109. How Hiring a Mother's Helper Can Lighten Your Load in Postpartum
Feel like a Queen in your own home, by hiring a mother helper without blowing the budget. Learn from my expert guest Taran about what a mother's helper is, where you can find a mother's helper to hire and how you can utilize them in your postpartum period and beyond.
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Welcome to the Breezy Babies Podcast, where we talk about all things boobs, babies and breastfeeding. This is Episode 109 hiring a Mother's Helper. I'm Bree the IBCLC and I made brisbabies with you in mind to help ease your transition into parenthood. Becoming a parent changes your life in every way imaginable. Bumps in the road are going to come up as you move into your new role, but my goal is to help smooth out those bumps and help you become the most confident parent you can be. With good education and support, I know you can meet your breastfeeding and parenting goals. Let's do this together. Hey, friend, how are you? How is your day going? Thank you so much for pressing play on this podcast. I love the thought of you listening in. I love seeing the amount of downloads go up every week for this podcast. That's so exciting. And just you taking the time to listen in means everything. And I especially love hearing when you share this podcast with your mommy friends who also had a baby and could use some tips and tricks. It just really makes my day. So thank you so much. I know you are going to love today's podcast episode, and it's a special little treat because I have a guest today, so you don't have to listen to my voice the entire time. On this podcast episode, you get to hear from an expert on this topic how Hiring a Mother's Helper can lighten your load in postpartum. Isn't that just the best topic? You are going to love hearing from my podcast guest today. But first, before I get to Terrone, I want to read you a recent review. This actually was another Google review. It was left by Amber and this is what she said. Brian was incredibly helpful and listened to all my concerns. I am at the end of my breastfeeding journey and my main goal is to wean, but I would recommend her during any phase of your breastfeeding journey, thankful for people like her who care and understand what mothers go through. Amber, thank you so much for leaving that review. And of course, anytime that I leave a review of any kind, whether it's a podcast review, a Google review, whatever it is, anytime, I read it here on my podcast. You can always send me an email brie at breezy Babies and I will hook you up with a free digital download off of my website, ebook, workshop of your choice, whatever you want. So thank you, Amber, for spending the time to send that in. And to her point, did you know that lactation consultants like myself can also help you stop breastfeeding? And honestly, sometimes it's harder to stop than it is even to start. That might sound impossible if you're still at the beginning of your breastfeeding journey, or maybe you haven't even started yet. Maybe you're pregnant right now. But I'm telling you, it is so helpful to have someone go on that journey with you and help you along the way. And sometimes your insurance even covers free consults. You can always check to see if your insurance covers free consults in the show notes firstname.lastname@example.org and even if they don't. I do meet with families all over the world. That's the cool thing about telehealth. And Cobid really pushed a lot of us consultants to get really comfortable with doing consults over telehealth. And I love it. I literally just walk downstairs, I shut my little office door, and when I say office, I mean our fourth bedroom that I've just made into my office and claimed it as my own. I shut the door and I lock it and I hop on an hour call with families all over the world. I've met with families clear across the United States. I met with families in the Middle East on the complete opposite end of the world. And I love it. I love all of them. So even if your insurance doesn't cover, I do accept any major payments or even healthcare spending accounts. Flex spending accounts. If you're listening to this podcast towards the end of the year and you have some money to use before the end of the year, you can totally purchase anything off my Breezy Baby's website with your healthcare spending account. Huge win. Okay, so let's get into the topic for today. And let me just start by telling you you are going to love Taryn, who is my podcast guest today. But first, I do have to tell you that I personally do not have a mother's helper. In fact, I've never had a mother's helper. Well, at least not a hired one. I do currently have an eleven and a half year old daughter and I also have a nine year old daughter and they help me a ton. They help me so much with the baby. They are pretty good about doing chores, depends on the day, whether they do it willingly or not willingly, kicking, screaming, sort of thing. But they are able to help a lot with my baby because they're old enough where they can hold her, they can carry her up and down the stairs, they can help rocker. I mean, it's just such a difference having some older kids to kind of help out and they are home this summer to help me a little bit more. But when I first heard about a mother's helper, it was actually from my business coach that I had last year. Maybe it even started in 2020. I'm trying to remember the exact timing, but I did have a business coach for a full year and I didn't ask her permission before this podcast. So I won't say her name, but I will share that she has a very successful company that she runs from her home. It's a copywriting company and she has multiple employees that work for her. She's an amazing CEO to her company. And I remember on some of the coaching calls that we did, she would often say that her kids were at the park or playing in the backyard or playing in a different part of our house with her mother's helper while she did our phone call. And I hadn't really heard of that before. I have utilized babysitters many times and I just remember thinking, a mother's helper? Okay, that's interesting. That is so smart. Now, if you're listening to this and you're thinking, well, I don't have a business, I don't even work from home, well, don't stop this podcast episode yet because