Are Babysitting Agencies Worth The Hassle?

When asked who their ideal babysitter is, most parents will reply, ‘Mary Poppins!’. In reality, sitters and nannies who are practically perfect in every way tend not to blow in on the east wind. With a world of sitters to choose from, parents have traditionally relied on agencies to filter through the candidates and find the best-suited applicants, conduct interviews, check references and sort the paperwork. For an agency to find the Poppins for every position is time-consuming and expensive but when it comes to children’s happiness, safety and wellbeing, parents are understandably prepared to pay a premium. Thankfully, however, …

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How to start a new job during a pandemic (with three kids at home)

the bubble team’s newest member, Sarah Hesz, joined the company this month. Faced with the prospect of starting a new job in the middle of a pandemic with her children unable to go to school or nursery, Sarah’s been using the app’s ‘regular help’ feature to book a sitter. Before joining the brilliant bubble team, I founded an app called Mush, a social app for mums with one million downloads, so I’m a bit obsessed with how tech can make parenting easier and more fun. I have three kids and have been a bubble user since it launched (so this …

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Mind the gap: What’s it like to have three kids over 13 years?

If you’ve have children close together, you’ll be all-too familiar with the goggle-eye look you get when people spot you with bump and a toddler. “Two under two!” they’ll exclaim, the goggle-eye factor increasing if there are multiples involved. So how about doing things the other way, having longer gaps between babies? bubble’s teaching advisor Sarah Zeqiri has three children; Ella, 16, Dexter, 10 and two-year-old Mabel, and we asked her what life is like with an age-gap family. It seems to be that people, on the whole, have their children fairly close together – one, two or three years …

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Lockdown spa: Kitchen scissors, YouTube tutorials and face paint

One new and slightly panicked interest we all have in common since lockdown is DIY beauty and grooming. Within days of being asked to stay home, men were posting photos of their lockdown headshave.  Others began to nurture quarantine beards. As roots began to peep, WhatsApp chats became box dye advice forums and pink hair ruled. Hairdressers advised clients’ scissor-wielding partners and housemates via videolink, like bomb disposal experts calmly coaxing a sweating action movie hero to snip the blue wire, not the red. And there have been mistakes, particularly on (although not limited to) the heads of small, wriggly …

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Let it go! A note from bubble’s teaching advisor

bubble’s teaching advisor Sarah Zeqiri has one piece of advice this week, inspired by two-year-old daughter Mabel’s screen heroine Elsa of Arendelle… Let It Go. I think we can all agree that this remote learning malarkey has been a steep learning curve for all if us. I’m here sitting on both sides of the fence; setting work on learning platforms for my students (with varying success!) and also getting my own kids to log on, download and complete the work being set by their teachers. We worry that if our children don’t do all their school work perfectly that they …

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How to do date night (when you can’t get further than 50 feet from your kids)

Lockdown with kids is many things and romantic isn’t one of them. If you’re also cooped up with your significant other, you may be reminded of the newborn days – competitive tiredness, extreme sugar consumption, constant crying, crumpled leisurewear and an occasional urge to run away and join the French Foreign Legion. The cheeky-Fiorentina-and-Marvel-movie date nights of pre-virus times seem like an impossible, glamorous dream. And once parents have attempted to fulfil the daily obligations of care, cooking, working, walking, schooling and cleaning, the idea of a lockdown ‘date’ feels like one thing too many. But parents deserve a night …

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Dear Sarah: bubble’s teaching advisor answers your homeschool questions

Since the start of lockdown, bubble’s teaching advisor Sarah Zeqiri has been sharing her tips for making homeschooling work. It’s now possible to ask Sarah questions about any aspect of homeschooling through the bubble app: just open live chat and start your message ‘Dear Sarah’. Here are two of the questions she’s helped parents out with so far: Dear Sarah, I’m having real trouble getting my 5 year old (year 1) to engage with doing any work, every task we sit down to complete she refuses to do, I’m getting so worried that by the time she goes back to …

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The lockdown habits that will be hard to break

Even in the first week of lockdown, pre-coronavirus norms already felt like they belonged to a different lifetime. “This advert hasn’t aged well,” my husband said, shaking his head as the TV displayed images of people clearly not from the same household congregated less than two meters apart in an office building, with one woman – eek – eating cereal directly from a co-worker’s bowl WITH HER FINGERS. She didn’t leave the cereal 72 hours to decontaminate; she didn’t even wash her hands. Lockdown life is already ingrained. Instead of hugging and trading nits, kids shout a cheery, ‘STAY AWAY …

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Little Learners, Low Cost

  With lockdown extended and teaching inspiration dwindling along with the household budget, bubble’s teaching advisor Sarah Zeqiri has some brilliant suggestions for rekindling your homeschool mojo for less than the cost of a large Veggie Supreme. Kinaesthetic learning (learning through movement) is ideal for small people. Not only are they more likely to remember what they’ve learned but it’s great for gross and fine motor skills. But how can you provide these learning opportunities at home without blowing a bundle on resources? Here are some of my favourite low cost items and ideas for what to do with them. …

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How to ace Easter Sunday during lockdown

When some Police forces and local councils declared chocolate Easter eggs were a ‘non-essential’ item last week, many parents experienced a moment of minor panic. While chocolate may not be an essential grocery item, to those little people who look forward to the Easter bunny’s visit as much as Father Christmas’s, a no-show from the bunny was going to be tricky to explain. Fortunately, the official warnings were deemed heavy-handed and restrictions on the number of Easter eggs  shoppers can buy have been lifted. Still, pickings are slim and not everyone’s been able to get the usual things – foil …

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