Wondering what your mother helper’s age needs to be? Here’s a guide to help you consider what you need or want in a helper & what age your help should be.
When I first decided to hire a mother’s helper, I was desperate.
I was like… anybody who will show up and change diapers and let me take a dadgum nap will do.
As I started considering my actual needs, and the needs I’d likely have for years to come, a picture began to emerge of what age, life stage, and personality of mother’s helper I would need.
From a 9 year old to a Nana… there’s no right or wrong. There’s just likely a right age range that’ll work for your family.
Here’s how you can figure out what age your mother’s helper should likely be.
Read all the posts in my Mother’s Helper Series
Your Mother Helper’s Age – Think About These Things
Here are a few things to consider when you are determining whether you want someone younger (an older child, perhaps) or someone a bit older.
Let’s dive in.
Do you want to be able to leave your mother’s helper alone with the kids?
This is the first thing to ask yourself.
Are you more in the market for someone who can help you carry out your normal stay at home mom routine or do you work and want someone who will keep the kids all day? Do you work from home and just need an extra set of eyes? Or do you want a mix?
Unless you’re looking for someone to simply assist you in the day to day, perhaps do some chores for you, and tidy the house while the kids are all napping, you’ll want someone who is available for long periods during the day and at least a teenager.
Do you want your mother’s helper to drive herself (or your kids) anywhere?
This likely seems obvious, but do give it some thought when considering your ideal mother helper’s age.
You might think you don’t want this, and you just need a little help, maybe with after school routines or occupying the kids in general. However, you may soon find you want someone a bit more flexible.
At times you may want your helper to be able to take the kids somewhere or come pick them up, so depending on your needs, really think about whether you want this added layer of flexibility.
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How much are you able / willing to pay your mother’s helper?
Depending on how much you have in your budget to pay, this may figure into what age of a mother’s helper you hire.
If you are hiring a 12 year old neighbor to watch the kids while you’re in the house, the pay will be considerably lower than if you are paying a 21 year old to watch the kids unsupervised (by you).Also, how many kids do you have or plan on having?
The age of your helper will likely need to be older the more kids you have.
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What level of commitment do you want to have in a mother’s helper?
There is no right and wrong to this.
If you want someone who is more like a nanny to your family, then you’ll likely want someone older who can have more responsibility in your home.
This is fine, but know if you want someone at your house 30+ hours a week who is fully focused on your kids and helping you with your massive list of chores, then you might want someone who will prioritize this job.
Make sure during your interview to ask all the right questions to gauge their ability to come work for you. If you need a mother’s helper because you need to be outside the home regularly and you have someone who often cancels or doesn’t show, this will not be a successful partnership.
How long do you hope to keep this mother’s helper?
There’s no way to predict the future, obviously, but when you are considering who to hire, ask yourself whether you want someone short term to help put out fires or if you want someone longer term.
Ask yourself these questions when considering your family’s needs:
- Do you need help for the next few years?
- Do you want someone to come for a few hours here and there or someone who comes for 15+ set hours each week?
- Is this a long term need or short term in nature (i.e. helping you through this pregnancy, until your 4 year old gets into school, etc.)
If you just need help now and then a day or two a week then a young neighbor might be fine. You can always replace a neighbor easily enough. If you want someone for the next few years, you’ll likely want someone older.
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Do you want “help” or do you want someone who can “take over” at times?
To be fair, it’s hard to decide this up front.
When I first hired our lovely mother’s helper, I planned on always being around and just having another set of hands to help out. As time went on and she became more and more familiar with the kids, I felt comfortable giving her a lot of responsibility.
You likely will too.
You can’t underestimate how life changing it is to have someone who can help you with all your responsibilities. It helps prevent mom burnout, it cuts down on mom stress, and just gives you a bit more time alone.
Get your Printable Checklist
After you have figured out your optimal mother helper’s age, download and print these interview questions to use when interviewing your potential candidates.
Read all the posts in my Mother’s Helper Series