What Know About Hiring a Mother's Helper

By Alicia Geigel on September 10, 2022

Parenting in the modern world is no easy feat. Between balancing a work schedule, taking care of home responsibilities, and managing a sliver of time for yourself, it can be exhausting trying to carry the weight of everything (and everyone) on your shoulders. While some people hire a babysitter or nanny to take over those responsibilities, others will go the route of a mother’s helper to do the job.

If you’re not familiar with the term mother’s helper and what a person in that position does, that feeling of unfamiliarity can turn you off to the idea altogether. If you’re looking for some help taking care of your children while upholding other obligations, here is everything you should know about hiring a mother’s helper!

mom, child, babysitter, nanny, kid, table, laptop

Image via Pexels

What is a Mother’s Helper?

While a nanny or babysitter takes care of children without the supervision of the parents, a mother’s helper typically fulfills similar responsibilities and carries out small tasks that involve taking care of the children with one of the parents present in the home. A mother’s helper is usually a younger individual, such as a pre-teen or teenager, that doesn’t have the experience to supervise children by themselves, but they can also be people who are experienced in childcare as well.

The job of a mother’s helper is to provide extra help or lend a hand to the parent seeking their services. The tasks and responsibilities can range from reading stories and playing games to doing laundry and cleaning up toys. The duties of a mother’s helper are up to the discretion of the parent(s), but they are usually no different than that of a babysitter or nanny, just with the presence of the parents in the home while he/she is doing them.

What to Know About Hiring a Mother’s Helper

Start Your Search Close: Unlike traditional babysitters and nannies, a mother’s helper does not have to be someone that has a lot of experience under their belt. Rather, they can be someone looking to learn how to be a good babysitter or nanny while gaining knowledge and experience in the process. Because of this, you can start your search for the right mother’s helper close by asking friends, family members, co-workers, neighbors, etc., if they know of any person looking to work with you and your children. Most of the time, you’ll come across a referral of some sort through this process, and landing on the right candidate is as simple as sitting down and interviewing them.

Conduct a Thorough Interview: Just as you would do with a babysitter or nanny candidate, you’ll want to have a formal sit-down interview with the person you’re looking to hire to get a feel of their personality and, most importantly, if you think they are qualified and fit for the job. The interview questions do not have to be intense in nature, but be sure to address topics that are important to you to clear the air of any misconceptions or miscommunication errors in the long run. Questions that you can ask during this process can include: Why do you want this job? What skills do you have that you think would make you a good fit? What is your main goal when working with me and my children? Asking questions like this can open the door for in-depth conversations that can give you reassurance about whether they will be the person you hire for the job or not.

Establish the Job Duties: Before you even hire your candidate, it is of utmost importance that you establish your expectations for the job as well as lay out the job duties for the prospective mother’s helper. Regardless if the tasks are big or small, being crystal clear about the responsibilities you expect your mother’s helper to carry out will help to alleviate any problems in the future. Job duties for a mother’s helper can include preparing lunches and snacks, packing school lunches, helping with homework, playing games indoors and outdoors, reading books, getting ready for bed/errands/school/etc. If your expectations change and there is more or less you are expecting of the person, be sure to let them know before getting frustrated that they may not be performing to your standards- remember, communication is key!

Set Ground Rules: Ground rules are another key part that will help your mother’s helper do their job to the best of their ability. If the person does not know what they can and cannot do in your home, it makes for an environment that is bound to be uncomfortable for all parents. Talk over your specific ground rules with your mother’s helper to get them acquainted with what you tolerate and what is prohibited. Ground rules can include limits on screen time, foods and drinks to avoid due to allergies or other conditions, disciplinary actions, etc.

Don’t Forget About Pay: While a mother’s helper does not do as much as a nanny or babysitter does, they nonetheless deserve to be compensated for their work. Navigating the pay conversation with a young teen can be difficult, as most don’t know a comfortable range to ask for, but $5 an hour is a good place to start. Depending on their job duties and responsibilities, that number can either increase or decrease.

mom, child, kid, babysitter, nanny, yoga, smile, family

Image via Pexels

When you need an extra hand in the house, hiring a mother’s helper can take some weight off of your shoulders and give you the ability to breathe while knowing your home is taken care of. While there are a few steps to ensure you zero in on a good mother’s helper, the process is worth it for the right one!

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