Hiring a Housekeeper for your home

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Whether you are a busy family, splitting your time between homes, or just need extra support around the house having a qualified housekeeper in your employ can save time and stress by guaranteeing that the home is always well cared for.

Duties of a General Housekeeper

A housekeeper’s duties will be specific to the home they are working in. General duties include dusting and polishing furniture, caring for bedding, cleaning all floors, washing windows, wiping down all surfaces and baseboards, sorting and washing laundry, and monitoring any home repairs.

The Difference Between a Housekeeper and a Cleaner

While many cleaning services and on-call cleaners are excellent for last minute tidying or once-over deep cleanings, there is a distinct difference between a housekeeper and a cleaner. A trained housekeeper will bring a knowledge base of formal serving, table setting, organizing, and high-quality care for furniture and artwork. They will also be skilled in washing and ironing clothing.

 

Duties of an Executive Housekeeper

A clear distinction between a housekeeper and an executive housekeeper is their experience managing other household staff. An executive housekeeper will have worked on teams of household staff and overseen other housekeepers. Household finances are often handled by the executive housekeeper along with stocking the pantries and overseeing any vendors or contract workers coming into the home.

 

Duties of a Laundress

A Laundress will have an intensive knowledge of fine clothing care. They will know how to steam, hem, maintain, wash and hang fine and valuable clothing of all kinds. A Laundress is a very specialized role and is hired to wash and maintain the laundry in-house but not to extensively clean the home.

 

Hybrids Roles

For smaller homes, a housekeeper may take on the responsibilities of other staff in a hybrid role. Families with older children in school or daycare may employ a nanny/housekeeper that splits her time between cleaning and childcare. If meal preparation is an important service for the family a housekeeper/cook could be a wonderful solution.

 

Working with BAHS to Hire Your Housekeeper

When beginning your search to hire a housekeeper, consider your home and prioritize your needs. Having this information will ensure you recognize your perfect housekeeper. Our expert team is happy to guide you through the entire process.

 

Working with BAHS will save you time because every candidate we work with is thoroughly vetted and experienced. Our expert attention to detail will support your hiring process and ensure that no point is missed. Your recruiter will work with you to understand your family’s needs and match you with a housekeeper that can provide high quality service and care. For us, success is a placement that results in a contented family and a housekeeper who enjoys long-term job fulfillment.

 

Contact us today to begin your search, or learn more about our process by viewing our Standards.

What’s the Difference between a butler and a house manager?

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At one time, the terms “butler” and “house manager” could be used interchangeably in reference to the professional charged with organizing and maintaining a formal home. Over time the definition and basic responsibilities of these two occupations has shifted into two very distinct roles.

As explained by British American Household Staffing’s founder Anita Rogers when interviewed for Town and Country:

“A house manager oversees the structure of the staff and typically does all of the hiring and firing. They handle scheduling—making sure a chauffeur is always on call, housekeepers shifts are covered, and that a replacement is available if someone calls in sick. They're also responsible for the budgeting, financial planning, and overall management of household.

A seasoned butler is properly trained in etiquette, so they understand how to serve a meal and handle all the details, from the wine pairings down to the flower arranging. They provide a white glove experience, which not everyone needs or wants. In Silicon Valley, for instance, no one would have a butler. But in New York, it's much more common.”

 

Professional Butler duties often vary and may include but are not limited to managerial responsibilities, keeping accounts and maintaining the wardrobe for the members of the house. They will be well versed in etiquette and serving, and have thorough understanding of formal home care. They will have attended Butler School and may hold a certificate in wine specialization. It is not uncommon for a Butler to hold a degree in the Culinary Arts and, in many cases, speak several languages.

 What Does a House Manager Do?

Due to West-Coast culture and how homes have changed in modern times, House Managers are much more common in California. They may take on duties traditional to a Butler as well as more managerial tasks for the home. A qualified House Manager will be able to adjust to a Principal’s lifestyle, whether formal or informal, and provide professional and efficient service.

 

A House Manager of a larger property will report to the Estate Manager, Chief of Staff or Director of Residences. A House Manager in a smaller property or more urban home will often report directly to the Principals. 

 

The House Manager is responsible for the smooth running of one property. Depending on the size and Principal’s needs, there may be some overlap of duties similar to ones a Personal Assistant or Executive Housekeeper may have. A good House Manager will be willing and able to pitch in wherever needed to ensure the home runs smoothly.

