This is by far the toughest area of decision making I have ever had to make, and that is really saying something. I have had to make some extremely challenging decisions in my lifetime so far! I have learned a few things which I hope will help you to avoid some of the mistakes I have made.
- the person who is the very best for your child may not be best for you or your family as a whole
- ensure the person you hire is organised and timely
- make sure the person knows it is their responsibility to tidy up completely after their time with your child finishes for the day
- have expectations (what your therapist can expect from you and what you expect from your employee) clearly laid out, discussed and then pinned up in a clearly visible place
- take the time to have a fifteen minute ‘catch up’ over coffee at least once every 6-8 sessions. You may not feel you are able to spare the time, but you really cannot afford not to
- we have a three strike rule. If the same minor misdemeanor is made three times, the employee must leave. We do not give second chances for big misdemeanors.
- your employee should be willing to be video recorded, even if you don’t actually record them
- I recommend doing ‘double up’ sessions at least one in every eight to twelve
- ensure that you treat your therapist with TLC. It is really tough to work in somebody’s home
- keep boundaries. Your employee should NOT become your friend unless you have regular ‘business meetings’ and you are very skilled in this area
- have a space which is ‘off limits’ so as you can hide out if need be!
- do not worry about the state of your home or how you look. You need to get over that really quickly!
- do not put all of your eggs in one basket. Always have an ‘ad hoc’ babysitter who can step in if you need this
- remember that you are human and fallible, as is your therapist. You will always likely be your child’s best teacher
I have also found that the mums who manage to enjoy life the most are those who are able to save funds in one or two areas so as they can afford to have some home help. This may be a couple of short slots a week to tidy, one full day’s clean a fortnight or a three hour clean once a week (with the odd cupboard sort in between!). Remember that you have so much physical and emotional energy and only so many hours in a week. You need to fill these very wisely, learning to say ‘no’.