A job idea I have - your input wanted - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 12-05-2006, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am trying to come up with a job for myself that I can do from home, and have an idea that I want to pass by you guys. I am a project manager, so my idea would work really well.

The idea is to new "new mommy" maintenance.

I remember how crazy it was those first three months, and even 6 months, when I didn't clip my nails, get a hair cut, or any of the routine maintenance that one does. It was hard to even get a shower every day. It still is!

I was thinking about setting up a service where for a monthly fee, I would help new moms get these things done. Making hair appointments, arranging for cleaners to come in, setting up grocery shopping and making sure snacks well-stocked, going out to get baby items or running other annoying but necessary items, etc.

What do you think? What kind of things did you need help getting done?

What would I call it? the mama doula? An Afterwife? Something funny or up-beat.
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#2 of 21 Old 12-05-2006, 10:45 PM
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Post-partum doula - which does exist. Lactation help would be included in that.
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#3 of 21 Old 12-05-2006, 10:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, a postpartum doula is more holistic and nurturing to the entire family. A bit different than what I am thinking. I am talking about practical stuff. Setting appointments, running emergency errands, etc. Totally mom focused.
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#4 of 21 Old 12-05-2006, 10:54 PM
 
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I'd call it "Mothering the Mother".
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#5 of 21 Old 12-05-2006, 11:52 PM
 
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This sounds great. Do you live in an highly populated area? I can tell you that when I was postpartum I needed someone to help me in so many ways! First there was the need for food. I needed someone to make food for me and go grocery shopping for me. There were a few times that I needed someone to go buy me some pads for all my bleeding and there was one time that I desperatally needed someone to go pick up a gift for my doula.
About a week postpartum I realized that I needed a boppy for nursing and I had to drive to a baby store and buy one. These are the things that you should advertise about. I would have LOVED to have you. Good luck!
(would you be available for bathroom cleaning and dish washing also?)

Joyful mama of 3.
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#6 of 21 Old 12-06-2006, 12:26 AM
 
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That is a good idea. However, I wouldn't limit yourself to just post-partum moms. There are moms with kids of all ages who might need/want something like that. I believe I have heard of others starting similiar home-businesses....calling themselves a household manager or something like that.

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#7 of 21 Old 12-06-2006, 12:37 AM
 
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I SO needed help like that after my son was born. I really wanted to set up a contract with this company http://www.nathaliekelly.com/MamaDou...0A%20Doula.htm but in the end I just couldn't afford it.
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#8 of 21 Old 12-06-2006, 12:57 AM
 
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It sounds more like concierge service than doula service. The Mom-cierge? I dunno, my brain is fried.
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#9 of 21 Old 12-06-2006, 05:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ameliabedelia View Post
That is a good idea. However, I wouldn't limit yourself to just post-partum moms. There are moms with kids of all ages who might need/want something like that. I believe I have heard of others starting similiar home-businesses....calling themselves a household manager or something like that.
I think you SHOULD only gear your business toward post-partum moms. If you dont-your business advertisements wont jump out at as many people. Specifics usually catch the attention of those in need.
Sure there have tons of times in my life that I needed help but PP moms need it the most. They are overwhelmed, exsausted and shouldnt have to do anything but bond with their new baby. This is seriously such a great idea.

Joyful mama of 3.
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#10 of 21 Old 12-06-2006, 05:31 PM
 
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What a great idea. I would have definately used your service.

Wife to Joe and Mama to Rosie, 6/28/06, Jack, 10/25/08 and JoJo 3/18/10.
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#11 of 21 Old 12-06-2006, 05:38 PM
 
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"Feeling overwhelmed by motherhood? Wish that there were 48 hours in a day and you had 4 arms?" I think the idea works for all moms. Or, you could advertise for postpartum help and then put a little note at the end "all moms welcome".
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#12 of 21 Old 12-06-2006, 05:42 PM
 
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Yes I like that idea.

Joyful mama of 3.
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#13 of 21 Old 12-06-2006, 06:31 PM
 
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especially if you have a flexible payment schedule... new babies don't often come with budget increases. Or-- market to those buying a gift for a new mom. AWESOME gift idea.

