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Hiring a Mother’s Helper

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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.

Ask friends

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?

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Monday 5th of March 2012

When I first started caring for children I was about 9 years old. People are always amazed when I tell them this, but truth be told all I wanted to do was spend my time around children, and what better way to do that then by playing with them while their mother's got stuff done. At first I just played with the toddlers, but in time the mothers would start to teach me how to feed the baby, change them, even but them to bed. By the time I was 14 I had been working with all sorts of kids on a weekly basis for 5 years! I will forever be thankful for the mother's who let me come be a mother's helper for them. I learned a lot and I am sure it was nice for them to get a break!

Christi Mallonee

Monday 5th of March 2012

I know that not everyone live near, or has a great relationship with, their own parents....but isn't this what GRANDPARENTS are for!/? LOL I think my mother would flip if i paid for someone to come spend time with my kids, I just call her and she comes running over to help out! She has even flown across the state to help me out when we were stationed in SD for 3 years! :-)


Monday 5th of March 2012

I think a mother's helper is a great idea. I work from home, and my fiance works 3rd shift, so he has to sleep in until about 4:00 PM. I've recently started the process of looking for someone to help out once a week for about that chunk of time, three to four hours, so I can get some extra work or household projects done.

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