 

Every household is different in needs and level of attention. Some Principals entertain often and require white glove service. While other households demand that a Manager oversee extensive construction and renovation. A House Manager in a townhouse may oversee from three to fifteen members of staff and manage their schedules weekly and monthly. In a larger estate, they may work with other managers, such as a Personal Assistant or Director when managing the large staff-base within the property. 

More common responsibilities may include:

  • Supervise all contractors and vendors

  • Hire, train and manage household staff

  • Receive and look after guests

  • Plan and execute events

  • Craft and manage a household manual

  • Manage household budgets and bookkeeping

  • Prepare property ahead of a Principal’s arrival

  • Maintain automobiles, private jets, and/or private yachts

  • Cooking, cleaning and laundry duties, as needed

Hiring a House Manager in California

Contact BAHS today to begin your search to hire a House Manager.

Our Hollywood office serves all of Los Angeles, including Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Santa Barbara and Montecito.

Our San Francisco office serves the California Bay Area including San Francisco, San Mateo, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Atherton and Mountain View.

Hire an Estate Manager from British American Household Staffing

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Looking to set up your residence with the right domestic staff? Start by hiring an Estate Manager.

Benefits of Hiring an Estate Manager

Are you upgrading your home? Relocating? Restructuring? Here are some simple guidelines to help you see that your residence runs as smoothly as possible. 

Running a home is like setting up a small business. The same structure, hiring, and operational complexities are involved when it comes to domestic staffing. As a business needs its CEO, the first thing your household needs is the Estate Manager.

The right one will depend on the size of your home and the number of homes you need managed. An Estate Manager works on setting up a solid daily structure for your home and also implements hiring practices for all other staff. The Estate Manager will assess your staffing needs and desires, outlining the positions you need filled, such as Nannies, Housekeepers, Chefs, House Managers, personal assistants, etc. The manager will know how to screen and hire the ideal staff for the schedule and size of the home. 

The Process of Staffing Your Home

The best Executive Housekeepers tend to work eight hour days, five days a week and slot in with each other. To attract the best Housekeepers, you want to pay market rate or above and ensure you hire Housekeepers on a live-out schedule, as those are the best candidates (good candidates have more options and will choose the job position that appeals to them the most). Market rate for a good Executive Housekeeper is $35 an hour, eight hours a day, and health insurance after three months of employment. 

The Estate Manager will understand how to structure your home with the ideal schedules and number of Housekeepers, so the cleaning is done correctly and all shifts are covered. An Estate Manager will use a top-tier domestic staffing agency to send the best candidates. They will understand how to screen several Housekeepers, ensuring they work well together and understand how to manage laundry, organizing, serving, art and antique care, and deep cleaning.

Once the Housekeepers are set up, if needed, the Estate Managers will work on childcare.  This is a more complex hire, as the parents are usually more heavily involved. Career Nannies have experience working in larger residences. They understand childhood development and will ensure the right Nannies are hired for the principal’s needs, ranging from specific language proficiency, special needs experience, twin experience, infant expertise, or school age and tutoring experience. 

Nannies are hired with expertise in the age group of the children in the home. These Nannies will commonly have experience working with families who fly privately and often last minute, so organizing the children and packing correctly is something these Nannies do well. 

Yacht travel experience is also something career Nannies will have experience with. They are expert swimmers and understand how to act and dress appropriately on a yacht. They are able to manage children safely on the water and help with sleep schedule issues that typically occur when traveling across time zones.

The best Nannies are found by appealing to their desired schedules and salaries. The ideal setup is live-out during the regular week and live-in while traveling. Depending on the number of children, the ideal Nanny arrangement is one career Nanny, Monday through Friday, 8am to 6pm, one Nanny-Housekeeper from 7am to 3pm, and another career Nanny to work on weekends, if needed.

It is best to pay a weekend Nanny very well, as good Nannies don’t like giving up their weekends. However, the weekend schedule could be ideal for a Nanny working as a teacher or completing her PhD or Master’s degree.

A full-time career Nanny salary ranges from $80,000 to $150,000 a year, depending on their experience and skill-set. A French speaking career Nanny is always heavily in demand, so offering them a competitive salary and schedule is the wisest approach. Sometimes an evening backup babysitter is a good option to slot in, as well. An Estate Manager will understand how to hire the ideal Nannies, specific to the family and children’s needs. 

