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would you hire a mother's helper?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm considering hiring someone to help out just a little. I'm thinking maybe a few hours on Saturday or Sunday. It's possible financially, though of course the $ could be used elsewhere. Seems like a no brainer, right? Hear me out.

DS is just past 2 and I work full time. I love my job, no stress there. DP (soon to be DH) works T/TH nights from 9pm - 4 or 5am. Sometimes he works other nights as well, sometimes earlier in the evening, and he's trying to get his business going too. Theoretically this means (according to his doc) that he should try to get at least 4 of sleep at the same time every day. We choose 9 - 1 so that he could help get DS ready in the morning and drive me to work & DS to school (we have 1 car). This doesn't always work though.

Quite often what ends up happening is that I spend all of my at home time taking care of DS. DP is frequently exhausted from the changing work/sleep hours. DS is definitely going through the "terrible twos" and I'm about at my wits end. On top of all this, despite being in daycare full time since 8 weeks old, he's only had a babysitter 3 times and doesn't do well with strangers.

If I had a mother's helper, what would I ask them to do? I'd love to say 'please play with my son and give me some peace' (I realize how terrible that sounds, but I'm at the end of my rope), but 1 - I can't have him screaming for me or daddy when daddy is trying to sleep and 2 - it seems like he actually *needs* me/us for some reason right now more than usual. He started crying abjectly at daycare dropoff about a month ago when it hasn't been a problem in a year. We've already verified that he's fine usually within 5 minutes.

I feel like if I can establish a relationship with someone DS will get used to that person and I'll be able to leave him with her for a date night, which we currently are not doing and desperately need. Oh yeah - I also have a 13 yr old step daughter. No, she cannot help with any of this, which is a long story all on its own.

Anyway this is kinda all over the place & incoherent, sorry. Any thoughts?
post #2 of 11

Any chance you could structure your job schedule to give you occasional time off during the hours the day care is open?  

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Not without taking a vacation day. We are very team oriented and expected to be in the office most of the time. They are pretty flexible and allow working from home when necessary, but I need to keep that for when it is necessary, like when his school/daycare is closed and needs someone (me) home with him, or when I'm sick (like now).
post #4 of 11
Originally Posted by neonalee View Post

If I had a mother's helper, what would I ask them to do? I'd love to say 'please play with my son and give me some peace' (I realize how terrible that sounds, but I'm at the end of my rope)
I don't see anything wrong with this, and that seems like exactly the definition of a mother's helper to me. Honestly, I don't think that a person is meant to be responsible for a small child solo all the time, and no wonder it is stressful! When we have friends over, often they pass the baby around for a good portion of the evening so that we can get dinner made or whatever. They enjoy interacting with her, she enjoys having people to interact with, we enjoy getting a bit of a break, and everyone's happy. (We usually all pitch in with making dinner and cleaning up, and joke that everyone helps with something, and that holding the baby counts as helping.) If you're concerned that your son won't do well with a mother's helper, how about you start out by being pretty involved in the interaction? You, the mother's helper, and your son, can all play together, and as your son gets more used to her (I'll just use that pronoun for simplicity's sake), you can try disengaging by, say, focusing a little more on a project and a little less on your son, while she continues to engage him. And then you just keep going from there, and maybe eventually you can flit in and out while your son spends time with her. I don't see a reason not to try it. If it doesn't work out, you can stop.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
I guess I feel guilty about it because I do work full time. Mornings are getting ready to go. Evening are getting dinner ready/eaten/cleaned up and getting ready for bed. Leaving just weekends to do fun stuff & all chores. And I still feel like I want time away from him???

Well, DP is working most of this weekend so the lady in DS's school room might spend some hours with us 1 day this weekend and we'll see how that goes.
post #6 of 11

Rereading your post--almost every minute you're not at work you are caring for him, and he's going through a difficult phase. Sounds like enough reason to want a break to me. 


I really don't think that you need more reason for a break than "I feel like I would benefit from it". If getting a mother's helper for a couple of hours on Saturday so that you can put your feet up and read a novel (or whatever) is what it takes to help you feel recharged and ready for the week, then no need to justify it to anybody. Do what works for you and your family. If you feel like you want time away from him, that is how you feel. Chewing yourself out about it won't make you magically not feel that way, and it'll just add guilt. Try to go easy on yourself. It's hard when you have feelings that you wish you didn't. 

post #7 of 11

As a married, working parent I am in more or less the same boat. I do pretty much nothing other than work and parent. And I want it that way. The thought of additional childcare on the weekend is actually pretty hideous to me. 


However, it really really sounds like you could use some help so you can do whatever it is that you need and whatever it is, it is really okay to get that help. I find for instance that serious housekeeping and laundry and grocery shopping is what I want more than anything so that when I wake up on Saturday I have the luxury of playtime in a clean house. I also plan during the week what I want to do with the kids so that I don't hit the "good time" and waffle and waste time. We have a nanny though and that plus weekly cleaning gets me mostly were I want to be.


Try and think about what it is you need (time by yourself without childcare, less errands, more clean everything) and then get the help you need and afford. Sometimes, honestly, just by giving yourself the option it really frees up your mind. And think about when you want the time. Sometimes a Wednesday evening works just as well as weekend help and might feel less disruptive.

post #8 of 11

I find that hiring an energetic teenager to come play with my son is great for everyone. The teenager has fun and makes a few bucks, and my son loves the attention, but he is also at home with me so neither of us feel as though I'm not *with* him, if that makes any sense. I can do some other tasks and just sort of supervise their games out of the corner of my eye.


Try it. It's awesome.

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies smile.gif the lady from his daycare room came for 4 hours Saturday night & it was great! She played with him while I got the kitchen to a semi acceptable state & ran a couple errands, then I invited her & her son (who almost always goes to her baby sitting jobs because he is only 10, etc) to dinner since we were just having pizza anyway. I get along with her in a personal level & I think that made me more comfortable too. He was a little unsure of her being *here* at first but it worked out well.

I do feel like I have to catch up with house work on weekends. I don't feel like we can have someone come in and clean because too much needs to be put away first. I'm sure most if not all of you understand what I mean? And it takes way longer than it should because I cannot concentrate on any task for a significant amount of time. So I'm open to suggestions about that as well.

Sent from my phone using Tapatalk, please ignore typos!
post #10 of 11

Just chiming in to say this is a great idea. I think in earlier times when families were larger, the oldest kids would have taken on this role.

post #11 of 11

Exhausted mama chiming in here to say thanks for the reminder and ideas. Used to have a mother's helper come on occasion. To consider it again.

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