Hey mom – you’re doing great. Read that sentence again and take a minute to breathe deep and let it sink in.
As modern moms, we hold ourselves to impossible standards. The exact wording differs for each of us, but the idea runs true.
We expect ourselves to do everything! Keep the house clean, raise the kids, home-school them or work full time. We set ourselves up for failure.
Take a break from that vicious cycle and learn why hiring helpers is the answer below.
Give Yourself A Break
When we do fail, are we kind to ourselves about it? Not usually. “You’re a bad mom because you let Aiden have two hours of screen time today instead of one!”
These are the things we think to ourselves, and for the record, screen time doesn’t make you a bad mom.
One of the steps to getting more done and being kinder to ourselves? Asking for help.
There is absolutely no way we can do it all. We are super humans for creating and nurturing lives, but we have the same amount of time in the day as anyone else.
Learn why hiring helpers is so essential (at any budget) and other ways to take the pressure off yourself below.
Some moms don’t care if their house is messy. Some moms do. Other moms care or don’t care and wish they cared more.
One thing is for sure: a clean house is a “sign” to ourselves and other parents that we have things together.
Let’s dissect that for a second. When you walk into a friend’s house and it’s messy, do you think
A) Wow this place is a rat’s nest and our kids shouldn’t play together anymore
B) Don’t give it a second thought
C) Feel relieved that their house looks like yours?
Barring that their house is a health and safety issue, we bet it’s B or C. Why hold yourself to standards that don’t apply to anyone else?
That’s like expecting your three-year-old to tie their shoes the way your six-year-old does. It’s backward.
Once you’ve taken the time to forgive yourself for not having a perfect home, ask yourself which rooms really matter.
If having a messy kitchen gives you a headache, prioritize that over a toy-free living room floor.
Set a rule for yourself when you’re in that space, something small and doable. For example, put something away from the dishwasher while you’re waiting for your coffee to warm up.
Little steps lead to less pressure and you’ll get it done, bit by bit. Hire someone like Green Maids to come every week or even every two.
Tell them the tasks you HATE doing, like mopping the floors. Give them an allotted space to put random things, so they can do the big cleaning.
Having someone clean your floors, sink, and microwave gives you less to do and looks miles cleaner.
If you can’t afford a maid service, think about starting a nanny share or asking letting your older kids help.
Maybe your six-year-old takes out the trash every week. When they do that, it’s also time for them to clean the microwave. Putting two tasks together will help them remember their chores and reduce nagging.
Hiring a Mother’s Helper
Let’s talk about the difference between a mother’s helper, a babysitter, and a nanny.
Without getting dictionary official, they go from least responsibility to most, in that order.
A mother’s helper comes and hangs out with the kids while mom is home, and is usually younger. They get paid less than a babysitter, which we’ll discuss later.
A babysitter comes around every so often or for date nights, but isn’t a regular part of the family routine.
A nanny is part of the family (and they want to feel like it!) They’re around more and spend significant time with your family and kids.
Why a Mother’s Helper?
If you have friends with older kids or there are older kids in the area, a mother’s helper is a thrifty option.
Usually, around 10-15, a mother’s helper can make money before anyone else will hire them. Not only does this mean you can pay them less, but they get experience for later.
One family in Florida paid their mother’s helper by buying her a Bratz doll once she’d worked a certain number of hours.
These young to pre-teen kids are easy to please.
Since they’re young, some people worry about their levels of responsibility. That comes down to the individual child and your level of comfort.
For the first few times they’re helping, hang out with them. You’ll get to know them and your child will see they’re a safe person.
Tell them what you are and aren’t comfortable with. If you have an infant, maybe this means not picking them up or not carrying them up and down the stairs.
Ask them what they’re comfortable with too. Most are willing to learn and have cared for younger siblings at home.
Talk to them about what they think is fair pay depending on what’s in your budget. Ask them how much they get for allowance every week or if they’re paid by the task.
Work out a system of how much you’ll pay them per hour. Ask them if they think its fair to pay them less at first and more as they learn and mature.
This not only saves you money but teaches them accountability and hard work. You can offer them bonuses for things you sometimes need help with – like walking the dog or watering plants.
Hiring Helpers Helps Everyone
Hopefully, we’ve convinced you that not only do you need a break, but you deserve one.
It’s not healthy to hold yourself to impossibly high standards and this perfectionism can rub off on your kids!
Give yourself time to breathe, show your kids it’s okay to take time to self-care and help someone build their resume by hiring helpers.
Even if it means budgeting something else out. We have all sorts of tips for living frugally, so you can have money to take a break.
For example, get our guide to using an expense tracker here.