Hiring culinary staff can also be challenging, but, as with Nannies, the Estate Manager will hire Chefs who specialize in the dietary needs of the family, such as Paleo, Vegan, low calorie, pure foods, French, Italian, Austrian, etc. The Estate Manager will hire the Chefs once they have done a trial tasting for the family, ensuring the food is top-notch, and will also see that the Chef is flexible and easy to work with. This goes for not only Chefs, but all staff types. A good Estate Manager will always take soft skills, such as personality and demeanor, into consideration upon hiring. Many homes are unhappy homes due to one or two difficult personalities on staff. The Estate Manager ensures this doesn’t happen. 

After setting up the home with the correct staff, the Estate Manager will do the same for other residences you may own. The Estate Manager will oversee current staff, deal with any gripes, and fire and rehire as necessary. It is important you listen to the Estate Manager because he or she will be able to identify problematic staff members or subtle inefficiencies that you would otherwise miss. The Estate Manager will have an open dialogue with all the domestic staff and know where the issues lie.

Lastly, the Estate Manager will hire a House Manager for the larger residence(s) to oversee schedules and daily issues concerning vendors, parties, Housekeepers, Nannies, and all other daily staff. The House Manager’s job is to report back to the Estate Manager, who will ensure the problems are solved. The Estate Manager then oversees all homes, the payroll, legal issues and financial concerns outside of the family office and accountants. He or she will create, implement, and continuously update processes and operations. The household manuals for each home will be in place and updated accordingly. The Estate Manager also manages private planes, yachts, and car collections to ensure all these are up to date, safe, and well maintained. 

Begin Your Search to Hire a Quality Estate Manager

If you want a smooth-running home, start by hiring a top-quality Estate Manager, as this set up will ensure you don’t feel or hear of any problems. The secret to a happy home is having the right person in the Estate Manager seat to oversee hiring, training, implementation of processes, and legal compliance. Estate Manager salaries range from $150,000 to 400,000 a year.

If you want to hire the best domestic staff, contact British American Household Staffing. We can fix any issues and begin optimizing your home management.

Annual Taverna Rebetika | Anita Rogers Gallery

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Curator Caroline Spang sat down with Gallery Owner and Director, Anita Rogers, ahead of Taverna Rebetika, an annual celebration of Greek culture taking place Dec 1 at the Anita Rogers Gallery.

How does your background and experience living in Greece influence the artists and work featured in the Anita Rogers Gallery? 

My parents held 1960s values. They were free spirits, educated and open humanitarians who valued folk culture. My father moved to Greece in 1962. The mentality and culture in 1980s Greece reflected 1960s Western Europe: unspoiled and carefree. This was a time when the art world had more universal meaning and depth - before the mass market idea had really taken over. My values are rooted in this time and these memories.

I approach the gallery from an artist’s point of view as I was raised by an artist who understood art as something that was in search of truth, searching to understand what it means to be human, exploring that which connects us deeply as humans, almost approaching the metaphysical but while staying rooted in the human experience and truth. This shaped my values and approach to running a gallery in NYC. I choose artists whose visual abilities are exceptional and whose aesthetic approach and philosophical ideas are in line with the beliefs I described and in line with the values that were held, as I remember them, pre-mass media and before the contemporary art scene became more of a mockery and the overblown financial marketplace that it is now.

Courtesy of Anita Rogers Gallery

Courtesy of Anita Rogers Gallery

What is your favorite memory of growing up in Greece?

My father playing the bouzouki one afternoon with a Greek priest and six fishermen. We (my Mum, Dad and me) were in the village of an island called Tzia (Kea), which was quite sleepy as it was a hot afternoon during siesta time. Little by little, the locals came out of their homes and joined in. They opened up the local taverna and as it filled up, the locals brought their own chairs, tables and food to the square where we were playing. By evening the entire square was filled with people, both locals and tourists, drinking, eating and dancing. Other musicians joined in and I did all the singing. Hundreds of locals and tourists joined the party by late evening. The music continued through the night. At 5am we went to the island mayor’s house to play and I sang outside his window to wake him up! We then moved to the island doctor’s house and carried on playing all day. No sleep—just 30 plus hours of music. It was amazing.

