Mary Poppins was the ideal mother's helper. She was "practically perfect in every way," according to Poppins herself. Of course, Mary Poppins was only a fictional character. Although no one expects Mary Poppins when they are looking for a mother's helper, people do want someone trustworthy who is good with children.
The difference between a mother's helper and a nanny or a babysitter is that a parent is home most of the time with the mother's helper, which is not the case with a nanny or a babysitter. A mother's helper is hired to do just that, help the mother (or the father) with young children in the house. Maybe the parent works at home and needs a helper so she can concentrate on her job. Or, maybe the parent is recovering from surgery or has had a multiple birth and needs some help. Reasons for hiring a mother's helper vary, but what is common to all the jobs is that children are involved.
A mother's helper will help with childcare duties and can help with housework. Some childcare duties may include attending to the children's safety and nutrition and organizing games and activities for them. In the case of babies, a mother's helper will bathe, dress, change diapers and feed the children. Some parents want an experienced mother's helper, while other parents will train you. A mother's helper is supposed to alleviate some stress from the parents. Therefore, not only will you have to be able to get along with the children, you will need to be able to get along with the parents, too. Mother's helpers should be comfortable and get along with a wide variety of people. Good communication skills are in order. Some jobs may require a mother's helper to have a driver's license, and some may require that the mother's helper is CPR certified.
Getting the Job
In order to be hired as a mother's helper, you should be able to tell your future employer why you want to be a mother's helper. You should be prepared to tell about any past work experience you may have had. If you have been a mother's helper before, be prepared to describe what you did. Provide at least two or three references when you go on job interviews.
Because a mother's helper will usually be taking care of the children while a parent is present, the pay is generally lower for a mother's helper than it is for a nanny or babysitter, according to the Go Nannies website. Wages vary based on the part of the country you are in, your skill level and the supply and demand for your type of service. You will typically be an employee, as opposed to an independent contractor. Employees usually work the hours and perform the duties that your employer sets.
A mother's helper may or may not have a set schedule. It depends on your employer's needs. This job can be full- or part-time, and work can be during the week or it could involve weekends and evenings.
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