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#1 of 34 Old 02-22-2013, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I need help at my house. I have an almost 3 year old, newborn twins, we own a business, and I have a homestead. I want chickens and to be able to make my food from scratch, but I just cant get it together to do all that with no help. DH will be home 4 days a week, but he needs to be doing office work for our business. So, Im planning to hire someone to help out for about 20 hours a week. Basically, just someone to be an extra set of hands. Someone to help dress kids, to help keep the house tidy, make food with me, play with DD while I nurse the twins, and help with laundry and dishes. 

 

My friend, who lives about a mile away, is having her baby in April and has to go back to work in August- 4 days a week.  In August, Ill have 8 month old twins, a 3.5 year old, and her baby will be almost 4 months old. Do you think it would work for her to leave her baby with me and my mothers helper? Or, do you think that's too many kids for two adults?


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#2 of 34 Old 02-22-2013, 09:36 PM
 
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It would be too much for me but I think it really depends on the personalities of the people involved. I don't have twins but, at 8mo my oldest was very mummy-centric and my now 3mo will only sometimes sleep by herself.

If the littlies were pretty settled on their own for sleeps and your bigger girl could have some independent play periods fairly consistently then it could work but otherwise it seems like you could both spend all your time doing child care activities and not get any of the other things done.

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#3 of 34 Old 02-23-2013, 12:50 AM
 
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first see how your mothers helper works out. how dependable is she?

 

are you doing it for the money or to help out a friend?

 

i think it would work but that is an added stress to your life? do you want to add that? 

 

like katelove said, personalities matter so much. 

 

but seriously the whole situation is too funny. here you are getting help to help YOU with 3 kids and now you want to add one more to the melee. 

 

it will be a madhouse if your friends child misses mama too much and spends their time crying and wanting mama


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#4 of 34 Old 02-23-2013, 06:48 AM
 
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With 3 kids under 1yr, I would assume the other person, that should be called a nanny, not a mothers helper, would be totally consumed watching the infants (diaper changes, getting down for naps, feeding the baby, bringing you the twins to nurse, etc) that there won't be much time for the 3yr old to get quality interaction from the nanny.
That being said if you were willing to take on all the care of the oldest, I could see you being able to cook, clean , and do yard work with the 3 yr old in tow

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#5 of 34 Old 02-23-2013, 07:26 AM
 
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With 3 kids under 1yr, I would assume the other person, that should be called a nanny, not a mothers helper, would be totally consumed watching the infants (diaper changes, getting down for naps, feeding the baby, bringing you the twins to nurse, etc) that there won't be much time for the 3yr old to get quality interaction from the nanny.

Good point!!! i hadnt thought of that. yup 3 diaper changes and nap times i can see being a challenge. 


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#6 of 34 Old 02-23-2013, 08:03 AM
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That's too much.  It doesn't make sense.  You're looking to lighten your load, not add to it.  


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#7 of 34 Old 02-23-2013, 08:46 AM
 
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Nope, too much. I think it's great that you're hiring someone to help out with your already heavy load. Taking on this extra (huge!) responsibility would just erode some of that. 


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#8 of 34 Old 02-23-2013, 02:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

My friend, who lives about a mile away, is having her baby in April and has to go back to work in August- 4 days a week.  In August, Ill have 8 month old twins, a 3.5 year old, and her baby will be almost 4 months old. Do you think it would work for her to leave her baby with me and my mothers helper? Or, do you think that's too many kids for two adults?

 

I personally think it is too many very young kids who need almost constant interaction for you to expect this person to also be helping very much with housework beyond feeding them and cleaning up after them all day.

 

Is helping your friend with child care more important than the other things you want done in your home? Is splitting the cost of hiring this person the only way you can both hire someone to meet your needs?

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#9 of 34 Old 02-23-2013, 07:56 PM
 
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It's too many, too much. I've had 4 kids and a 4 day a week nanny before to help me care for everyone. We tag teamed the child care, house work, groceries, appointments, anything that needed to be done. The kids were spaced out more and it was still utter chaos. The right nanny will lighten your load, the wrong one just adds to it. Personal experience here so make sure the personalities mesh! 