Read the full interview on CulturePass

Hiring a Personal Assistant

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British American Household Staffing represents the best Personal Assistants in California, including Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Palo Alto and Atherton.

Who Needs a Personal Assistant?

A qualified Personal Assistant is an integral position for busy families, couples and professionals. Anyone can benefit from the time they will save by delegating certain tasks to a trusted PA. Personal Assistants can work alongside entrepreneurs, new and established, to help manage and build businesses, and can act as a right-hand for working parents juggling work and home life. 

What Does A Personal Assistant Do?

Personal Assistants understand the “around the clock” needs that busy people living across several time zones have can vary from managing the family calendar, being in charge of personal shopping, planning events, paying bills and arranging travel to handling investments and philanthropic accounts, and even working in the office of the family business.

A professional PA should have an impressive rolodex of relevant contacts in areas such as personal shopping, vendors related to the home, billing and more. A high quality Personal Assistant or Executive Assistant will understand Quickbooks, how to manage an estate or celebrity home and how to manage staff. They could also perform or manage some HR duties including hiring and healthcare forms and may also oversee some bookkeeping and vendor management. A high-quality Personal Assistant should be an excellent gate-keeper and highly discreet professionals with extensive experience in a formal, private and often busy residence. 

A business-minded Personal Assistant, sometimes referred to as a Personal Executive Assistant, will be extremely tech-savvy and both Mac and PC literate. They will be able to book personal and professional appointments such as birthdays and cosmetic appointments as well as business meetings. They will arrange all travel and will organize and oversee the maintenance of any private yacht or jet travel and staff. 

What to Consider When Hiring a Personal Assistant

When you begin your search for a Personal Assistant, take a general inventory of your needs. Different PA’s will be experts in particular industries and tasks. So your search should focus on those PA’s that will best meet your particular needs. Do you travel often and need someone who can arrange and troubleshoot travel arrangements remotely? Do you own your own business that could benefit from having hands-on support? Could your family and household staff benefit from having a professional to maintain order?

If you can, keep track of your tasks for a week. This will give you a clear picture of areas that are not maximizing your time and need to be delegated to someone else. A qualified Personal Assistant will have a “hands on” attitude and be able to take initiative and prioritize properly. You will be able to hand off tasks with confidence that they will be completed correctly and in a timely manner.

Also consider the schedule that will benefit you and your family best. Is a structured 9-5 enough to provide the support you need? Or would a more flexible schedule better maintain your busy life? 

Beginning Your Search to Hire Your Personal Assistant

Finding a great Personal Assistant can increase your productivity and maximize your and your family’s time. British American Household Staffing represents the highest level domestic staff in California, including Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Palo Alto and Atherton. Our candidates are fully vetted, background and reference checked in all US states and abroad.

Our process can take the stress out of hiring:

Our expert staff will be able to identify your needs and act as a matchmaker between you and your new Personal Assistant. We have the experience of seeing many different types of PA’s in many different types of roles and can provide insight to what would work best for you.

You will save time by relying on our processes of vetting candidates and presenting only those that would meet your needs. 

We are here to provide you with support through the hiring process, including advisement on salaries, benefits, schedule, and any relevant tax information for hiring in your state.

 

7 Benefits of Breastfeeding You Might Want to Consider

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By Laurel Niedospial for Popsugar

 

Almost as soon as a woman becomes pregnant, the conversation about breastfeeding begins. It's commonly stated that "breast is best," but what does that actually mean, and who is it best for?

Understandably, there have been numerous studies and much research done about breastfeeding and its many benefits. Regardless if a woman chooses to nurse her baby (at POPSUGAR, we're supporters of "fed is best" and urge you to make the best choice for you and your baby), there are a lot of advantages to breastfeeding that should be considered. Below are just seven pros for baby and mom. 