if you are even just a mom or going to be a mom soon, I know that you could still benefit from a mother's helper because just being a mom is a huge job. It's so much for even one person to do. Keeping a house running is a huge undertaking. So just imagine this for 1 second. Imagine you go and take a nap while someone folds your laundry and plays with your little one man. You would wake up feeling like an absolute queen. Am I right? And I don't know if you're like me, but I can't exactly afford a full time nanny. I can't even afford a part time nanny, to tell you the truth. But chances are that you and I could totally afford a mother's helper. And a mother's helper could totally be within your budget as well. Now, Karen is going to explain how because she is the true expert on this. She has done this. She has lived this. So I'm going to let her explain all the ins and outs with that. So before I turn the time over to her, I want to introduce her inn a little bit to you. She is a fellow podcaster. You're going to be able to tell that really quick because she's super comfortable recording and talking. So you'll catch on to that really quick. She is also a mom. She has three kids of her own. I will tell you a little bit more about her podcast where you can find it, where you can find all of her good information after she talks to you. But the name of her podcast and also her Instagram handle is Undomesticated Mom. So I'm going to read her bio to you and this will explain a little bit. So Terry Conwell is on a mission to dismantle the watered down version of self care in today's motherhood. She takes millennial moms from survival to thrival mode by teaching them to expect more and do less. Don't you love that? She helps them carve out time for themselves so they can create and implement their own restorative self care routines. Doesn't that sound amazing? Okay, I'm just going to turn the time over to Terrence because I know you are going to love her. So she is going to share with you her top three tips for hiring a mother's helper and how it can lighten your load and postpartum. Here we go. Hello, breezy babies listeners. My name is Taryn and I am the undomestic mom. I am a selfcare coach on a mission to dismantle the cringey watereddown version of selfcare and motherhood. So I help moms carve out the time for self care in a realistic way and also help them create restorative self care routines. And one of the things that I do to make this a lot easier is showing moms how beneficial and affordable outside help can really be. And one of those ways is hiring a mother's helper. So today I'm going to share with you guys what a mother's helper is, how you can find one, and how they can really lighten your load in the postpartum period and beyond. So let's jump in with my definition of a mother's helper. So for me, a mother's helper is anywhere between the ages of ten and 14. Maybe they have a lot of siblings or they have a lot of cousins or neighbors that they love to help out with, and they're just getting started in the babysitting game, so they don't have a ton of experience yet. But they will come into your house, help you with your older kiddos while you are home with the baby. And this is such a great resource for you as a mom. And it's also a really great thing for them. They're learning responsibility, they're learning what it's like to be in the workforce. And their parents usually love when they get hired to be a mother's helper, because if they earn a little bit of money, it's a little bit less allowance that mom and dad have to give them. So they're just such a great resource and they also have super fresh energy. They love playing with your kids. And overall, it's just basically like renting an older sibling for a few hours. Now, you're probably wondering how much do you pay them an hour? I will tell you before I do though, if you're driving and listening to this, don't feel like you have to write anything down. I will put a link in the show notes below if you go to undoesichmob combreezy. I have made a little cheat sheet for you guys. So just keep listening and all this information will be in a little easy to get PDF. But my rule of thumb when paying them is their grade level per hour for one kid, and then I add an extra dollar for each additional kid. So for me right now, when I have three kids and I hired a 7th grader mother's helper over the summer, $7 an hour for one kid, and then I added two extra dollars for each additional child, so she gets $9 an hour. I discussed this with her in the interview. She was more than willing to take it. Very happy with it. This is obviously just kind of like a rule of thumb. So you might find that they're willing to take less or they want a little bit more, but ultimately this is less than half of what I pay my college sitters. So it is a really big savings for me when I just need an extra set of hands. Now let's talk about where you can find a mother's helper for me. I found them one of two ways. The first way I found them is good old fashioned word of mouth. The first mother's helper I ever hired was actually I was at my daughter's preschool, my oldest daughter's preschool at the time. And I would hang out with the moms after school with the kids, play for a few minutes. And I casually mentioned to one that I was looking for a junior high student, but I didn't know any and I wanted someone local. She lived a few blocks away from me and she said she had two neighbors who were junior high students, great mothers helpers, and she got permission from their parents and they gave me their number and one of them is still with me today three and a half years later. So just opening your mouth and asking around, like I said to people, maybe a preschool drop off or dance class, t ball, anything like that. Even on the playground, if you're a talkative mom, you might think, all the people I know, they don't have anybody right off the top of your head. But you never know. Your best friend's older sister can live two blocks away from you and have mentioned to her that, oh yeah, their niece is always home on the weekends and would love to babysit. So just kind of like putting it out there, saying it to people around you, planting it in their head because you never know, the next day they can meet somebody who fits the bill, live near you, and is a great fit. So word