Hiring help after baby's born(21 Posts)
I'm currently 4 months pregnant with my first child and, after seeing my friends struggle with day to day stuff after having their children, I'm thinking of hiring somebody to help with running the house, doing errands etc in the weeks after my baby is born. My OH will be around on paternity leave for the first 2 weeks afterwards but will have to go back to work full time then. His parents are elderly and mine live a bit further away so I haven't got people to help out nearby. My OH is supportive of the idea.
People have asked what we would like, present wise, for the baby and I have said money to contribute to paid help - I want to spend the first few weeks bonding with the baby and establishing a family (not to mention sleeping!) rather than doing chores or, worse, not doing them and feeling overwhelmed as jobs pile up! A couple of friends have pulled their faces at this idea though and it's made me question if this is a good idea. I'd be interested in other parents' opinions and experiences of this (I think- lol!).
I would meet/ appoint somebody before the birth, pref on the basis of recommendations, and would make sure they were police checked and would check references.
A cleaner once or twice a week and some money for takeaways would be nice, but tbh I can't think of what more help than that someone would need.
A cleaner is massively helpful to anyone but not much else help required with one child unless/until you return to work, and I say this as a complete procrastinating lazybones.
I can see that people don't necessarily want to put money towards this though. Lots of people really enjoy buying baby gifts, plus a gift can be much more economical than money.
Do you have a generous and non judgemental parent? If so perhaps you could suggest a couple of months worth of a cleaner to them but remember if its a first grandchild, buying baby things might be a huge pleasure for them (Looking at you DF with your endless too big bikes!!!)
Thank you for your honest comments.
I've discussed this with my mum and she says she would have loved this when we we re born! I feel sure they'd buy me a few hours... plus other things, like you said, I don't think they'd be able to help themselves!
I did this job when I was at uni and loved it! I did a couple of hours a day, 3 or 4 days a week. The mum in question did have a toddler as well though. I did housework, ironing, laundry, bathed the toddler and baby while the mum cooked dinner and ran some errands, just for the last month of her pregnancy and the first three or four months after the baby was born. I found it great fun and the mum found me lots of help. As the baby got older I also babysat in the evenings so they could go out a couple of times. Didn't get lots in the way of pay but the mum did give me all her pre-baby clothes that she'd grown out of :-)
I think it's probably just a cleaner you need. Thays what we have and its great. All the other things - going shopping, errands, a bit of cooking, can be done with your baby, in the sling or the buggy etc and doing all that very every day stuff with your dc helps you bond and become close to them.
I'm just over 37 weeks pregnant with #2 and we have a cleaner but will be increasing hours to cover light housekeeping duties too for the majority of my maternity leave.
DH will only get 2 days off when new baby arrives and then will be dealing with getting DS1 to pre-school etc so I figured that the things that I'll need help with the most is the additional laundry, general tidying, keeping the house straight etc. We're currently deciding whether to take on a full time helper for the baby when I go back to work (16 weeks mat leave here) or to just get a part time housekeeper but until we have two, its hard to know what we'll need most help with!
I would most definitely recommend a cleaner to come in a couple of times a week as not having to worry about cleaning, changing bed linen and laundry is wonderful.
Great idea! you will probably be exhausted just with the baby.
To be completely honest, I would have lived a cleaner once a week after the kids were born, but having someone hanging around doing errands/making beds etc woukd have felt a bit weird as I spent most of the time in my pyjamas with my boobs out!
Surely your DH will be pitching in with shopping/washing etc anyway even once he's back at work?
I have six month old twins and we have a cleaner who comes once a week. I managed with everything else. I'm sure you'll want to get out and about, and a trip to the supermarket or the grocers breaks up a day. I can't think what other errands I would have needed help with - washing etc can be done when they're asleep.
I think people would object to contributing cash towards help, mainly because people really like buying actual baby presents, and for some the joy is in the choosing, even if you have told them what you'd like eg a sleeping bag, or some bibs, so I can see why they've objected to it. Maybe think about how much you'd spend on certain things and then instead of using that money to buy things assign them to friends who generously ask you what you'd like, and you can use the money you've saved on a cleaner or a mother's help.
