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Featured Friday – Sondra’s Story

by Featured Friday | 2 months ago

Is it luck or a blessing? How does one beat the statics? Teen mom to boss? Living a fulfilling life working in the field of postpartum overnight support offers financial stability, joy, self-confidence, relationship connections, all because I took risks. I followed my heart over and over again.

May 6th, 1999. My first son was born. I was 4 months into my 17th year of life, a week post-high school
grad, and now a mother. Family and friends disappointment in my choices no longer loomed over my
shoulders. I made the decision to keep the pregnancy. I needed a game plan, positive support/role models, and my high school diploma. One out of 3 wasn’t a bad start.

Living at home with my parents, I personally pressured myself to figure out how to be able to be on my own. Babysitting and, working part-time here and there wouldn’t cut it. I got sucked into a commercial for a trade school to become a dental assistant. It was respectable, decent pay, and my parents were on board.

It wasn’t for me. English class reminded me how much I love writing. Dental assisting reminded me of my weak stomach and how I couldn’t see myself cleaning teeth, xrays, and teaching others to floss.

Back then I searched the help wanted section of the newspaper. Clubsport in Pleasanton placed an ad for a child care attended; flexible hours, free gym membership, free child care. Say no more. I applied immediately. Clubsport was the beginning of my life slowly but surely shaping me into who I am now.

Life took a twist when I became pregnant with my second son at 19. My boyfriend decided to join the Army. With an 18 month old, a U-haul truck, used family furnishings, and a growing belly, I left my parents home and moved to Washington State. The 3 years as an Army wife started out rough, but flew by as I kept busy working out, working in gyms, and daydreaming about how my life would be when I returned to the Bay Area.

2004 I was back home, filled with so much hope and drive for the future. Clubsport welcomed me back and quickly promoted me to a supervisor in the daycare. In 2006 I had my beautiful daughter. She was the motivation to leave an ugly marriage and the reminder that even in the midst of chaos strength will overcome.

A single mom of a 7 year old, a 4 year old, and 6 month old, I was on my own. Working nights and weekends at Clubsport taking full advantage of the free child care and nannying during the day to pay the bills. There were months when my checking accounts overdraft protection was keeping me afloat until the next pay check.

We moved a lot. I was always looking for the best deal per square footage. Comfort. I traded time for a big house we never enjoyed a small condo, but we had more time together. Balance.

Searching Craigslist for potential families who need weekend/date night babysitter, I read an ad for Multiple Blessings Baby Nurse. I thought it had to be a scam. A family is going to pay me around $25 an hour to stay up all night with their newborn? No way.

Yes way. It was legit. After passing my online exam, a random phone call put me in touch with my first overnight support client. Preemie twins who had health issues was the perfect training to mold and shape me for the work routine and ethics I have now. I am forever grateful for that chance meeting.

As an independent contractor, working overnights, I still kept my job at Clubsport. I never turned down overnight jobs because I needed the references and the experience. I needed the consistency Clubsport offered. I knew my time and my growth potential with the comp5 was coming to an end. I needed to find the confidence to leave.

Postpartum overnight support was on the rise. I could not keep up with the families who were contacting me just from word of mouth referrals. My good friend decided to get certified. We worked together with multiple families, splitting the nights, or I would refer her to a potential client when I was booked.

2010 was a big year of growth. I finally left Clubsport after being there for 10 years. Clubsport was our home away from home. My older children grew up in the daycare. I transformed my body in the gym. I am forever grateful for all the opportunities I was given and the people I became close too.

2014 brought an unexpected turn. I was expecting my 4th child. My ex-boyfriend decided he wasn’t going to be involved until a paternity test proved his rights to do so. I had two choices. Let the abandonment, the shame, the confusion to get the best of me or move forward. I had been a single mom of 3 children without my ex-husband’s help physically or financially. I can do it again with another child.

As the pregnancy progressed, I worked 7 nights a week between multiple families to not only save money for maternity leave, but to buy things for the baby. I wasn’t expecting her father to participate at all. My oldest son was my support person for the birth of my 4th child. He cut her Umbilical cord. Another chance meeting via social media, I had the wonderful opportunity to mentor and train a newly certified newborn care specialist. The beginning of Savvy Nannies Overnight Nanny Agency was unfolding in front of me.

My parents invested in my vision by paying for my website. Previous clients supported me by sharing my contact information with expecting parents, mom’s groups and social media.

2017 was a year of great heartbreak as I lost my father to cancer. He was 64. The circle of life continued as it always does. On May 23rd I gave birth to a healthy baby girl. I accomplished my goal of being a surrogate for a family who could not conceive. Savvy Nannies currently consists of 4-night nannies, traveling around the Bay Area, providing new parents with education, postpartum overnight support, product recommendations, light housekeeping, no cry it out sleep guidance, and most importantly the gift of sleep.

If you’d like to learn more about Savvy Nannies, please visit our website at: www.thesavvynannies.com

Follow me on Instagram here.