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#10 of 34 Old 02-24-2013, 12:01 PM
 
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Well I guess I'll be the voice of dissent... it doesn't sound like too much to me, but of course really depends on the nanny and on the kids' temperaments. I'd try it for a while with just your kids, and decide whether to invite your friend's kid once you have an idea of how well it's working.

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#11 of 34 Old 02-24-2013, 04:07 PM
 
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The hours don't add up to me -- you want to hire the nanny for 20 hours a week, but have your friend leave her baby 4 days a week. To me, it sounds like there would be times you had ALL the kids, no help, and trying to do a bunch of other stuff at the same time.


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#12 of 34 Old 02-24-2013, 05:28 PM
 
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The hours don't add up to me -- you want to hire the nanny for 20 hours a week, but have your friend leave her baby 4 days a week. To me, it sounds like there would be times you had ALL the kids, no help, and trying to do a bunch of other stuff at the same time.

 

Agree. If you do try it, I think you will need someone full-time. 20 hours of help will only be 4 hours per day from Monday to Friday. That might work out with some lucky scheduling eg. your helper is there in the morning and all 3 babies take lengthy afternoon naps, so you have some time for the 3 y.o. and for the homesteading that you want to do. What are the chances of that happening though?

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#13 of 34 Old 02-25-2013, 02:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, I forgot to mention that the added benefit for myself. We would likely have the nanny/mothers helper for 30-40 hours per week if my friend left her baby here, but right now we cant afford that. The idea is that if she was paying me to watch her little too, then I could afford to have the person here for more hours. 

 

Im glad I asked, because people I know IRL who have a bunch of kids, or have watched other people's children say that there really isnt that big of a difference between 3 kids and 4. It sounds like you all think differently in that area :) 

 

I guess I've always thought of a nanny as someone who was responsible for child care. Thats why I was calling this position a "mothers helper" because really, its more about having an extra hand than having someone to watch my kids. I need help with housework more than anything. Maybe Im using the wrong title- I havent posted this job offer yet and now Im thinking maybe I should change it. Currently I have it in the description as "household/homesteading help." Basically, I can handle three kids. I just cant do it with a clean house, a garden, chickens, food made from scratch, and DD free of screen time. So, do you call that person a nanny?


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#14 of 34 Old 02-25-2013, 03:37 AM
 
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There probably isn't a big difference between three and four older kids but three babies is pretty full on. At 4-8 months my LO was being fed to sleep for all sleeps and wanted to be on or near me most of the time. Plus nappy changes every couple of hours, breastfeeding every couple of hours, needing fairly close supervision for solids still, etc. I guess maybe the twins would entertain each other a bit more than a singleton but I don't have much twin experience so I don't know how that would work.

As far as the job description, if s/he is mainly going to be doing housework-type things then I wouldn't call it a nanny. Nanny suggests child care with possibly some light child-related housework to me. I'm not sure what title to give the job you're describing. My ad would probably say Help Wanted - Homestead and then give a list of the activities you want them involved with. If that might include child care I would definitely mention it because I think that's the sort of thing which could become a potential problem down the track.

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#15 of 34 Old 02-25-2013, 03:56 AM
 
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i am not sure in the big picture what you set to gain with having your friend's child apart from helping a friend out. if you are going to get additional help with her money.

 

like pp stated even in large families no one has experience of a 7 month and 4 month together. 

 

the key here is YOUR work will increase if you are the only one doing childcare. not your other work. 

 

so for now are you going to get help and later hire a nanny or increase the person who is working's time? or would you hire a nanny for an extra 20 hours?

 

there is quite a bit of difference between 30 and 40 hours. 

 

if you have a choice why add on extra stress in your life? isnt 4 months the time when babies get stranger anxiety or does your friend plan to spend a lot of time in your house with her new born for baby and you to get familiar with each other?


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#16 of 34 Old 02-25-2013, 05:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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katelove,

you are definitely right, I will inlcude childcare in the description.

