One of the hardest decisions women have to make when they become moms is whether they go back to work and leave their children with sitters, stay home and become a full time mom, or become a work at home mom. When my children were babies, long ago, most of my fellow teachers quit teaching when they started their families.
A few of them, the more daring, went back to work and hired babysitters at home or in the sitter’s home. The lucky ones who had grandparents around left their little ones with grandma and grandpa. The first day care centers were just emerging and the concept of au pairs was on the horizon. Both were quite radical ideas at that time.
I decided to be a work at home mom. I would tutor children from my own home and write children’s books in my spare time while my little ones napped or sat quietly next to me and played. Their napping and playing would be the secret to my success. Was I delirious?
The secret to my success were “mother’s helpers!” I can’t stress how wonderful these preteeners, around 11, 12, and 13 years old, can be, if you want to work from home. They’re the perfect solution for the work-at-home mom because they’re committed yet to lots of after school activities, they aren’t working in part time jobs yet, and they’re dating yet. And, oh yes, they haven’t started driving either.
Also, since you’re at home, you don’t have to pay a professional babysitter’s rates since you’re responsible for your child’s welfare. These kids just that, mother’s helpers. They can play with your children, help put away the groceries, fold the laundry, clean up the toddler’s toys, help you with whatever you need that’s safe for them and your children.
So where do you find mother’s helpers? Just ask around. Might be your friend’s child, a child in the neighborhood, your niece or nephew, or someone you know from your religious organization. You’d be surprised how many preteens would love to play Candyland with your four year old while you make those important business calls.
The secret to their success is 1. How organized you are. 2. How creative they are. 3 How responsible they are. 4. If your children like them and look forward to them coming over. Remember though, that they’re only preteens, so don’t leave them alone while you run out to the post office or the supermarket.
Always remember how old they are. And if you find that you have to spend your time watching them watch your children, you may need to look for a different mother’s helper or a more mature babysitter.
Let us know how you’ve used mother’s helpers. Have any advice for our readers. We love to hear from you so please leave a comment below.