When my second child was born, I was working for a boutique government relations firm in Washington, DC. I was luckier than most of my mommy peers in that I was able to take 12 weeks off for maternity leave - half of that was even covered by vacation leave and short term disability. I had my own office with a door that shut so that I could pump in privacy and brought in a mini-fridge to store the bottles. I did the daycare drop off and my husband picked up. On paper, this was a pretty sweet setup. In reality, the second child nearly broke me.
The partners in my firm did not have children, did not desire to have children, and frankly thought it was weird that anyone would prefer to pay for daycare rather than a cruise on the QEII. There was no working from home option. Working from home on evenings and weekends was expected but weekdays I was expected to be at my desk. Everyone who has ever had a child knows that they get sick a lot that first year - even more so in a daycare setting. My baby had colic. He wouldn't nap at daycare or without being held. My baby blues turned into full blown postpartum depression. I was being disciplined at work for my absences and my mommy mush brain. I hate to admit that this continued for over a year. I don't remember a lot from that year, to be honest, just that it was horrible. My baby grew and eventually overcame the colic and at 15 months began napping without being held so he finally napped in daycare. He became pleasant to be around.
Things at work did not improve and I questioned my choice of career, wondered where I should go, and eventually had my AHA moment. I desperately needed a drop in daycare and we didn't have any near us. I would open one! I could be my own boss. I could take my children to work. I could help other moms who were in my same position! Thus, my small business journey began...
Mom's Day Out has become one of our most loved offerings at MoBu Kids. Many families have become "regulars" and we are delighted that the children have become friends. Starting this fall, Mom's Day Out will be offered as a weekly class. It is our hope that the weekly playtime will build a sense of community among the children knowing that their BFF will be waiting for them at MoBu. For parents, you can plan your appointments weeks in advance and rely on the regularity of the schedule.
In addition, we are adjusting the start and end times, with it running from 9:30 am - 12:30 pm on Wednesdays (only a 15 minute change.) We will be offering a snack and lunch to enrolled children (another change.) As always, every MDO will include a craft project and fun activities.
What about drop ins? If the class does not fill up, we will offer the remaining slots on a week by week basis at the regular walk in price. We may also add one MDO per month on another day of the week or on a weekend.
What about Pearachute/Kidpass enrollments? As with walk ins, if we have extra space we will offer it on our partner sites.
Class enrollment will begin on July 31st.
It has been a trying month without a working gate to our Open Play area. As many of you know, a child swung on our gate pulling it off the wall.
The frame underneath the drywall is metal, and it is nearly impossible to reattach our wooden gate without opening the drywall and attaching it to the metal frame. Should the contractor have done it during build out? Yes, but that ship has sailed.
It has taken too long to find someone willing to work with the metal frame and install the gate properly so we have installed a pressure mounted walk through gate. This probably won't be our permanent solution, but it will work until we can find someone to fix the wooden gate.
Please do not let your children swing or hang from the gate. Thanks!
We recently received the following question and I thought some of you might be curious about the answer. I have edited it here to hide personal details:
my daughter has attended several of your mom’s morning outs. She (and I) have really enjoyed them. I booked them through Pearachute and noticed that the most recent ones have changed the age to 2.5 years. I wondered if this was an error or if you had really changed the accepting age? I also noticed that you had decreased the number allowed and was curious if this was an error?
Thanks for reaching out with your questions. Pearachute is a great resource for us to fill in our class vacancies and reach new customers and I'm glad you found MoBu Kids that way. However, we only receive 50% of the price of the class. Our contract with them specifies that they will pay us half of what we charge for a walk in customer. As a small business, we cannot afford to offer more than a couple spots via Pearachute and other similar services. It's unfortunate, but we are a business and there are expenses.
As to the age change, we have many younger children enrolled that need a higher staff to child ratio. As we are filling in empty spots, we are looking for older children to balance the numbers.
You are always welcome to register your child directly through us. You can use our parent portal at https://app.iclasspro.com/parentportal/mobukids/camps?camptype=2 and use the code "save10" for 10% off the regular price. Our MDO list for the entire summer is there and many are nearing capacity. Additionally, in the fall we plan to offer MDO weekly as a class of 8 sessions. It will allow the children to bond as a playgroup and for parents to make plans weeks ahead of time.
I'm sorry I'm not able to accommodate you through pearachute at this time, but you are welcome to keep checking back as we see how many slots we have remaining as we get closer to the event.
Owner, MoBu Kids
Summer hasn't even begun and we have so many things going on at MoBu Kids!
First off, the camps that you know and love are back but you may notice that we have a slimmed down schedule this year. We have had many requests for Moms Day Out to continue through the summer months. It has become one of our most popular classes. In response to that, we say LET'S DO IT! Our summer schedule will alternate between weeks of camp and weeks with a Moms Day Out and lots of Open Play. You will also notice that we have weekend Moms Day Out scheduled! We are trying it on two Sundays and one Saturday this summer. If you like it, we will keep it on the schedule this coming fall and winter.