 

Meemee, 

What I have to gain is having another adult at my house for an additional 10-20 hours per week at no additional charge to me. I am expecting the person I hire to be an additional adult- doing all the things I would do or DH would do. My friend lives right here next to me, so yes, I will be very familiar with a baby. I know that no one has experience with babies that close together in their family, but plenty of people do in home daycares and things like that, so I thought someone might have experience. I am just looking to increase the person's hours, not hire a new person or an additional person. Im trying to figure this stuff out now, so that when Im interviewing for this position in a week or so, I can give the person the information so its not sprung on them later. The additional baby would be here for 24 hours per week. 

 

Here is my personal list of things I need help with, not the official posting I intend to make :) (also, my house is really small, so if 30 minutes of cleaning keeps it pretty clean unless you make a big toy mess or cook a giant meal. Laundry is the biggest cleaning issue)

 

Here are some things that I need help with at home:
switching babies out to nurse
someone to sit in the car with the kids while i run errands
playing with Ada
bringing laundry up from the basement/taking it down
sweeping
stocking fires
helping make lunch
cleaning up dishes and food
getting snacks for Ada
helping me keep the house tidy
taking out my trash/compost/recycling
picking up toys
watching kids while I make business phone calls
helping get kids bathed and dressed
gardening!! *this is going to be a huge one once the warm weather
comes*

 

We'll be outside a lot, and Ill need an extra person to help me
watch kids and garden.


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#17 of 34 Old 02-25-2013, 06:01 AM
 
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Your list really sounds like a description for a nanny, with light housework. There is a lot of child care in that list to consider it 'homesteading help'. I would consider maybe hiring a couple separate people? Maybe someone for 5-10 hours a week of housekeeping, someone else to do gardening 10 hours a week, and maybe a nanny or mother's helper to help with errands/baby-sitting/entertaining/etc. a couple hours a day. If it's split up it might be cheaper and also you might get more for your money because whoever you hire won't be scattered over a huge & varied list of responsibilities but instead focused on the few tasks you need them to accomplish. Plus you will get people with more expertise in each specific area rather than one person who's great with kids but not so much with running a home...

I don't think having a few extra kids around is a big deal once they are past the toddler stage but 3 babies that close in age might be a challenge, especially if you're expecting this person to also cook, clean, garden, etc. If you don't want to hire several different people, you might consider narrowing down your job description to one or two categories (childcare OR cleaning OR gardening...)

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#18 of 34 Old 02-25-2013, 07:08 AM
 
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That's too much.  It doesn't make sense.  You're looking to lighten your load, not add to it.  

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#19 of 34 Old 02-25-2013, 08:08 AM
 
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I really like the suggestion of hiring several people. This way things are more likely to get done. Otherwise the adults will both spend time with the kids as there will always be a kid wanting/needing something.

Are there any "jobs" you want to do yourself?

The gardener could have a very flexible schedule.

The mothers helper could be an older teenager to watch all 4 kids while you do your business stuff or cook. I think most daycares have 4 baby limits. I do have concerns with anyone being able to keep 4 young kids quiet enough for you to make calls in a tiny house. You can either take calls outside/in your garage.

Have you asked a mother of infant triplets how much she gets done during the day? Especial one with an additonal preschooler. I think you might be over estimating what this extra person could do. Just keeping 3 babies safe, fed, clean, and content is a full time job.

A housekeeper a couple times a week just to do a load of laundry and whatever cleaning that could be done while the laundry is going.

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#20 of 34 Old 02-25-2013, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I really like the suggestion of hiring several people. This way things are more likely to get done. Otherwise the adults will both spend time with the kids as there will always be a kid wanting/needing something.

Are there any "jobs" you want to do yourself?
 

Of course. All of them, that's the problem.

 

 

I cant hire 2-3 separate people. We live out in the country. When someone comes to my house, they want to work for a few hours because its not like Im centrally located. What I really need is an extra hand. Basically, I just need someone to be here and help out when DH is not here. The career placement at the local college is helping me come up with a job title and description to send out in an email blast. I've had friends here visiting with me for a few weeks, helping here and there with cleaning, cooking, and childcare. We all kind of rotate depending on who needs me at the time, or what Im trying to get done. It worked great, but none of my friends can just be here with me 20 hours a week. Its too bad too, because they are all really good at helping me balance my household. What I really wish is that my mom didnt have to work and could just stay with us a few days a week. Boo.


