Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mother's helper

A friend of mine has recently picked up a writing job for a local magazine. She'll do a short weekly column online about a subject she's become somewhat of an expert in. She has a decent following on her blog and will likely bring a good bit of traffic with her. She's working out the details, so I won't go into it just yet.

But here's the thing, she's doing it for free.

At the same time there is a discussion going on among the mothers group I belong to about how much to pay a mother's helper. A mother's helper is usually a younger child, 12 -13 who isn't quite ready to babysit, but will come by to play with the children and keep them busy while the mother is working at home. Apparently the going rate for such a thing is $5- 8 an hour. We've never hired a mother's helper, but our sitter usually takes in $10 - 15 an hour, depending on how long we're gone.

So a 13 year old can make $8 an hour, but my friend has to work for free.

Of course, she's doing it because of the other work it might lead to. I understand that we all have to do things purely as an investment in the future and that sometimes it isn't about the money, but it seems like writers get the worst of this. As a mother of small children, I have to weigh whether my words can eek out more than the hourly rate of a sitter. Often the answer to this is no.

And aren't these kids doing the work to get experience, as a step towards actual babysitting jobs? Maybe I should tell my friend about this mother's helper gig. $8 an hour might just be worth it.

Worth something.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Golly gosh, I never thought of it! Where can I get this gig? I would totally play with some toddlers while their mum is around to take care of the hard stuff for 8 bucks an hour!