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Mother's help after birth of second child?

(8 Posts)
MissyH Wed 24-Jun-09 15:49:59

I just wondered if anyone who had had a "mother's help" after the birth of their child had any tips on how many hours they found useful, and what sort of things it was good to get them to do.... I am considering one (a girl who has just completed her nursery nurse course) for a few weeks after the birth of our next baby (am 34.2 weeks) particularly as I have DS1 (who is 2 years and 8 months) to look after as well. Funds are not endless, so I need to think about how to use what we do have wisely! DS1 currently goes to a childminder 1 morning a week, but otherwise is not yet in nursery so with me all the time....

Look forward to hearing from anyone with experience of this.

Thanks!

(originally posted this on "childbirth" section - but have been directed here as being a better forum)

charis Wed 24-Jun-09 15:57:07

I had a mothers help for the fist six weeks. It was heavenly. She arrived and took ds to nursery then took the baby while I got a couple of hours sleep then collected ds and played with him so that I could dote on dd. Ds still talks about her as she knew lots of good games. I didn't get that crushing tiredness that you can get in the first few weeks and she did all the laundry.

I suppose you need to think do you need help all day ie- 8-6 or just first thing in morning so having someone all morning, or for the afternoon to play with 2yr old and see to baby if needed whilst you have a nap or in the eve when its teatime, bathtime and bedtime.

not sure where you are but for someone newly qualified min wage would be acceptable.

Tavvy Wed 24-Jun-09 22:41:43

I've done this type of job and I always really liked it.
So much depends on who you hire though I think. I imagine it's hard enough having just had a baby - you don't want to be worrying about your mothers help or suddenly find it's like having another child.
I'd argue in terms of hours err on the side of caution as if you start with longer hours you can always reduce and your mothers help will love you for it but if you are overly optimistic and end up increasing them the mothers help can get cross and you end up feeling guilty and a failure. Have been there are seen it.
I'm assuming you want someone who just 'mucks in' This is definitely the best option but be really clear about exactly what you expect. As a mothers help she is not a nanny and therefore you can within reason ask her to do anything - she is there to help you in any way you need helping - most of those jobs will not be glamorous.
If it's possible try and get ds used to her before the baby arrives then he doesn't end up feeling doubly displaced, which can cause real problems. He may go through the 'I want mummy to do it' thing - from the point of view as an employee it's best if the mum is very firm and does not 'give in' here.
Also get her to know the house routine - I always insisted on this and then I could just get on with the job whilst the mum focused on resting and the baby.
I'll stop rambling - just be really clear about everything.
As for pay - that depends entirely on your circumstances but this job is a great start for anybody wanting to get into nannying.
Live out are normally paid hourly. Live in is more a flat rate - I'm not sure which you're considering.
Good luck

RachieB Thu 25-Jun-09 00:29:48

I do this

initially it was for 6 weeks while Mum recovered from a C section ,( also had 2 school aged children, and a 13 month old!)

4 months later I am still with the family, for a few hours a week!

I take the 2nd child now nearly 18 months to groups / activities in the morning ,feed him lunch and then settle for a nap,tidy yoys / lunch things ect away

I do not do any other household chores,but would / have done so in other Mothers Help positions

RachieB Thu 25-Jun-09 00:30:19

*toys etc!

fridayschild Thu 25-Jun-09 13:41:24

I did this and would recommend it. DS1 was 19 months old when DS2 was born and I found tea times very stressful, trying to BF at the end of the day when DS1 was playing up, so I made sure I had cover then a couple of days a week from the mother's help. As it was a part-time temp job for her I had to fit in with her hours a bit, and it meant she couldn't do extra cover or swap days for me unless it fitted with her other employers.

My plan was that she would take DS1 off to play so I could sleep/ coo at baby. DS1 did not like this plan and baby was too small to voice an opinion so once I was up to expressing I took DS1 off to swim or whatever while she coo'd at DS2 and sang to him in Spanish.

If you are doing shared care (both you and help in house at same time) my advice would be to give her certain jobs which were hers, and then let her get on with it. Micro-managing every move was stressful for both of us, but once we were clear that she did all the ironing, for example, that was much easier.

She stayed till DS2 was 4 months. I went back to work at 5 months so we had a 2 week break, then the nanny started to come and get used to us all.

MissyH Sat 27-Jun-09 11:14:09

thanks for all the advice - it has been really useful... have decided to go for it and have got a girl coming who works at the creche where DS1 goes so he knows her... she's just finished her childcare and education course so fingers crossed all works out. She starts next week for some settling in sessions which I can't wait for as am HUGE and desperate for baby to come (4 weeks to go - allegedly!) so will be a great help before as well as after. And the health in pregnancy grant will come in very handy for helping to pay for it

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