Friday, September 16, 2016

Mother's Helper

     A mother's helper is different from a babysitter. Babysitters are expected to work independently and often to work in the absence of the parents of the child/children. A mother's helper is rather expected to provide an extra pair of hands to a busy mom, and she works with/alongside the mother. It's a great concept for a person like me who is reluctant to leave kids with another person other than my husband.
     With twins, we hired a mother's helper. Sophia stayed with us for the first two months. She was referred to us by someone at our church. She is 13 years old and is one of the 11 children in her family, bringing a lot of experience taking care of her younger siblings. She worked 5 hours a day for 6 days each week, and we paid $200 per week.
     Her work included feeding babies, changing diapers, washing and sanitizing bottles, folding laundry. During the first two months, twins slept most of the day, so Sophia also took Elisha outside for half an hour each day to fetch mails or to walk to the playground. She was free to read books or study when there was nothing to do. I left kids with Sophia once a week for an hour so that I could see my physical therapist, but CJ and I have never left kids with her for an extended amount of time.
     After Sophia left us due to her family's busy schedule, we hired another homeschooled girl, Mercy. She comes 3 days a week for 5 hours each time, and we pay $100 per week. Now that twins do not have to be fed so often, she spends the extra time to help Elisha with her memory work for Classical Conversations. Also, she just started teaching Elisha violin whenever her hands are free.
     Before we hired Mercy, I had interviewed several other girls. One of the biggest challenges was to find someone who will set a good example for Elisha who is very observant. So the one who showed up with not much clothes on, another 13-year-old girl who was wearing lots and lots of makeup, and a 14-year-old girl who watches TV until 4am...they did not get the job. Oh, and the high school senior who we test-hired for a week, just because she was referred to us by someone in our homeschool coop...I had to ask her to stop coming because she was on her smartphone ALL the time. As you see, there was quite a drama until we found Mercy.
     For pay-wise, we are paying more than the going rate in and around our neighborhood. However, both CJ and I think it's a fair rate considering the peace and rest our family gets to enjoy by having Mercy.