best. And especially in areas where I like where I live. It's not like it's, you know, it's back in the eighties where one person's, you know, wages. Could I do a whole house? Yeah, it takes two to tango and to even afford rent, let alone mortgage and put a down payment on a house and everything else, I just I really hope at some point, we just have a discussion of like, Okay, we need to overhaul the child care system. Whether that's a national registry of nannies who is a legitimate and who is not, you know, that have been, you know, fingerprinted, background, checked, have a system like that, we support our daycare systems or first five programs that employers also acknowledged, especially if we're going to be going remote that kids are going to be in our house. They have to be flexible with this work time. We're talking about this earlier. We flip flop me and my husband, we take turns. He gets solid work, you know, a solid block of hours. I get a solid block of ours. He gets a solid block of ours. And after the baby goes to bed, you know, then we're back at working. It's you know, unfortunately, now, with covid, there is no work home separation, we just have We have to make it work and what works for our family. 

Well, and I guess going along those lines, figuring out what's working for your family or what isn't. When do you recommend people start coming to you? What do you love for them to be, like, prepared with? 

So if you're coming to me, you wanna at least know what you are looking for? What is a general kind of idea? Are you looking part time? Full time? Are you open to daycares? What's your budget is the most important thing is to have that discussion with your partner. Okay? What can we afford on the high end? What's on the low end? What is hard to do? You know what are non negotiables? What do we not want for our kids? What do we want for our kids? Because that's gonna help. You kind of figure out first off what those options they're going to cost and if you're gonna be able to afford them. And that's really your hard reality is a lot of these parents are realizing that the budget that they have either barely covers the option. It's gonna be harder for them to, you know, they're on the low end of the pay scale for a nanny. And I said, Okay, it's gonna be a little bit. You're not going to get somebody with 10 plus years experience. You're gonna end up with someone with a little bit less experience. If you're okay with that, then there you go. Your problem is solved. But at the end of the day, that's up to you, just like I said, knowing what you want comes early, I understand that situations arise and that, like, oh, our whole entire situation has changed. This is you know, our nanny left or you know, blah, blah, blah, blah. That's fine. But the earlier you come, especially if you are a new mom and you know you're gonna have to go back to work. Don't wait until the month. Still, don't wait until you get yourself at least 90 to 60 days out. Start looking and get contracts signed. Because here's the other thing. There's a lot of nannies who are signing contracts and then not showing up the first day. And you don't want to be that mom who is first day back to work. And my nanny didn't even show up. And now I'm back at Square one. I cannot imagine. I've This has happened to moms, and that's unfortunately what's happened, you know, this was covid in. When they do the interview, everything seems kosher. And then it comes day to show up, and no show, that's why I tell parents Do the trial days where you're not, you know, you're working from home. Still, you know, luckily, most parents are working from home, so a lot of them are not exiting the building. but for those parents who are exiting the building, I always say do a trial day or two at home, whether you're whether it's running errands in and out of the house or just being at the house. Do you know, cleaning up the house and doing stuff so that at least you're there and you can acknowledge that that person is going to show up and start building that trust because that's I mean, that's how we would do things regularly if covid wasn't is, always do a trial. I know some families aren't comfortable with that, but at the end of the day, if you're gonna let them in your house to have them permanently there every day, you might as well just do a try, allow and and get to know these people and you know, see if it works out. You always want to be with a person who you feel comfortable with leaving them with your baby. There was a stark realization a couple weeks after having marveled, and I like calling one of my mom bosses. I texted, I go, You gave me your most prized possession. How did you do this? Why did you do it? And she goes. He's a little snot right now and I said, I know, I know he's a teenager. Just did not But you you let me watch him. You trusted me. Let me drive him around. Like, how did you do that? She goes, You walked in, you were organized. You knew what you were doing. You were prepared. And she goes, I just knew. And my mom gut, which is a big thing. I tell moms, Follow your mom. Got it. Will not scare you. Wrong, she goes I just knew I had to give you, you know, I give you a chance and she goes, It was the best decision she made, and she was sitting there with my daughter 10 years later after hiring, so go early. Know what you want. Don't be afraid to ask questions. I have a lot of parents who feel like, this is a stupid question. And I'm like, It's not It's not a stupid question. Everybody has that question. And it doesn't even have to be about childcare. It could be about my kids not sleeping. My kids not eating, you know? And any being a nanny, I've kind of been around all these situations. Once again, I've been trained in a lot of things. People forget. I may be a new parent, maybe on the new side of parenting. But childcare is my thing. I do know, you know, I've been around the block and I do have a few tips and tricks. And if you have a question, don't be afraid to ask. I think that's the biggest thing a lot of parents get shamed for just even the stupidest questions. And a great example is, you know, sleep training is so controversial right now, like that's a big thing right now and instead of shaming, Well, why don't we just have a civil conversation and let the parents decide what works for what's best for their kid like this doesn't have to be a decision of what's right or wrong. It's what works for them. 