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#21 of 34 Old 02-25-2013, 09:13 AM
 
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till you find someone could you get an organized helpers tree set up. so some are not doing more than others. could your mom or one of your friends help with that in case you feel bad asking.

 

i say Boo too. if i was your mother i'd be sad too. 


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#22 of 34 Old 02-25-2013, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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meemee,

Thats what we are currently doing, but it's getting towards the end of everyone being available. I have such a great community of support, and believe me, over the past year they have really stepped up and been there for me. Im hoping to hire someone by March 10, because that's when our current organizing tree (or as we call it, Holly's Helpers, jokingly) runs out. 

 

And my mom is sad that it cant be her. She's still tons of weekend help!


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#23 of 34 Old 02-25-2013, 09:47 AM
 
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I think the "rotation" aspect is key - and hopefully they can help you with some wording to capture that.

 

It's easy for you to understand, because you've been experiencing how that ebb and flow works with your "helpers" - but it's hard to explain on here, or in a job ad.  I'm with others who mentioned that, on the basis of your list and the vague (but understandable) idea of "an extra pair of hands" - it seems like far too much work for one person, especially 20 hours a week.

 

It may help to think through specific situations, and how they would work (and explain them in an interview, if not on paper).  Say you want to do some gardening, DH is busy, twins and Ada are all awake (leaving additional baby out for the moment).  Do you take Ada outside to do the gardening?  Is Ada likely to play quietly inside on her own, while the nanny/helper tends to the twins?  Or do you only plan to do gardening while some (or all) of the kids are napping?  Are you envisioning the helper actually participating in garden work itself?  If so, are you on the sidelines with all 3 of the kids while this happens?

 

Those logistics would be helpful in order to wrap your (and our and any prospective applicant's) head around what specifically you are looking for.  Inside chores seem to be a little more flexible (nanny could fold clothes while monitoring sleeping babies, or you could have the twins nursing while Ada colors, and the helper could start dinner prep or wash dishes, etc.) but especially for the bigger, more labor intensive stuff - how you would divide responsibility for child care vs. the task at hand would be helpful.


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#24 of 34 Old 02-25-2013, 09:54 AM
 
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Also depends a lot on each child's temperament/style and schedule.  Is Ada is easily entertained, or able to play alone?  How often do the twins nurse and nap?  What is Ada's schedule like?  Are any of the three more intensive/high needs or are they pretty easy going, roll with the punches types?  Do the babies need to be held all the time, or do they like some downtime playing in their crib?

 

Finally, I just wanted to say, I don't know how you are juggling this even WITH help, so kudos to you! thumb.gif


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#25 of 34 Old 02-25-2013, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It may help to think through specific situations, and how they would work (and explain them in an interview, if not on paper).  Say you want to do some gardening, DH is busy, twins and Ada are all awake (leaving additional baby out for the moment).  Do you take Ada outside to do the gardening?  Is Ada likely to play quietly inside on her own, while the nanny/helper tends to the twins?  Or do you only plan to do gardening while some (or all) of the kids are napping?  Are you envisioning the helper actually participating in garden work itself?  If so, are you on the sidelines with all 3 of the kids while this happens?

 

 

Right. Im having a hard time figuring out how to explain this, so in an interview might be best.

RE: gardening: DH would prepare and plant the garden, so really it just needs to be maintained. So, what Im looking for is someone to help me pull weeds, harvest stuff, and occasionally replant things. DH would do the big stuff like tying tomatoes to cages, adding compost, etc. I envision either the other person doing it with Ada, or me running out and doing it with her while the other person watches the twins. 

 

Ada does still nap, the twins dont have to be held all the time, and the kids all do pretty well with stuff constantly going on in the house. But, who knows how long that will last, right?

 

Basically, all the "work" of the house is easy to do and can be maintained as long as I never let it go. With DH and one friend here we have been able to cook meals, keep the house tidy, keep up with laundry, and even do some cool projects like pickling eggs, homebrewing, making vinegar, and dying fabric. Without a friend here, I can just barely keep up with cooking and laundry. No extra anything, and I feel like those extra projects really help keep DD involved with stuff that's going on and make her feel included. She has a blast doing that kind of stuff. 