of mouth, always the greatest resource you have. And then the second way of that is the digital word of mouth and that's Facebook. So whether you post on your personal Facebook page or you post in a mom's group, I've had a lot of luck in mom's groups. I have really several active moms groups in my area. And so just posting, hey, this is approximately where I live. I like to get the cross streets because again, I want a mother's helper who lives local to me and can either walk or bike to my house. So putting up a really simple post saying, hey, I'm looking for somebody. This is, like I said, approximately where I live. If anybody has either a daughter or a niece, a cousin, I'd love to connect. You will be so surprised with how many responses you get. There are just so many moms in your communities who again want their daughters, nieces, cousins to work a little bit because again, it really builds their responsibility and it is a great way for them to get a little bit of extra money, especially when they love kids and they want to become a full fledged babysitter in a few years. You're going to give them a lot of great experience and a good reference if it all works out. So word of mouth, like I said, posting on any Facebook group, your own personal page, or asking friends in person will yield you so many you will not know what to do with. You do not need to use paid services like Care.com or City, any of those. Honestly, you can find so many for free by just asking around. And lastly, let's talk about some ways that a mother's helper can really help lighten the load for you in the postpartum period and beyond. So for me, the first thing was having them come in at the worst time of day for our family, which usually was 415 to 615, the intersection of the witching hour for my older kids and cluster feeding for the newborn, but before my husband got home from work. So it's just this time of day where everybody needed me and I had no way to clone myself. So having the mother's helper come in play with the older kids while I could just do the cluster feeds with a newborn alleviated so much of my anxiety because ultimately when I had my first daughter and I didn't have to worry about it, it just was like, oh yeah, we just get through this by getting through it, right? Like it doesn't last forever and you just sit there, you get comfortable, maybe you watch a show, you have something on your phone and you just get through those cluster feeds. When you have a toddler, preschool or older kids to keep an eye on, you just can't do that and everything gets more and more heightened stress wise. So that was the number one way I loved utilizing a mother's helper. Second way was when the naps would not overlap. So if the babies naps were not overlapping or overlapping with the toddler's naps, it meant I was not getting a break during the day. And this was so draining, especially when baby is still waking up at night. You need that time to either take a nap yourself, just decompress. So having a mother's helper be available to come in maybe right when the toddler wakes up. But the baby's taking a nap can be a great way to just be like, okay, toddlers up from nap and now they're going to go play with the mother's helper. I'm going to go in the other room with the baby. I'm either going to take a nap myself or just like I said, decompress, watch a show, do whatever you need to do, but you don't feel like, oh my gosh, the second that the toddler wakes up, the baby is going down. I'm not getting any sort of break, and I'm just going going all day. It's not sustainable. So a few days a week having that as a relief was such a godsend to me, and I cannot recommend it enough. Now, the last way that utilizing a mother's helper really helped me in the postpartum period was eliminating a lot of the mom guilt. Now, we should not have mob guilt whatsoever, but it's there. Unfortunately, I couldn't really get rid of it, and that was because I felt like if I was with the newborn, I wasn't giving enough attention to the preschooler, toddler, whoever, the older kids. And then if I was with them and the newborn needed me, then I wasn't giving enough time to them, and it just felt like it was a battle I couldn't win. But when I had a mother's helper come in, it felt like, okay, I can give baby number three the attention that baby number one got, which was truly invaluable to me. And I just love that the older kids could be entertained. They could have someone who's being present with them. They could have some screen free fun where I wasn't there. I was with baby, and I was being able to have those extra set of hands to really get the whole picture taken care of at once. And that really just felt so good to me. And that alleviated a lot of my mom guilt, which, like I said, we shouldn't have, but it's there. So sometimes you just got to find solutions to alleviate it. I really hope you guys enjoyed learning all about what a mother's helper is, how you can find one, and how you can utilize them to lighten your postpartum period. So if you have any questions about this at all, feel free to DM me over on Instagram at Undoesic Mom. And if you want to hear more from me, you can go check out the Und Domestic Mom Podcast, where I release weekly episodes, empowering millennial moms to do less, expect more, and carve out that time for real, restorative selfcare. All right, so she's the best, right? I knew that you would love Terrence. I'm so grateful for her for taking the time to share these tips for you again. She talked about what a mother's helper is, where you can find a mother's helper to hire, and how you can utilize them in your postpartum period and beyond. So I am going to link to Terrence podcast, the Undomesticated Mom Podcast, in the Show Notes, and also I will include the link for her really helpful cheat sheet for hiring a mother's helper that you can download keep for yourself use as a reference. So make sure you check out my show notes for both of those, and that's it. I hope you feel a little bit more supported in your life, especially if you feel like you don't have a lot of friends, a lot of family that you can't rely on in the postpartum period. I hope this got your wills turning. And of course, I'm going to leave you with. You are strong, you are smart, you are beautiful. You're a good friend to all. Catch you next week.