One more change coming to our summer schedule is our Saturday Parent's Night Outs starting at an earlier time. You asked for a 5:30 pm start time, so we have it on the schedule in June, July, and August.
Our summer mini-sessions are back this year. Four weeks of classes with unlimited Open Play during the month.
We are excited to see you back at MoBu Kids!
We have adjusted our hours this spring and will be closing at 5:00 PM on weeknights. As a working mom, it was hard to make the decision as I fear it makes MoBu less accessible to families. However, with the onset of warmer weather and more daylight, there was considerably less demand for evenings at MoBu. We will revisit the issue as the year progresses. As always, let us know what we can do to improve your experience at MoBu Kids!
Hi friends -
I am happy and sad to report that Miss Morgan is leaving MoBu Kids to go back to school to finish her degree. I'm happy, because I want wonderful things for her. She has been such an asset to me, to MoBu, and to the families that come to play. But I'm so very sad because Miss Morgan is THE BEST and cannot possibly be replaced. I want to crawl in bed for a few days, preferably with an electric blanket and my dogs.
Alas, the show must go on, so we are seeking a phenomenal person to lead our team. The position can be full or part time for the right person. We are seeking someone mature yet fun loving, responsible yet playful, a leader who listens to listens to the team and a bunch of other stuff I'll share in the description below.
Miss Morgan's last day is Friday, March 8th, so please stop in and wish her the best of luck before she goes.
MoBu Kids Manager Description:
MoBu Kids is seeking a hardworking, organized, and self-motivated Manager for its busy indoor playground.
The position combines client services, scheduling and staff management, administrative tasks, marketing and sales (traditional and social media), and general cleaning/maintenance. Having a positive and upbeat attitude is a must! Applicants should be detail oriented, dependable, outgoing, have excellent phone and customer service skills, and be able to pass a criminal background check.
MoBu Kids is an independently owned children’s facility in Falls Church, Virginia, offering classes, camps, birthday parties, and parent’s nights out. The ideal candidate will be able to craft thoughtfully created plans for art projects, music classes, and camps to ensure children are learning and having fun. If you are a self-starter full of creativity and ideas you will fit in perfectly!
The full or part time position will be hourly with monthly evening meetings and occasional weekends. Compensation begins at $17/hour, with monthly bonuses based on revenue targets. This position is for the individual who takes their job seriously and is willing and able to work collaboratively with the owner.
Applicants need not be education majors or experts. Summer camp, retail, waiting tables, babysitting, drama club, sorority/fraternity recruitment, cruise ship experience, etc., will all go a long way in preparing you for this job.
Please send resume and cover letter detailing experience with children, customer service, and staff management to info @ mobukids.com.
** Please NO PHONE CALLS OR VISITS! **
Have you seen our party room lately? Or, more to the point, have you seen what others have done to our party room lately? I am blown away by the creativity that parents bring to what is essentially - and intentionally - a blank canvas. We enjoy seeing the originality of ideas most of which are in response to your child's special interests. My son had a school bus themed birthday when he turned 2. The kid was obsessed with all kinds of buses and would rattle off, "city bus. Tour bus. Double decker bus. School bus," from his car seat. Now, as a teenager, he is embarrassed when his dad and I remind him of his love affair with buses, but every now and then he will humor me by pointing out, "decker bus, mommy!" I swoon.
Here are a few photos of recent parties that were awesome!
Thanks to all who came out for our Santa event yesterday! It was wonderful to get to spend time with your families and we look forward to making this an annual event for kids of all ages. MoBu Kids primarily serves the littles, but the older siblings had as much or MORE fun than their younger brothers and sisters. The cookie decoration station was a hit!
Brandee D. Photography will be emailing you your photos by Tuesday afternoon. Here are my candid outtakes of the afternoon:
The past six weeks have flown by! I can't believe Thanksgiving is already over and December is upon us. As much as I love the holiday season, I have a bone to pick with it. There are too many demands packed into one month. Parties, events, school pageants, shopping, cooking, being nice to relatives, finding the perfect pics for cards - then having them made - THEN having to mail them! Sheesh. I need a nap just thinking about it.
In an effort to make things a little bit easier for you, we have scheduled Parent's Day Out (formerly Mom's Day out, but dads need a break, too) one day a week in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Kids ages 2.5 and older can spend three hours being entertained by our amazing staff while you run errands, meet a friend for coffee, or have the aforementioned nap. We also have drop off opportunities during Parents' Night Out and our winter camps.
Finally, go easy on yourself. A few years ago, I started asking my family at the start of the season what was their ONE thing that they wanted to do during the holiday season. For the MoBu Dad, it's easy: he wants his mother's bourbon balls. As long as I whip up a batch, he doesn't care what else we do/don't do over the season. For my kids, it varies. Some years, they to make 5 different kinds of Christmas cookies, other years they want to go all out with decorating the house. What floors me is that their requests are almost always doing an activity at home with the family. For me, my one thing is Christmas cards. The rest of the family doesn't care, but I like the tradition of sending and receiving cards. What's your one thing?
We wish you the best of this holiday season, whatever or however you celebrate!