With Chicago’s stay at home order extended through May and camp options still unknown, families are in need of child care more than ever.  Sarah Meadors has you covered!  She’s launching a way to combine the activities of summer camp with child care in your home this summer and continuing to pivot to accommodate the needs of families over this time.  I connected with Sarah over Instagram & her warmth comes through even online- Get to know more about the mom behind Gold Coast Nannies!

What brought you to Chicago?
I grew up in the Chicagoland area and moved here when I met my now husband, Jerry.

What’s your favorite thing about living in the city and how has that changed since having children?
We love living in the city because of how much there is to do & love the energy that the city brings, especially living downtown!  We enjoy trying new restaurants, street fairs, and farmers markets.  It actually hasn’t changed too much since we’ve had Lincoln, if anything it makes us want to continue living here as we grow our family because of how much Lincoln loves the excitement city living comes with!  Like public transportation, the many different parks, and construction everywhere- we’re always looking for the best constriction sites to watch!

What are your favorite restaurants and local businesses to shop?
Our favorite restaurant is Willow Room in Lincoln Park and our favorite local business is Ingrained!

What are your go-to’s when you need some “me time”?
Always a solo gym session!

Tell us about Gold Coast Nannies.  How did you get started?
I launched Gold Coast Nannies in 2017.  We are a Nanny Agency in Chicago and New York.  I Had been a Nanny previously and wanted to find a way to be connected in that world, but did not necessarily want to continue being a nanny when I started my own family.  So I launched GCN and haven’t looked back.

How has Covid-19 and the Illinois stay at home order impacted your business?  I would imagine while working from home families need child care more than ever. Covid-19 and the Illinois stay at home order has slightly affected businesses in both negative and positive ways.  Families have continued to hire long term nannies because they are still working.  Families are currently doing all video interviews to limit the amount of people in and out of their homes.  We are requiring our nannies to drive, ride a bike, walk, etc. to work to avoid public transportation.

Using an agency is a luxury and some families financially cannot use us right now with many people being out of work due to the pandemic. On the other hand, nannies are such a high demand right now so we have received a ton of interest in summer nannies. We just launched a new idea to bring summer camp to your kids by providing our nannies with day to day activities focused around what summer camps would be providing.

How do you juggle your business with mom life?
Juggling my business and mom life has by far been the hardest thing I have done. Before I had my son, I was so excited to have the flexibility of being self employed to be with him as much as I wanted. While that is somewhat the case, GCN really took off right after Lincoln was born and requires a lot of my attention everyday. I am very grateful to have such an amazing team for GCN and my husband who is the most hands on Dad ever. Working mom guilt is no joke and something I am still working on 1.5 years later.  I really try to dedicate hours for work so the hours that when I’m with Lincoln, I am fully present with him.  Also, a lot of work gets done after bedtime 🙂

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another mom?
That you are not going to enjoy every minute of motherhood and that is okay.  At the beginning I was feeling guilty that I really didn’t enjoy all of it.  I felt really disconnected and in a fog.  I was just going through the motions of nursing 24/7, and sleepless nights, while trying to figure out who I was now that I am a mom. It is okay to not enjoy every minute, because it is really hard being a parent.  In the end it’s so rewarding and the good days always outweigh the bad.

What’s the best advice you would give to another Chicago mom? 
Make Mom Friends! I have met the most amazing group of moms in Chicago (we all met through Instagram!).  I am young, so a lot of my friends haven’t started having babies yet.  Making friends with moms that have babies of similar ages & know what you’re going through every step of the way is comforting.  Being a mom, especially through those early days, can feel very isolating.  Knowing that you are not alone is such a relief!

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