  1. Breast milk provides perfectly balanced meals. The human body can truly do some amazing th
  2. Breastfeeding can reduce the risk of asthma. Asthma is a notoriously hard condition to live with. Thankfully, it was recently found that babies who carry the genetic marker for asthma could be protected by breastfeeding . 
  3. Nursing saves an astounding amount of money. Since the mom's body is creating the milk, it's no wonder that it is an extreme cost-saving measure. Overall, a minimum of $3.6 billion would be saved if breastfeeding participants were raised to the Surgeon General's recommended numbers, roughly 70 to 75 percent of newborns. 
  4. Breastfeeding is probably the greenest option. Breastfeeding doesn't require any packaging or bottles, making it more environmentally beneficial. For every 1 million formula-fed babies, 150 million formula containers are consumed, many of which end up in a landfill. 
  5. Producing breast milk is said to burn calories. After giving birth, it can be difficult to get back into an exercise routine. Since breastfeeding burns 425 to 700 calories per day, many women attribute breastfeeding to returning to their pre-baby weight.
  6. ings, and breast milk is pretty spectacular. The milk is specially tailored to an infant's needs, with the perfect blend of nutrition to ensure that baby grows big and strong.
  7. It can also provide a natural defense against illnesses. Some studies have shown that breast milk will contain nutrients and antibodies that will help the baby defend against common childhood illnesses. This is especially important since medicines are very restricted for babies of a young age. 
  8. Nursing might lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). One of the scariest parts of having an infant is the risk of SIDS. A study found that nursing can reduce the risk of SIDS around 50 percent, and recommends that parents nurse at least up until six months old.

British American Newborn Care can help you find a Newborn Care Specialist to care for baby and you. They can assist with the full spectrum of newborn care and may be certified in areas including but not limited to: breastfeeding, exploring alternate feeding methods, sleep training, bonding, lactation, psychological development, and more.

5 SPECIAL EVENTS TO CELEBRATE ON A SUPERYACHT

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By Alexander Coles for A Luxury Travel Blog

 

Everyone’s looking for a way to make their special occasion that little bit more special. After all, while weddings in vineyards and honeymoons in a Maldives bungalow are undeniably gorgeous, they have been done rather a lot.

You want something different. We get it.

Whether you’re planning a wedding or a honeymoon, a loved one’s birthday party or a milestone anniversary, you’re looking for an experience that is entirely unlike any other special event you’ve been a part of—one that you’ll remember with a thrill for the rest of your life.

In order to create an extraordinary special event, there are seven golden rules to finding the perfect venue.

  1. An event venue that’s staggeringly gorgeous, and wildly out of the ordinary.
  2. Superb staff ensuring every last detail is perfect.
  3. Gourmet cuisine prepared by a private, highly-trained chef
  4. A location backdrop that inspires wonder…and exceptional event photography.
  5. Indoor and outdoor space.
  6. Luxurious accommodation onsite.

Above all, the greatest events offer privacy and exclusivity to the group—a sense that what you’re doing is somehow separate from the world, a day almost outside real life.

Which is why superyachts are the ultimate event venue for special occasions.

Here are five lifetime events that are perfect to host on a luxury yacht charter, with some practical information to assist in your decision-making.

1. White wedding, blue sea

‘I got married on a superyacht’. Now that’s something you don’t hear every day. And now it’s in your head, don’t you want to be the one to say it?

There are so many good reasons to marry on a yacht, beginning with the spectacular venue, with glamorous deck spaces for the ceremony, or an opulent interior if you’d prefer to say your vows surrounded by a décor of marble and gold. When it comes time to party, the reception can spill over the decks, with music playing, guests dancing in the moonlight, and (no doubt) a few guests jumping in the sundeck Jacuzzi as the night wears on!

The yacht’s luxurious staterooms provide for up to 12 people, meaning your bridal party and loved ones have stunning accommodations right onsite. As for the backdrop, you’re only limited by your imagination. Imagine getting married on the Amalfi Coast or the in tropical islands of the Caribbean, where the incredible views of yacht and sky and sea make for truly breathtaking wedding photography. The imagery of a white wedding dress against blue sea is a visual match made in heaven, and the yacht provides the perfect location shoot for unforgettable images—from the bridal party posing on the foredeck to the happy couple jumping on the bed in the master suite.

The yacht’s professional crew are another superb reason to get married onboard a yacht. Superyacht crew aren’t the typical hotel or venue staff, who are often transient or temp staff, and are sometimes uninterested or poorly trained. Instead, crew have spent their yachting careers looking after ultra-high net worth individuals, from celebrities and princes to oil magnates and Swiss bankers. They’re also accustomed to entertaining onboard, with event charters during high-profile events like the Cannes Film Festival and the Monaco Grand Prix. In short, it’s not their first rodeo, and yacht crew will handle your special day with consummate style and professionalism, and liaise carefully with any florists, celebrants, wedding planners etc.

