As told by Butterfly Co-founder Bradi Nathan
||“Stop being a martyr.” This was the single best piece of advice that I did not act on when my children were young. I decided that I was going to do it all, and well. I did not. I resented my husband for working long hours, not breastfeeding (he should have tried anyway), and for having the luxury of time to himself during his hour-long commute to and from work. In retrospect, I would have been a better mother and a better wife if I “stopped being a martyr” and hired some help.
That’s where Gale Gregory comes in. She too is a mother who does it all but she offers moms the amazing opportunity to find support. Gale is the Owner and Founder of Mom’s Helper, a licensed and bonded domestic placement agency. In an exclusive interview with Gale, she shares her journey of balancing motherhood and Mom’s Helper:
BN: What did you do before you had kids?
I worked for a company for over 15 years, called Henry Schein, they are the largest healthcare distributor in the world. I started in clerical and became one of their first female vice presidents. I was vice president of marketing for the dental division.
BN: Was it difficult for you to go back to work?
The transition wasn’t that difficult because I had a staff working for me, so I had developed strong people skills, and doing marketing was a huge advantage, and it was something that I loved. In some ways the personnel part actually got easier, I know have only 1 full-time employee and 1 part-time.
BN: Where did you seek childcare needs?
I went through an agency recommended by a friend. I think it was called. Our Pride Happy Home in Brooklyn, N.Y. I interviewed one person while I was still pregnant, and I hired her. She was like a grandmother, that is what I had wanted and we just seemed to have the right chemistry. She was with us for over 3 years and unfortunately she got a brain aneurism and passed away.
BN: How did having a nanny affect you personally?
At certain times I felt a little guilty leaving my son, especially on a business trip for a few days. I also felt very fortunate to have found good help. For the first few months we really did everything for my son as a team. So once I was back at work, I could look at the clock and have a good indication of what he could be doing at any time. I also had to deal with the fact, that I had to work, [which I also really enjoyed], and therefore didn’t have a choice but to have a nanny and had to rely on my instincts that a made a good choice.
BN: How and when do you spend mommy time with you son?
As we all do, I love my son more than anything, but having said that, I wasn’t the one getting on the floor playing with him every day, the nanny was, and that was really fine for me. The weekends were our time together to do everything, and be super-mom. It isn’t always the quantity but the quality. The nanny would also do some housekeeping and laundry, which was important to free up the weekend. It was really a perfect balance.
BN: What do you enjoy about owning Mom’s Helper?
Having my own business and working from home is a great combination. It gives me great flexibility. I can commit to carpooling, school functions, etc, which is really important [my son is now 12]. I also like that my son sees me working, and gets to appreciate what we do for him. I think it adds to the values we try teaching him, which are, being disciplined, being responsible and when you work hard, and put the time into what you are doing the results are very rewarding.
BN: What transferable skills came in handy?
I think having a career in marketing was a big plus, and knowing how important customer service is. Maintaining a good reputation is everything.
BN: What does Mom’s Helper offer?
My service provides moms real flexibility and a good balance. For a working mom, either full-time or part-time, you need good reliable childcare, so you can concentrate on your work, and for non-working moms, having an extra set of hands is usually indispensable when you are juggling multiple children, carpooling housekeeping, laundry, bathes and homework, etc.
BN: How do you handle your employees?
We actually do not employee people, the client does the hiring. We are a placement service. We also have people who are looking for part-time work.
BN: What is the nanny process like?
Our process in as follows, when a client calls us, we get a full job description of the job, and just talking in general gives me a good feel for the type of person the client is looking for. We will then select 2-3 applicants who we think are best suited for the position and have them speak to the client. Based on the conversation, they will set up an appointment to meet. We always like our clients to meet a few potential employees. It gives them a better idea of who would be a better fit in their family. We also allow a trial period for a client to try someone.
BN: What is the best piece of advice you have to offer?
The best advice I can give you is, don’t second guess yourself, if your instinct and womans intuition has told you, you’ve made a right choice, go with it. Remember, if you are goin to work because you need to,[whether financially or emotionally], you will be a better mom for it, and you will be able to give your child more down the road.
BN: What should a mom look out for when interviewing a nanny?
When I am interviewing, my first indication of someone who won’t be a candidate, is if they cannot look me in the eye when they are speaking. O f course, appearance, personality, hygiene, communication skills, references, etc. are really important also.
BN: What other services does Mom’s Helper offer?
We offer companions for the elderly, which would be great for someone who recently lost a spouse or for someone who doesn’t want to give up their independence and wants to stay in their own home, but may be getting a bit forgetfu or have dementia. These qualified applicants could do cooking, cleaning, assist with bathing, getting in and out of bed, make sure medications are taken, and if necessary drive them to doctors appointments, etc.
- Visit Gale's Butterfly Profile Page
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