Thursday, April 7, 2011

Summer Help - Start Looking Now ! - Outside Help - 2009.Jan.29.


Summer Help - Start Looking Now !

Can you use some summer help ? Do you have a home office ? Now, is the time to start looking for summer help. Get the jump on it. How could you use help?

I could personally use help with my 3 kids. I love my kids and want to spend time with them this summer. However, wouldn't it be glorious if a nice college or high school girl came and got all 3 of them Monday - Friday for 4 hours a day and took them to the park or to one of their summer activities like swim lessons or tennis lessons ? I am the expert at my business and would rather have someone spend part of the day with the kids so I can blow through some work during daylight hours vs. working at night after everyone is in bed like most of us mompreneurs do.

Also, it wouldn't it be great to go on a date once a week with my husband on Friday or Saturday night. When is the last time you and your husband went on a date ? I was polling my girlfriends who are also mother entrepreneurs and asked them how many times they went out with just their husbands last year. The average was 3 times - our anniversaries, our birthday, and our husband's birthday. What !!! Not one of them had gone out 12 times - that's once a month !

So, back to this summer help. Can you put a posting up at the local community college or university.... "Looking for Summer Help - 20 hours a week minimum - $15 an hour - caring for 3 great kids, running errands, office help - Call 555.1212 so we can meet and we can test the waters with a few weekend trial runs". Offer these college kids a competitive wage so they won't want to work at the mall.

I have a very clear set of expectations for that competitve wage. I expect them to provide lunch, pick up the house with the help of kids, do dinner prep, run errands like dropping something off at the post office (like internet orders :-), and clean up after meals. I explain to them that I need them that when they leave I can't have an hour or two of housework and picking up and cleaning up to do after they leave - that leaves me in a negative place with extra work to do after they have left.

I have found it to be very successful when you go over your expectations at the initial meeting and again at the first visit. Don't think - "Oh, the first time they watch the kids I don't want it to be too much." Wrong ! Make sure you have them do other tasks than just the kids the first time so they know exactly what to expect.

It's not too soon to get looking and scoop up the good ones first and have them start on Friday and Saturday nights so you can try them out while you and your husband go out for coffee or dinner. Then you have tons of time to find other help if you don't have a zippy and energetic college girl helping out with the kids.

Last notes: ask for a resume even if they are 16, ask for references and call them even if they are 16, and the first 2-3 times they watch the kids have that happen when you are actually home so you can observe them from and see how they interact with your kids. Honestly, some of the high school sitters don't make it past watching my kids when I am home - so, they don't graduate to watching them when I am not home. One example of this is a nice high school girl just sat and "observed" my kids and "supervised" the kids and therefore it really wasn't any different than me throwing in a video - no interaction with them even after coaching her... "they really like to play board games, the baby loves when you get out his books and read him stories, they love craft projects". Nothing. She was a dud and the baby (1 yr old) kept coming looking for me every 10 minutes.

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