Author - Jenny Rowland

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Jenny brought San Francisco-based start-up, UrbanSitter, to the Chicago market out of necessity 10 months after the birth of her first child when she was sick and tired of NOT being able to find a trusted babysitter! A graduate of Princeton University and the Kellogg School of Management, Jenny combines her passions for entrepreneurship and family in her role with UrbanSitter. Since launching in Chicago in 2012, UrbanSitter has built a phenomenal network of parents and babysitters who are using the site everyday to meet and manage babysitting jobs—allowing parents to find sitters that friends and other NPN families have used and liked, searching for sitters based on availability, and fulfilling last minute jobs. Jenny has been a member of NPN since 2011 and lives with her husband and two children in Roscoe Village.

Yes, you can survive parenthood without family nearby

Maybe you always knew you’d wind up in Chicago. Maybe Chicago is the last place you thought you’d be when you started raising a family (insert raised hand here). In either case, Chicago is home now, and for me, the distance to my own family never felt as great as when I started having kids of my own.

While I still feel pangs of jealousy when I hear another mom talk about dropping off her kids at her sister’s house for impromptu afternoon cousin playdates or romantic long weekends away whil...

Posted on December 09, 2015 at 2:19 PM by Jenny Rowland

Confessions of a babysitter

Chicago-based artist and teacher Angela Oliver has over seven years of experience babysitting kids. Since joining UrbanSitter, an online babysitter-finding service, she’s sat for more than 35 families and has over 20 glowing reviews. Here, Angela answers the most common questions parents have when it comes to hiring a babysitter.

What’s the most helpful information a parent can share in advance?
First-aid and medical/emergency info and contacts, being made aware of any food allergies or ...

Posted on September 23, 2015 at 10:00 AM by Jenny Rowland

Tips for Preparing Kids for a New Babysitter

Congrats! You’ve hired a new babysitter. You feel like you’ve won the lottery, and you’re already dreaming of future date nights. You’re nervous about walking out the door that first time and leaving the sitter in charge, but you know she’s bright, fun, and more than capable. Your kids might not be so sure, though. If you’re anything like me, it can be easy to focus on emergency numbers and pantry items and forget to take time to get the kiddos settled with the new face in the house. My presc...

Posted on May 21, 2015 at 5:00 AM by Jenny Rowland

Six Tips for Ease Back into the School Year

With summer winding down, are you ready for back to school? Here are 6 Tips to Help Your Family Ease Into the New School Year.

Plan and register for after-school activities. Classes and teams fill fast, deadlines are early, you need to figure out what activites are logistically possible. It’s especially important if you have multiple children. 

Research what activities are available, and talk to your child to gauge their interests.  Consider his personality. Go beyond the usual bal...

Posted on August 16, 2012 at 8:00 AM by Jenny Rowland

Summer Safety & the Sitter: Tips for Communicating For Safe Summertime Fun

Give yourself a break this summer and hire a sitter to take over a day of pool duty, run the kids to the park or just spend an afternoon playing with them in your own backyard.  While summer gives kids a chance to let loose and have fun, it’s also when most accidents happen. Before you take off for your well-deserved time-away, make sure you communicate with your sitter the ins and outs of summer safety.  Don’t assume he or she knows what likely feels like second nature to you.   

Keep...

Posted on June 21, 2012 at 7:30 AM by Jenny Rowland

Summer in the City- Activities for Babysitters & Kids To Explore this Summer

As a mom, does the word "summer" call to mind both joy and trepidation? Why not hire a babysitter and put your feet up for an afternoon or two each week? Summer sitters can be a welcome change for both parents and kids; someone young and energetic to splurge on ice cream and lead the charge to a museum or water park -- perfect!    

When you find your perfect summer sitter, here are a few activities around town that the kids are sure to love.


Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum: ...

Posted on May 29, 2012 at 7:10 AM by Jenny Rowland