Stuck on the sofa with a baby that’s finally nodded off but you haven’t eaten in hours, nearly out of nappies, have an ever mounting pile of washing, work to crack on with and housework to do?
Whether it’s one of the above, all of the above, or you just need someone to help with those everyday tasks whilst you take some time to rest and recover following the birth of your baby – Close to Hand can help you. The online service connects you to local helpers who can pop in and provide an extra pair of hands as and when needed.
Self-care for new mums
It is important to recognise that becoming a new parent is a monumental life change; coping with sleep deprivation, worry, social isolation and loss of identity, perhaps at the same time as parenting solo or living far from family that would otherwise step in to help and support you. Many women new to motherhood experience feelings of loneliness and isolation during this time.
Allowing someone else to take on some of the mounting household tasks while you take the opportunity to rest and recuperate following birth and take some much needed time bonding with your new baby can make a big difference to your mental health and physical wellbeing. Focussing on self-care and prioritising rest is really important; try to stop pushing through things and during those short nap times take some time to rest.
What do new parents really need?
Any new parent needs time to adjust to their new arrival and an extra pair of hands to assist with the practical aspects can be a huge help in those first few weeks and months.
Close to Hand Home Helpers can provide assistance on an ad-hoc, short term basis or for a longer term depending on your requirements. The service provides you with the flexibility to arrange help at times to suit you and offers you the choice to select a helper by searching through profiles of those in our local area.
What help can Home Helpers provide new mums?
Home Helpers can be on hand to help with the following:
How does Close to Hand work?
Once you have registered you can browse local helper profiles. If you wish to connect directly with one or some of the helpers in your area you will need to upgrade to our premium membership. We operate a simple subscription service at £12 per month – there are no hidden fees. You have complete control over your membership and can switch it off at any time, or once you have made a connection. If you need the service again in the future you can simply re-instate your membership.
If you would rather wait to see who is available before upgrading then you can post a job advert for free detailing your requirements. Once your job is live on our site, an automatic notification will be sent out to all the helpers in your local community. If your job is of interest they can send you a message via our secure message service. In order to view and respond to this message you will need to upgrade to our Premium membership.
Help when you need it
The level of help received can be agreed by you, using the online secure messaging service, whether it’s daily, once a week or on an ad-hoc basis. Close to Hand Home Helpers set their own availability and their own hourly rate which can be found on their profiles; this is typically between £8-£12 per hour making it an affordable and flexible option. Often Home Helpers are mums themselves with grown up or school-aged children looking for work to fit around the school run, or newly retired people seeking local work with a purpose.
A network of local contacts
Many of the Home Helpers registered with Close to Hand are mums themselves and so know only too well the highs and lows of the newborn phase.
Close to Hand allows you to harness the power of the internet to connect with people in your area, at your discretion, and build a network of local contacts that you can call on. You are in control and determine the level of help and the period of time you require it.
From the comfort of your own home, day or night, you can browse local Home Helper profiles and make direct contact via our secure messaging service.
What other help is available for new mums who might be struggling?
We asked Emma, one of Close to Hand’s Home Helpers and mum of two, for her top tips for new mums who might be struggling:
Don’t aim for perfection - there is a lot of pressure to balance having a baby and keeping a job and keeping fit and maintaining a social life and a clean house. Prioritise what is important in those first few months.
Get out of the house - being indoors all day with a newborn can make for lonely and long days. Try to get out every day and get a change of scenery.
Talk - share your concerns with friends or family. There is lots of support online and local breastfeeding drop-in centres. Baby and toddler groups are great for sharing your experiences with others at the same stage of life.
For further details of local services and support for parents go to: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/services-support-for-parents/
Ask for help - friends and family will be only too happy to help and so don’t be afraid to ask. Take any offers of help that come your way. If you don’t have a close support network then connecting with someone through Close to Hand is a good option – finding someone local who can pop in to help you out when you need it most will be a lifeline to many.