Balancing work and home life is difficult when you're self employed. Hiring some help can ensure you aren't burning the candle at both ends. Last week we covered how to hire a live-in helper, but what if you don't have room in the house for a nanny to stay full-time? Let's look at our live-out options:
Live-out nannies can work full- or part-time, and are often a bit older and more independent than live-in nannies. They may have their own cars, rent their own apartments, and perhaps be enrolled in classes at a nearby college or university.
Older nannies can have a bit more longevity, aren't going to suffer from homesickness, and often have a bit more experience under their belts. While it's just as important to provide perks and spend time one-on-one with your live-out nanny, you can expect to pay a bit more per week because of the fact that she'll have her own living expenses to consider.
Mother's Helpers and Babysitters
A mother's helper can be a young girl in your neighborhood who needs an after school job, a college student in between semesters during the summer, or even a mom with a baby of her own. She can work part time or full time, and do a myriad of tasks. Mother's helpers are paid less than nannies; the going rate is anywhere from $7 to $10 per hour, or less if you're hiring a young neighborhood girl after school.
Finding a mother's helper or babysitter can be as simple as placing a newspaper ad or asking around in your neighborhood. You might hang fliers up at Gymboree or the local library, just be sure to interview thoroughly and offer a potential candidate a 2-week trial period. If she seems to be adapting well to the job, make it official and set a date three to six months out for a little raise. If she isn't working out, you can both agree to part ways amicably and begin searching afresh.
Whether you go the live-in or live-out route, there are several things you can do to keep things running smoothly:
1.) Create a weekly schedule with things like "laundry day" and "grocery store day" penciled in. Write down the times your preschooler needs to be picked up from school or the time the nanny needs to go wait for your kindergartener to get off the bus. As the nanny or helper becomes more familiar with your daily routines, she can solidify her own schedule.
2.) Make sure the car is full of gas on the day you need your helper to run to the grocery store. Encourage her to buy a few treats she'd like to snack on herself throughout the day.