Career Woman

At what stage does a career woman need household help?

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In today’s day and age, it’s quite common for both parents to be working full-time. While even as recently as just two decades ago it was often the father who would often head off to work while mom stayed at home with the children, times have certainly changed and seem more likely to continue down this path.

Even if you’re a super mom (and let’s face it, you definitely are), you might be wondering if you have come to the stage where you need household help. This could be because you need someone to look after the kids or an extra set of hands to take care of your aging parent.

If you’ve considered going down this route, take a look at a few words of advice before you take this step.

First off, there’s no pressure

Even though you may be a master at juggling your work meetings, the kid’s soccer practices, caring for grandma and managing a personal life, you still may feel overwhelmed at times. First off, realize you’re not alone. With so many more women entering the workforce every year, there are a lot out there who are trying to juggle it all. You may feel like you want to ask for help, but would feel ashamed as a mother, daughter and wife to admit that you can’t do it all.

There is no shame in asking for help. After all, they often say “it takes a village to raise a child”.  You also shouldn’t feel pressure if you don’t feel like you need help.

Talk with your partner and see if it’s something that you both are on board with and see if you really need to hire someone.

Taking the extra time hiring someone

When you’re looking for someone to come into your home, you may be overwhelmed by the number of options and places to post a job announcement. The easiest way is to go through an agency or online database to find a worker.

The whole process may put you off the idea of bringing someone in and you may find out you don’t believe it’s worth it. It can be a good test to see if this is the right move for your family.

Remember, you may be inviting someone into your home and you want to make sure they’re not going to upset the perfect (or almost perfect) balance that you have. Find someone who can mesh with your family and someone who you can rely on.

Carve out the person’s role

There is no blanket responsibility for what a household worker will do. What may work for your friends down the street might be totally different to what you need.

Your father or mother may be aging and completely resilient to the idea of going to a nursing home but are they open to having someone live with them? You may be able to spend afternoons or weekends with them, but will they need someone full time?

You could be hiring a chef or personal assistant to be in your home. Is this going to be a full-time job for them or part-time?

If you’re hiring a nanny or babysitter, will they need to be with the kids the whole day or are they just going to be picking them up after school and helping them with homework?

Having a clear idea of what exactly they are going to be doing will help you decide whether or not you’re really going to need those extra pair of hands.

The money side

It was going to come to this eventually, but money is an important factor into determining whether or not you’re going to be hiring someone to come into your home.

Just like responsibilities and schedule, there is no blanket right answer to how you pay them, when you pay them and most importantly, how much you pay them.

You might be paying some once a month, bi-monthly or a lump sum. These are details you can work out the person you end up hiring.

Also, don’t forget that hiring a household worker will affect your taxes… if and how are dependent on the hours worked, type of contract and how long they plan to be with your family — along with a laundry list of other requirements.

Make sure and talk with a professional who can lay out the ground rules and answer any questions you may have.

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