I'm a proud mama of two girls! 4/30/06 Madeline, 09/25/08 Amelia
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#14 of 21 Old 12-06-2006, 06:37 PM
 
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Definately - gift certificates....great shower gift
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#15 of 21 Old 12-06-2006, 07:15 PM
 
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oh oh oh...it just came to me....... Mom-Ease Helper (read as mommys helper!!)
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#16 of 21 Old 12-06-2006, 07:25 PM
 
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#17 of 21 Old 12-06-2006, 11:22 PM
 
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This sounds like a GREAT idea, wirewendy! There is a real need for the service you'd be offering.

I'm not a mom yet, but I've been working with children for about 15 years, and I have often unofficially found myself in a role similiar to what you're describing. For a few years, I was a home visitor/services provider through an Early Intervention agency... my job was to help toddlers with special needs integrate into their families, working with the children but in the context of the family... but what I soon discovered is that supporting the MOMS was just as important than supporting the children, and sometimes moreso.

For example - I wouldn't just come into their home and play with the child in the playroom, I would integrate myself into whatever was going on in the family at that moment. If it was bathtime, I'd dash off for extra towels as needed, distract Liam (random name) by singing goofy songs so he wouldn't scream while his mom shampooed his hair, bring his mom the phone when it was ringing and she couldn't leave the side of the tub, and help mop up the floor. If it was time to run errands, I'd help carry stuff to and from the car, hold/entertain the baby when we had to wait in lines or her mom was busy writing a check, go pick up the applesauce in aisle 11 so mom didn't have to go back to the other end of the grocery store, etc.
And sometimes, the mom(s) and I would just sit on the living room couch being social, while the child(ren) played. The way it differed from typical social interactions, however, was that usually the mom(s) would do about 90% of the talking, with me being the listener. It's what they needed, especially the single, SAHMs who didn't have (m)any adults to talk with day to day. So I just let the rivers of words flow, actively listening, being supportive and validating as necessary, but mostly just plain listening. I was sometimes amazed at the very personal things these moms would talk to me about, but I made sure to keep it all confidential.

I wasn't "doing my job," though; I wasn't adhering to my job description as set by the Early Intervention agency... and sometimes this was a problem. For instance, when my supervisor accompanied me on a session one day, the mom and I were singing "Old McDonald" with her daughter, but when the daughter lost interest, the mom and I kept going, singing hilarious lyrics we had made up, laughing and laughing. I later got slightly scolded for that, because I wasn't being "child-centered." I got the sense that my supervisor thought that the mom and I were just goofing off, that I was taking a break from "working," but I saw it differently. I knew that those times bonding with, laughing with, and supporting the mom were just as important and necessary as my time spent with her child. Children are more likely to be happy and healthy when their parents are, you know?
I frequently felt judged for being "not professional enough"... I eventually had to quit my Early Intervention work, partly because of that. I didn't want to be "professional." I was glad to be able to form such close bonds with the moms I was with, and some of them confided in me that they felt scared of/intimidated by the true professionals (my co-workers, sometimes), and didn't feel comfortable having them in their house.

So, I'm babbling. But I wanted to suggest that you be prepared for the possibility that some mothers may use you as an outlet, pouring out all the thoughts and words and secrets they've been holding in. I'm not recommending you officially list this as one of your services - but be aware of the possibility, and decide ahead of time what your boundaries are. How close are you willing to be with these moms? Where are you, on the continuum of professional vs. personal?

Also, parents of young children with special needs might be especially appreciative of/in need of your services. Through working in this field, I have noticed that there are a LOT of social services agencies that provide a myriad of services for the children themselves... but the parents' needs are often not addressed enough.
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#18 of 21 Old 12-08-2006, 06:50 AM
 
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LOVE it!

I also like "Afterwife." Not sure if it would appeal in a marketing message, but I think it is really creative, and describes it!

