It’s no secret that new moms could use a helping hand (or ten). Luckily, the support you’re craving may be just down the block.
Go back to school to find childcare. “I found mothers helpers by posting notices on local college campuses,” says Paige Bowers, a mom of one from Zachary, Louisiana. “Students are always looking for part-time work and have pretty flexible schedules.” They may also have great credentials—nursing school students are trained in CPR and first aid.
Swap hours for babysitting. Try exchanging babysitting duties with a friend or relative. “My sister has a 3-year-old and lives nearby, so we’re always trading kids back and forth,” says Heidi Haaland of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, a mom of two. “It gives us each time to get housework done, go to appointments, and recharge.”
Check out story time at the library. You’ll find a circle of moms who’ll be happy to offer advice and—perhaps even more important!—babysitter recommendations.
Suck up to single friends. “When I first had my twins, coworkers would swing by during their lunch break with food for me,” recalls Beth Mattson of Racine, Wisconsin. “They’d hold the babies and give me a chance to eat. Best visitors ever.”
Do a nanny share. “My friend and I had nanny who alternated hours between us,” says Kim Cohen, mother of one from St. Louis, Missouri. “It actually turned out to be much cheaper than daycare.”
By all means, let family pitch in. Most parents and in-laws will jump at the chance to babysit their beautiful new grandchild. They’ll be thrilled, you’ll be thrilled—so don’t hesitate to ask.
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