Choosing a caregiver for one’s children is never an easy task. I found it to be one of the most stressful aspects of being a parent. My husband used to DJ every Saturday night while I stayed home alone with a newborn and fourteen month old. The nights were long and lonely. Then I would have to wake up early with both kids while my husband slept in since he usually didn’t make it to bed until around 4:00 a.m. We spent Sundays in a sleep deprived fog. The worst part was that we both had to work on Monday morning. We really needed some help.
We decided to hire a mother’s helper. She would arrive every Sunday at 7 a.m. and was a godsend. She would hang out with my toddler, feed him breakfast, and do some light cleaning if necessary. I would get a few more hours of sleep with the baby. Once I woke up I would prepare a nice breakfast and clean up the house at a leisurely pace. It felt so luxurious and was money well spent. She was amazing and hiring her really saved my sanity.
If you don’t need/aren’t ready for/can’t afford a babysitter I highly suggest a mother’s helper. I loved that I was always home and a shout away if my son needed me. He never did but it provided me with extra piece of mind since I was still a relatively new stressed out mother. If you are thinking of hiring a mother’s helper here is some advice.
I hired a good friend’s young teenage daughter. She wasn’t old enough to be left alone with young kids but she was definitely good to go under my supervision. In fact, she was downright amazing. Friendly, efficient, and professional. The girl was impressive. Perhaps you have a friend with a teen looking for some pocket money and babysitting experience. It never hurts to ask and their rates are often pretty awesome.
Advertise to college students
College students aren’t as cheap as young teenagers but you get a little more piece of mind if you do allow them to spend some unsupervised time with your kids. My new mother’s helper is a college student and I have no issues with her taking the kids to the park or out for a walk while I get some cleaning or writing done.
Hang up fliers at your local coffee or sub shops, public areas of local universities, or even try Craigslist. My current mother’s helper has impressed me so much that I am hiring her to babysit my kids next month when I attend a university party with my husband. I am super excited and completely comfortable with her capabilities.
Be flexible & productive
Mother’s helpers tend to be on the younger side and have a tendency to have erratic schedules. My previous mother’s helper sometimes had cheerleading competitions and my current mother’s helper is sometimes flat out too busy at school to help out. It is totally okay. I try to look at my mother’s helper time as a treat. She is not a nanny or babysitter. We schedule a 3 or 4 hour block once or twice a month on average. I would love to have her weekly but sometimes life gets too hectic. Try not to get disappointed.
Make the absolute best use of the free time your mother’s helper does allow you to get. Don’t be like me and spend an hour chasing your tail like “omg, omg, omg I’M ALONE!”. Make a list of what you want to accomplish during that time and make it happen. You will feel so much better if at the end of your allotted time you have something to show for the brief time away from your kids and the money you spent. However if you just need a nap then go for it. Guilt free. It’ll be some of the best money you ever spent.
Would you or have you ever hired a mother’s helper?