I still cringe at the fact that I was left in charge all day, every day, all summer for young neighborhood kids at 13 years old. My most vivid memories of that time are raiding the pantry and watching The Real World on MTV. I don’t exactly recall doing homemade crafts or building a fort with them.
You might hesitate when thinking about hiring a younger helper for your children because you remember what it was like to be that age. However, they are capable and happy to pitch in for a few hours at a time and earn some extra cash, while learning new skills. When it’s supervised, it takes the pressure off of both of you.
Chances are, you know a pre-teen or young teenager, whether through a neighbor or family member, that would be thrilled to put some money in their pocket.
Here are a few reasons why hiring a young mother’s helper will save your sanity!
Your Partner Goes Out of Town
My husband is an enormous help. Even though I “stay home” with our kids, I have limits. There’s only so much day-to-day housework that can get done when you are trying to raise tiny humans, keep them entertained, fed, rested, off the pole, and he understands and appreciates this. He is my 50/50 partner when he is home with us. When he is out of town, I feel it…big time. I am a little neurotic, and not the most patient mom when I’m stressed about handling everything all day long for the kids. We do occasionally have help from grandparents, but I don’t like putting them out during the week.
Hiring a young helper when my husband is out of town on business has been a game-changer. I can cook dinner while she takes my son on the playset outside. I can fold laundry while she helps my daughter with her homework. She helps my daughter with gymnastics moves while I bathe my son. I can enjoy the evening with all of us together during what can sometimes be one of the most hectic times of the day, or what I like to call “the witching hour.”
Single Moms, Work-From-Home Moms or Solo Moms
You just got off of a 10 hour shift and now you have to concoct dinner, help with homework, fold 4 loads of laundry, bathe and get your angels to bed with no extra hands on deck; or you work from home and YouTube entertains your child a little more than you’re comfortable with; or your husband works 13-hour shifts, 8 days in a row. Throw in extracurricular activities and homework, and it’s amazing you survive the week! Hiring an afternoon helper will make the time you do spend with your kids a little more meaningful and a little less chaotic.
A Sick Day or Chronically Ill Mom
Wait, what’s a sick day? Moms don’t get those! When you have to fulfill your daily mom duties with a cold, you move at sloth speed. Just recently, I spoke with a mom with a chronic illness and she said her helper is a lifesaver. If nothing else, they can order a pizza and make sure the house doesn’t burn down while you put your feet up.
Going on an Outing or Vacation
Handling a diaper blowout at the Cool Zoo when you have multiple kids in tow is not cool at all when you’re on your own. Going on an outing or vacationing with young kids can sometimes be more work than a typical week at home. And, wouldn’t it be nice if you could slip down to the hotel restaurant for an hour, just the two of you? Bringing along a young helper (I recommend someone who is already close with your family) can be a win, win. I’m sure there are plenty of 12-year-olds who would love to spend a few days at the beach playing in the sand with your krewe!
Hosting a Dinner Party, Book Club or Direct Sales Party
Hosting a dinner party or social gathering when you’re trying to either catch up with friends over dinner and wine, hash the details of the latest thriller novel you’ve all just devoured or host a direct sales popup can be quite the undertaking with young kids underfoot. Your helper can take the kids into another room with some snacks, and they’d be content as can be playing dolls or trains while you have grown-up time.
You Won’t Break the Bank
Long-term babysitters and nannies can be expensive, and sometimes you don’t need someone fulfilling all of your duties. Sometimes you just need a glorified playmate for your kids. Adolescents and young teenagers can’t get an after school job yet, but they love to shop and that Hydro Flask ain’t gonna buy itself. They would most likely jump at the chance to come over for a few hours after school to play with your kids and earn a few extra bucks.
None of us can do it all.
Whichever type of mom you are, you deserve a break. If you feel like you’re drowning, ask your friend’s daughter from down the street, or your co-worker’s niece if they’d like to come over after school and help keep your kids entertained. You won’t regret having those few precious hours to breathe.