Thanks everyone, sounds as though most people agree it would be a goof help although maybe I need to think again about duties and how to pay for it! Great idea andadietcoke - more than one way to skin a cat, as the saying goes (urgh, not a nice saying though!).
Mummyfiz- your job sounds like it was great!
We didn't have any family help at all when we had ds, but did have a cleaner once a week which kept on top of everything. Maybe you could ask for Cook gift vouchers so that you can buy ready meals guilt free - like family might bring you round a meal if they were local.
The only thing with hiring help. I had a cleaner for 12 months. In the end it got on my nerves if I wanted to go back to bed but couldn't because she was coming. Or worse I'd just got the baby to sleep and she was going round with the Hoover . Or I felt I had to tidy up before the cleaner came so she could clean.
Don't let people scare you , it's actualy nice to get out the house to do a food shop. The rest will follow .
Congratulations by the way x
I will probably be in the minority but you may feel very different after the baby is born and may even enjoy a bit of housework.
My parents stayed with us for a week; they went out for the day to give us some space when DD was 3 days old; as soon as the door shut I wanted to and was up off the sofa - hovering and washing the floor gave me a huge sense of satisfaction.
I did a massive food shop online to arrive just after we got home which was highly helpful.
I think it's a great idea, although I can see why friends might feel a bit off about helping to pay for it. If it's something you really want you might just have to find a way to suck up the cost and let everyone else buy you toys and baby clothes!
I had a "post natal doula" - someone who comes round and can help with the baby (especially great for first time mum), can take the baby if you want to shower/nap and can do dtuff around the house (dishwasher, washing, make meals) and errands. I had her after DH's paternity leave finished for 4 weeks (would have been 3, but then I got horrible food poisoning - so used her an extra week). She just helped in the mornings (8.30 until 12.30) Monday to Friday. So was there from just before husband went to work until lunch time. I was then alone with baby until husband got home from work (5.30pm). As a first time mum and having just had a C Section (planned for breech), it was invaluable. By 6 weeks (after the food poisoning), I felt physically and mentally fine (if a little nervous) to go it alone.
We also had a cleaner once a week (had this before DS was born and still do - DS now 4).
Other tip is to stock the freezer with either homemade or shop bought "ready meals". Then your DS only needs to reheat and do some veg. My MIL stocked our freezer with two months of dinners and it really helped.
Good luck - a well supported start can really help: I just recovered from my CS, rested and breastfed for the first couple of months.
I think someone to do more than just cleaning would be amazing if you can afford it - I found that one of the hardest things to cope with was getting meals done - as soon as dp walked through the door after work I wanted to hand the baby over but I also needed a rest - not just to start cooking
Modern life is really hard - we don't have our tribe or extended family around us. In turkey for example women dot leave their bed for a month after birth! All the women of the family rally round to cook and clean for them
There is nothing normal in human history about women being up and about on their own all day with a tiny baby - it's an aberration of modern society
Look up post natal doulas or mothers helps
One tip - the hardest time of day is the baby witching hour - from about 5pm onwards - I am having my second baby soon and am considering getting someone to help at that time a couple of days a week ...
Remember it might be helpful to have a woman who would hold the baby while you have a shower - if family aren't able to be there much
We have a cleaner come 1 afternoon a week but we did when we were both working so no difference when the baby arrived. Having just come through a VERY stressful fourth trimester however, I would suggest:
- freeze as many meals as poss, have UHT milk in the cupboard, stock up on toiletries etc
- buy lots of cheap vests and sleepsuits so laundry isn't too urgent as can go through a few suits in a day sometimes so it's still worth it IMO even though they grow quickly.
-keep on top of housework if you're up to it at the end of pregnancy (gently as you may be exhausted) so you have a straight house when you return from hospital
Hopefully you will have a straightforward birth and be up to a bit of housework/errands afterwards. I didn't and we were really 'in crisis' for about a month with me seriously weakened from a major PPH and a very colicky/refluxy baby so I think it's best to plan for as much help as you can just in case. Despite having meals in the freezer, cleaner etc, we could have really done with support from a person like a doula.
My mums doing my ironing: I'm 6 weeks post section and it's a huge help. If I could afford for someone to come and clean my bathroom id be a very happy lady
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