As for the chef, they’ve been cooking for these same elite guests, and are accustomed to preparing fine dining cuisine across many cuisines and dietary requirements. You’ll have control over the menu, and if your wedding is large and requires outside catering, the chef is on hand to assist.

Even more blissful, when it’s time for the honeymoon, the guests just depart and you float away…

The logistics

Most (but by no means all) charter yachts have passenger licenses of 12 guests if the yacht leaves the dock and heads out to sea. This means you can either have an intimate wedding at anchor and return to port for the party, or alternatively you may wish to host your wedding ceremony in a glamorous marina, such as Monte Carlo so that more people can attend the ceremony. There are some yachts the are classified as passenger vessels and do not have the 12 guest limit, which are very in demand. Also look into the legal regulations in the country you’re marrying in: for instance, if you’d like to get married on a yacht in romantic Santorini, you’ll need to arrive in Greece a week before. A reputable yacht broker will have experience planning events, so rely on their expertise.

2. Enter honeymoon heaven

Can you imagine a better way to start married life than drifting through paradise on a superyacht?

Watch land fall out of sight and enter your own private bliss of swimming off the yacht and dining by candlelight, having luxury beach picnics on coral atolls and spending happy afternoons strolling through exotic ports. Each meal cooked by the yacht’s private chef, each morning waking to a perfect new view out the large windows of the master suite, each night relaxing in the Jacuzzi with a glass of champagne, looking up at the stars.

Your captain and crew will always be on hand to wait on your hand and foot, but also give you the privacy you want on your honeymoon- to laugh and play and plan your lives together.

Unlike spending your honeymoon in hotels or villas, you won’t have to spend time in traffic or changing hotels to move around from one gorgeous beach or island to another- the yacht takes you where you want to go.

The logistics

Logistics? There simply aren’t any. You just arrive, the crew unpack your luggage, and you don’t have to lift a finger for the entire time. But unlike a cruise ship, you have total control over what you do, and eat, and see. If you crave adventure, the captain will organise night dives and jungle trips and white water rafting. If you just want to relax, the captain will organise masseuses to the yacht and a succession of secluded anchorages, each more beautiful than the last. One useful tip though is to fill out the preference sheet from your broker, so that the crew have an idea ahead of time what you like to eat and drink and do, as well as little details like what kind of music you like so they can create the perfect yacht playlist.

3. Babymoon bliss

The babymoon concept has become wildly popular in recent years, and little wonder: this is the last time a couple gets to relax and be pampered as a couple without children. No matter how excited you are about the arrival of your new baby, a trip for the two of you on a yacht is a heavenly moment captured in time that you’ll look back on for many years to come. (Particularly when you’re up all night with a screaming baby and remember how soft the bed on the yacht was…)

Spend a week having long lie-ins, exploring exotic places, snorkelling crystal clear waters, and reading books on a deckchair, surrounded by the sparkling sea. And while you probably won’t want to leave, another great thing about having a babymoon onboard is that you’ll realise just how perfect luxury yacht charters are for family vacations, so you can return when you have children.

The logistics

Just like any babymoon planning, you’ll want to choose a destination where you’ll be doing your cruising close to land, ensure there’s a good hospital nearby, and get good insurance. Some tropical yachting destinations currently have the Zika virus, so talk to your yacht broker about popular alternative babymoon destinations such as the Seychelles, the Amalfi Coast, the French Riviera, Sardinia, or Croatia.

4. Milestone anniversary, making new memories

A yacht charter for a wedding anniversary is an idyllic way to reconnect and create new memories.

The two of you might want a relaxing holiday away from the cares of normal life, or perhaps you want to explore your shared interests, maybe with an art-lover’s yacht charter down the French Riviera or a gourmet food and wine charter along Italy’s Cinque Terre to Tuscany.

If you’re a lover of grand romantic gestures, the yacht can easily organise your stateroom to be filled with roses, a romantic picnic on a sandbank in the middle of the sea, or even a ceremony to renew your vows.

Whether you want it to be just the two of you or bring the children for a special family event, it’s hard to beat a yachting holiday as a way to mark your time together.

The logistics

Again, there really aren’t any. Just remember, the more information you give your broker, the more prepared the yacht’s crew will be to deliver an anniversary that the two of you will treasure forever.

