Photo by Classic Kids Photography
As the oldest of five girls, babysitting was a natural role for Lindsay Bell. After years of juggling childcare gigs with NYC families, Lindsay founded and grew the babysitting company that would become Bell Family Company. We spoke with Lindsay about the inspiration behind her business, finding good childcare and her path to a doable work/life balance.
Congratulations on the success of your company. What motivated you to start Bell Family?
I have always loved children and really enjoyed babysitting. I had a circuit of families I babysat for regularly and couldn’t keep up with the demand, so I started referring my friends to the families. Then Bell Family was born!
You’ve been babysitting for a long time—what surprised you most about having your own kids?
Yes, and it sure prepared me well for motherhood. Growing up babysitting is the best bootcamp for motherhood. Once the baby was born, that was easy for me. The hard part for me was pregnancy and all the nursing/pumping. And post-newborn stage I was probably most surprised by how much MORE social I became. Between my son’s school and activities, it opened up new friendships for me– which I thank both of my sons for.😊
Finding good childcare can be overwhelming. Do you have any tips for parents searching for the right care for their kids?
Yes, it can be overwhelming, especially if you’re a parent in a new city with no family nearby. I recommend going with an agency or joining a similar referral organization. In today’s world, parents need to be better at outsourcing (including me!). Vetting childcare providers is a bit like the wild west; it’s super time consuming, so go with a professional service that can take care of it for you.
If you could hand off one chore to someone else each day, what would it be?
Ugh, just one?? Folding laundry. It mounts up and never seems to away. And I’m a terrible folder.
What is your favorite thing to do to relax and unwind?
Go for a walk, call my mom or sit by the fireplace drinking tea or wine.
What is your best parenting hack?
I’m scrappy—I’m great at improvising when I forget things like extra wipes or run out of snacks.
What is the best white lie that you’ve told your child?
Probably Santa Claus. Or at bedtime when my son asks to sleep with him and I tell him, “I will later, Baby.” I never quite make it up there.
If you could describe motherhood/fatherhood in one word, what would it be?
What’s one moment in your motherhood journey that has made you proud?
My babies always make me proud. One moment when I was proud of myself was last week, when I was able to stay at my son’s school and attend a parent breakfast. This event was during normal work hours, but I could stay because I now work part-time and can make my own schedule. All those years of hustle so that I could attend events like this finally have paid off!
What is one piece of advice you want to pass along to your children?
I want my children to never feel alone. I want them to always feel comfortable to come and talk with me no matter what it’s about. I think it’s more important than ever to communicate with our children and make sure they are okay. Even though my oldest is only two-and-a-half years old, we have conversations about different topics. Who knows if he understands what I’m saying yet, but at least he’s getting the habit of talking to me and sharing his thoughts and feelings.
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other moms?
Follow your mommy intuition more. There is such an overload of information out there, and its not always right for you!
How do you tackle the work/life balance?
It’s tough to have a work/life balance in the U.S. I wish there were more programs set up within organizations to support working families. My company is trying to provide a slice of support through our corporate care programs. I’ve always tried to mix my work with my personal life to make it more manageable, but doing that can cause its own set of issues. For me, working part-time and being with my husband and kids part-time is the closest I’ve got to feeling like I’m doing a good job at both.
What was the last book you read?
Don’t laugh, but I have Amelia Earhart’s biography on my end table and it has been there for three years.
Favorite Beauty Product:
Aquaphor for baby and me. Then Bobbi Brown lipstick.
Favorite Form of Exercise:
Pushing a double stroller during the hot summer. It’s the best way to burn off that baby weight.
What is on your DVR?
Nightly News with Lester Holt. Paw Patrol. Real Housewives of Dallas. Fixer Upper and House Hunters.
Favorite Kids Store:
Target never lets me down.