OMG, do I hear you!!! I have been working 10-20 hrs/wk since ds was 3 mos old. At first, my dh had one day a week off from work to watch him, but we canceled that b/c most of the time none of my clients (I do post-adoption home-visiting) could meet with me that day anyway. Well, he is now almost 1, and I have been pulling my hair out for the last few months. I do a lot of work from home, and can do it during naps or when dh is home, but as far as actually meeting w/ my clients during the day, going to team meetings or staff meetings...urgh.
Can I rant, for just a minute? One of my clients has a kid who is currently back in state custody. There was a court hearing this AM. I had it all timed out so ds would nap in the car on the way there. We got there right on time. Then waited....2 1/2 hours!!THEN, the Judge wouldn't let me stay in the courtroom anyway b/c the baby was "making too much noise". GRRRR
So, needless to say, I think having someone to watch/play with your baby while you work is a great idea. I am currently trying to figure out whether to quit or try daycare. Having a "helper" like you describe wouldnt' really work for me, since I'm on the road so often and meeting at peoples houses etc. And, I don't get paid enough to pay someone else a decent hourly wage. Daycare woudl be a big disaster too, I think. I left ds w/ my dad (who he sees at least 1/week and loves) once, for just over an hour. He was absoulelty devastated, and sobbed in my arms for half an hour when I got back.
Good luck. Sorry my exp. isn't more encouraging!