5. A party to remember

Whether it’s your husband’s 50th birthday party in Monte Carlo or your 8 year old’s pirate-themed party in the BVIs, a luxury charter yacht makes an incredible venue for a celebration. It will certainly not be one they forget, as friends and family drink cocktails on the sundeck, or you watch your kids chase the crew around the yacht on a Caribbean treasure hunt and dive-bombing into the water.

Your yacht crew will have experience throwing glittering parties on the yacht, so just talk to your broker and to the crew about what you want, and they’ll co-ordinate with any organisers, decorators, or caterers to ensure the event exceeds your expectations.

The logistics

As we explained in the wedding section above, most superyachts have passenger restrictions of only 12 guests, but these only apply when the yacht has left the dock, so most big yacht parties tend to happen in famous marinas, such as Cannes or Saint Tropez. Having the party in port (as happens during the Cannes Film Festival for example) means that you can have a much bigger guest list, so speak to your broker about numbers and planning. Of course, if you’re hosting a child’s party or more intimate celebration, a 12 person limit for cruising offshore may be perfect for your needs.


Let British American Yachts help you find your next yacht crew, yacht purchase, or charter experience.

Preparing for Childbirth is Proven to Make You a Better Mother

By Angela Anagnost Repke for Pop Sugar

 

Before the birth of my first child, I didn't armor myself with knowledge like I should have. Instead of researching breathing techniques, pain relief options, and potential complications, I simply thought, "Yeah, it's going to hurt and there's nothing I can do about it." I didn't think about all the possible scenarios and how I could have given myself the ammo to deal with them. Instead, I gave that power to my obstetrician. 

I should have done my homework. 

I was bullied into a C-section after only 18 hours of labor. After the surgery, I was pumped with so many drugs that the fog made it difficult to even hold my firstborn. The nurse held my baby to my breast — only to begin the takedown of my nipples. This was not the romantic scene I had signed up for. And things only got worse from there. I felt anxious and depressed that I wasn't nursing successfully, and I had little confidence as a new mother. The C-section that I didn't ask for stripped the power from me completely, making me doubt my ability to mother my own child. I had never cried that much in my life.

When I became pregnant with my second, I was determined to do my research. And as it turns out, being prepared for childbirth has a direct effect on your abilities as a mother (or, more accurately, your thoughts on your ability as a mother). According to the Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, the satisfaction of a woman's childbirth experience has vital health implications for her and her family, and whether a mother is prepared for childbirth can help increase this satisfaction.

Katherine Hinic, PhD, conducted a 2017 study on 107 women in the first four days postpartum who gave birth to a healthy infant, carried to full-term, and planned to breastfeed. The new mothers were given a survey to evaluate their birth satisfaction, stress, and breastfeeding self-efficacy to see how these outcomes connected to their preparedness. Hinic wanted to study this because childbirth is the initial task of motherhood and can greatly impact early parenting. Essentially, a positive birth can be associated with an "increased maternal sense of competence, self-esteem, mastery, confidence, and decreased anxiety." 

The study showed that when women were in control and prepared for their labor, they were confident in their ability to breastfeed well. Thus, their overall childbirth experience was favorable, too. The study also demonstrated that women who had longer labors were not as satisfied with their experience. This, I will say, was actually untrue for my second birth. Yes, I labored from start to finish for 50 hours, but I was able to have the vaginal birth I had wanted so badly with my first. Because I was in control, I became a much more confident mother the second time around. I didn't doubt myself, nor did I feel any anxiety.

One surprising thing the study also demonstrated was that receiving pain management had no bearing on childbirth satisfaction. What did matter was whether the mother had the power to choose her method of pain medication. If the mother was prepared, was knowledgeable, and had the autonomy of choosing, then she had a better birthing experience. Thus, her competence in her ability to mother increased as well. Before my second labor started, I wanted to have a natural childbirth, but after 35 hours, I asked, in horrific pain, for that heavenly epidural. I wasn't disappointed — I was pleased that I was the one who made that choice. 

The childbirth experience is often the most memorable time in a woman's life. While it's easy to assume (like me) that giving birth is ultimately out of our control, you can (and should) take steps to make sure you're prepared for whatever may happen to your body and your baby. As women, we aren't always granted the opportunity to go through the birthing process many times (if at all), so it's wise to empower yourself with knowledge.