Should You Get a Mother’s Helper?

By Melissa Batai

There comes a time in most homeschool moms’ lives when they feel like they can’t do it all.  Mom may be caring for several kids, working part-time or full-time, and homeschooling.  Add in other life events like a pregnancy, a medical issue, or homesteading, and it can all seem to be too much.  When that happens, many moms decide they just can’t homeschool anymore.  However, if you still want to homeschool, there are other ways to relieve the stress and find more time in your day.  One way is to get a mother’s helper.

What Can a Mother’s Helper Do?

Ask any mom who has had a mother’s helper, and you’ll likely get a wide array of answers as to what the mother’s helper did while working for the family.

Some mother’s helpers entertain the little kids in the family while mom homeschools the bigger kids.

Others prep food and make a meal while mom homeschools and plays with the kids.

Some help with the housework and doing dishes (which can add up so quickly in a big family!)

Some may go out and about with the family while mom runs errands; the mother’s helper helps maintain order and entertain the younger kids

Basically, a mother’s helper can help you fill the needs that you have whether that be helping with household work, playing with your kids, entertaining them, or even doing laundry.

How to Find a Mother’s Helper

Most mother’s helpers are young girls between the ages of 12 and 16.  Often, these girls are also homeschooled, which is convenient because you may need their help during brick-and-mortar school hours.

You can find them at your church or in your homeschool groups.  You can also ask other moms if they know any girls who would make good mother’s helpers.

How Much to Pay a Mother’s Helper

This varies greatly.  If you’re in a low cost of living area and you will be home and easily accessible while the mother’s helper is in the home, you can pay less than you would pay a traditional babysitter.  In general, the going rates are between $5 and $10 an hour.  This also depends on how old the girl is, what experience she has, and what responsibilities she will have.  The older she is and the more responsibilities she has, the more you will likely pay.

You can discuss with other friends how much they pay their mother’s helpers.  You can also discuss with the girl and her parents what a fair wage should be.  Remember, once you find a good mother’s helper who is well-trained and in sync with your needs, you want to be able to keep her, which you will do if she feels she is getting a fair wage.

How Many Hours Do Mother’s Helpers Work?

That depends on your needs.  The typical schedule seems to be working two to four hours a day for two or three days a week.  But again, you will decide based on your needs and the time the mother’s helper has available.

Caveats about Hiring a Mother’s Helper

For some, hiring a mother’s helper can turn into more work for mom!  This usually occurs if the mother’s helper is young (10 or 11) or immature.  It can also occur if you’re not willing to train her in what specifically you’re expecting her to do.  Realize that for the first few weeks, you will need to spend time showing her what you would like done and how to do it.  After that, she should be fairly independent.  

Final Thoughts

If you’re overwhelmed with your current responsibilities and workload, consider hiring a mother’s helper.  You will get assistance with some of your tasks.  The mother’s helper will earn money and gain valuable experience that can help her get babysitting jobs when she is older and may even help her with her future career if she plans to go into teaching or child care.  This situation can benefit you, your entire family, and the mother’s helper.