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#26 of 34 Old 02-25-2013, 12:25 PM
 
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yes ... make sure you stress in your ad that the person need to be flexible and adapt to your needs of the moment

"an extra pair of hands" seem to be a good description to me

now, you just need to find someone without too many pre-conceived ideas and who can help you regain the balance that you had when you had friends around to help you ...

i would be VERY specific in the job description since you know already what type of help you need & it's not such a common job that you offer ...

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#27 of 34 Old 02-25-2013, 04:16 PM
 
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I hope you can find someone who can be "an extra pair of hands" but in reality I feel like it's easier for friends/family to do than a stranger you've hired. Maybe there is someone out there with the right set of interests, flexibility, and ability to judge what needs to be done when, but I think that is rather rare. I still think you will be better off narrowing down your job description just a little bit. It's hard to do a job well if it's vague/vast/hard to define. It leaves a lot of room for ambiguity and uncertainty and there would be a huge learning curve. If you hire someone specifically to take care of the children while you do household tasks & projects, you might feel more satisfied with the results. (Or hire someone specifically to cook/clean while you do childcare, or whatever would feel most enjoyable to you.)
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#28 of 34 Old 02-25-2013, 05:51 PM
 
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also i would keep Holly's helpers :) organized too just in case the help did not come. or a change of hands needed to take place. 

 

i do hope you find the right person holly. it would be such a wonderful relationship.

 

i think this is like having a second 'wife' for you. hopefully you will find a kind soul. 


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#29 of 34 Old 02-25-2013, 07:57 PM
 
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Love the wife comment! So true.

I think the biggest issues will be you being happy with the end results. Thinking you could do it better or quicker. Easier with friends, often much different when you are paying someone.
with childcare, some days you are just not as productive. If any of the kids are sick/teething especially a nursing, that could keep you dealing with just one child where the other person has the other 3 and only do the basic childcare with none of the house/yard work being touched.

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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#30 of 34 Old 02-25-2013, 08:34 PM
 
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A couple of reality checks ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post
Basically, I can handle three kids.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post
I've had friends here visiting with me for a few weeks, helping here and there with cleaning, cooking, and childcare. We all kind of rotate depending on who needs me at the time, or what Im trying to get done. It worked great, but none of my friends can just be here with me 20 hours a week. Its too bad too, because they are all really good at helping me balance my household. What I really wish is that my mom didnt have to work and could just stay with us a few days a week. Boo.

 

I doesn't sound like you have been handling 3 babies -- it sounds like you have lots of support. Your babies may be get difficult rather than easier. They will eventually cut teeth. My experience with multiple kids was that when one of us was sick, we ALL ended up sick.

 

I think you would be better off shoring up your own family first before considering adding another infant.

 

The person you hire will not send a sub in case of illness, and often in such jobs (with low pay and no benefits) its hard to find someone to stick around. You may have to train them for certain tasks. I think to make a commitment to care for another infant is overreaching until things are running well at your home, and that could take awhile.

 

Where I live, the max number of infants per caretaker is 4, and they aren't trying to do anything else at the same time. Three infants and a to do list is a lot. I suspect that there will be times that you have one twin and the mothers helper will have the other and the 3 year will be taking another room apart.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post
i think this is like having a second 'wife' for you. hopefully you will find a kind soul. 

 

yeah, but not all wives do the same things. I think that in the job description/interview process, it would help to be clear on what the person HAS to be able to do coming in, what they really ought to be willing to learn (and what you are fine with teaching), and what they just aren't into. If you found just the right grandmotherly person to help care for the babies and was very cool with nursing (which not everyone is) and helps tidy and cook, do you really care if they hate to go outdoors? Is that a deal breaker?  For a while, I had the perfect cleaning lady, but she didn't do laundry. Ever. It was just a line for her.

 

I think the list of what you want is pretty long, and because all of those things are comfortable things for you, I don't think you realize that some of the things are specialized skills.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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