The hair appointments thing really caught my eye. I remember how down and grumpy my whole body was postpartum. It would have been awesome for someone to come in and do a spa at my house while the baby slept (in my arms if necessary). Trim hair, waxing, pedicure... ooo, that would have been a bliss. If you could partner with an aesthetician in your area, that could be a big seller.

mama to DS 9 and DD 5 and
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#19 of 21 Old 12-13-2006, 07:58 PM
 
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Wendy, I've been thinking so much about this "Afterwife" idea of yours, ever since I first read your post about it.
How are your thoughts and plans going? I'm thinking that I might want to do something similiar to this in my area! I'm in between jobs right now. I've been doing childcare/working with children for the past 15 years or so, and I'm ready for a change. My biggest goal in life is to make the world a better place for women and children. Me providing childcare certainly helps the children's mamas, but I would love a job that allows me to work with women and children together. I was a Mother's Helper when I was 9 years old, but only because I wasn't yet old enough to be alone with the kids! Now I'm nearly 30 and find myself wishing to be a Mother's Helper again!

You said you would charge a monthly fee for your service... any thoughts as to how much? And how many hours of work would that monthly fee apply to? Surely there would need to be some limits... It wouldn't work to have two families each paying you $50 a month, if you spent 5 hours working with one family and 20 hours working with the other, you know?

What's always the catch-22 for me is that the families that most need the help, and the families I'd most love to work with, can't afford to pay me enough money for me to live on... And the families that can pay me a living wage are less in need of help, and aren't generally families I can relate to/desire to spend a lot of time with! What to do, what to do??
A few years ago when I was applying for nanny positions, the family that wanted to hire me - for $500 a week - was very wealthy, non-AP (the children were relegated to their own "wing" of the house, which I was to organize and tidy), the children were either watching TV or playing with $150 puzzles imported from Germany, wearing frilly designer dresses that I had burned my thumb ironing...
I turned the job down, despite the money, because I just wouldn't be comfortable in such an environment.
I love being with families that are down to earth, slightly loud and messy, playful, maybe poor in money but wealthy in love, into AP and NFL.... But almost without exception, these families aren't able to pay me enough for me to support myself. (I'm single and don't have children of my own yet, btw).

This Saturday, I'm babysitting for the children of a young, single mama who was in danger of losing her job if she couldn't find childcare, and yet... My babysitting wages (from other families) are typically the same as this mother's hourly wage! Obviously, it would be pointless for her to work all day just to give all of her earnings to me for watching her kids, and I don't expect her to. I'm knowingly working for way less than my usual wages, because I love her and her kids. But I can't do this on a regular basis.

Argh, I don't know how to do this.

And wow did I stray from the topic... I'm sorry! Maybe I should make a new thread, about these issues I'm dealing with. I'll try and do that later tonight - right now I have to go to class.
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#20 of 21 Old 12-22-2006, 11:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello Everyone,

Thanks so much for your great input. I have decided on a name, and have created a DRAFT website. I still need to finish making it pretty.

In addition to giving product and pricing information, the website will also contain information such as book recommendations, a list of birthing professionals in the area, and a list of retail shops for newborn products & more. Here is the core business plan.

"EMERGE"
Newborn Concierge Service

Our post-partum services assist in home and hygiene maintenance, which are so crucial to a feeling of well-being for both parents.

Core services are:

Preparing your nest:

Baby supplies
Sleeping and nursing arrangements
Post-Partum hygiene needs
Hospital overnight supplies
Auto preparation & safety
Food Supply

Planning the big event:

Birthing Team Selection
Written Birth Plan
Post-Partum Health Plan
Childcare During Delivery Plan


Newborn Concierge Services:

Baby holding for bathing
Baby holding during appointments & exercise
Meal Preparation (breakfast, lunch)
Grocery Shopping, emergency & scheduled
Baby & Parent Supply shopping, emergency & scheduled
House Cleaning
Laundry
Birth Announcement Assistance
Hair, Nail & Skin appointment setting
Flower Delivery

In-Home Services:

Cleaning
Laundry
Breakfast
Lunch
Full Day Service
In-Home Pedicure
In-Home Manicure
In-Home Massage
In-Home Hair Styling



I will be hiring part-time baby holders, and part-time delivery persosns. In-home service providers will be selected based on the location.

Here is the website address:
http://www.rupakandwendy.com/emerge/

Let me know what you think! The next step is to calculate what I need to charge for the services in order to make a profit. That means finding out how much I need to pay for the part-timers.
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#21 of 21 Old 12-23-2006, 01:00 AM
 
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O, I really like this!

mama to DS 9 and DD 5 and
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