The spectrum. 

Agreed and I think, but that also works in business too, right? Like there's no right wrong. There's like what works for you? 

Well, here's the thing. We always talk about this because, you know, I've got my foot in every bucket as I like to say, um, you're never going to make everybody happy. There's always gonna be somebody who's gonna freakin hate it. There's always gonna be the troll that decides to come knock on the gate of the yard here. I don't want the trolls in my yard. You know, people need to realize you can continue to scroll on. You don't have to comment. You don't have to follow them anymore. You don't have to announce that, you've lost my fault. Like, just move on. Like, why expend so much energy into hating if it doesn't work like the people that help you? You know, I'm a firm believer. If your instagram if your social media is making you unhappy, you're following the wrong people, like start following people, follow people who make you happy, who inspire you, who teach you something. You know, like my husband laughs because we've got a shared instagram, he goes, It's a lot of toddler stuff right now and, you know, like, uh, my daughter gets very upset transitioning anything. Any change, she is full blown like screaming exorcist style and I said he goes, but I'm enjoying it because I'm learning something, you know, you gotta life's too short to be unhappy people. It's 2020. We've had enough Unhappiness threatened. 

Indeed. Yes, Wind. We'll save that for another. Drink it another time, for sure. When people do have questions, where do you suggest they come to you? 

You can go to my website. Well, I should say our website because my husband will get upset because he has some rights to it too, because his face is honored too. But it is www.biparolaz.com and that's the VIPs. Parole is where the parole? A family and my last. My maiden name is Zimmerman. So of course, my husband had to add the Z at the end. So we are very important. Parola as he likes to say.

Fantastic portmanteau.

Right? I can use the word portmanteau. 

I love it. 

So you can book through there or you can of course, go to our instagram, which is the V I. P. A. Parole is fantastic.

Anything else you want to let people know before we go.

I'm offering 30 minute free consultations. So all you have to do is go on my website and book. And if you tell them that you listen to this podcast and mention Megan, I will extend that out for another 20 minutes for you so you can pick my brain a little bit longer. Okay? 

That is so generous of you. Oh, my God. Thank you for that. 

No problem. No, we gotta help the parents out. The parents are already struggling enough. Onda were stressed and were burnt out. And like if I can give you any consultation to just invalidate that you're doing the right thing until and give you a pat on the back and keep going, keep doing you then. Yes. Please. Please, Please book. I will be your I will be your What is it? The promo person. Your deejay. Cali. 

You're so much more hits than I am.

I probably butchered that whole analogy, but it's all good. I try to be hip. 

I try to be the cool mom. 

Thank you so much for coming on the show. 

Thank you for having me.

Before you go. I just want to make sure you are a part of my members library. Okay, My members library is my collection of workbooks, guides, checklists. Tons of resources are for entrepreneurs like you, and it's totally free. If you want to head to meghanbrame.com/joined the library, and you can sign up and get instant access. I promise you you're going to find something valuable in there that's going to make your business get to the next level. So head to meganbrame.com/joined the library. Sign up for instant access.

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