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Have You Consider Hiring a House Manager?




Written by:

Barbara Mighdoll

Feeling like you're drowning in never-ending to-do lists? Trust me, I've been there too. Countless times, I've felt immobilized by the sheer weight of everything on my plate, feeling like I’m dropping balls left and right, like I’m failing in so many areas of my life. Eight piles of laundry that need to be folded and put away, a sink constantly full of dirty dishes, forgetting to write those thank you notes, staying up till midnight to meet that work deadline, the list goes on. 

It's a struggle many moms can relate to – juggling work calls and diaper changes, only to feel like we're barely staying above water. But if your kids are already enrolled in daycare, preschool or elementary school, what kind of hired support can you find to help? A nanny isn’t the right solution, since you may occasionally need some childcare coverage, but you mainly need some household assistance to keep your life running smoothly.

Enter the house manager, or often referred to as a mother’s helper. I don’t like promoting that secondary term since it inherently means that us moms are the default in figuring out how the hell to make our lives, our partner’s life and our kids' lives go round.

While I do not have a house manager, I previously went deep down this rabbit hole when my husband was interviewing for a company that would require him to travel quite a bit during the week. I scoured the local Facebook moms groups, blogs, whatsapp chats and local agencies to understand what my options were, how easily I could find this magical person and the going rate. I’m sharing my findings in case you could use this type of support.

Overwhelmed With Work and Motherhood? Consider Hiring a House Manager

The duties of a house manager

A house manager can ease your burden by taking care of daily household management tasks.They tackle everything from organizing that overflowing closet, meal planning, preparing art projects to occupy your kids after school, doing and putting away laundry, light childcare and keeping your household running smoothly. They become your right-hand person, taking care of behind-the-scenes tasks so you can focus on work and quality time with your family. With their help, you can reclaim those precious moments to focus on what really matters – spending quality time with your loved ones and taking care of yourself.

Here are some common responsibilities a house manager may handle:

  1. Schedule management: One primary task is to keep the household schedule in check. This includes managing appointments, making sure the kids are where they need to be, and ensuring that nothing important falls through the cracks.
  2. Vendor coordination: House managers can help coordination with external service providers, such as cleaners, gardeners, and maintenance workers. They ensure that all household projects are completed on time and manage potential problems that may arise.
  3. Event planning: From birthday parties to family gatherings, house managers can take on the role of event planner, coordinating all aspects of events held at the home.
  4. Budgeting and expense tracking: They may oversee the household budget, ensuring bills are paid on time and tracking expenses to keep the family’s finances on track.
  5. Errands and groceries: Running errands, picking up dry cleaning, grocery shopping, and ensuring that the home is stocked with all necessary supplies.
  6. Meal planning and preparation: While not all house managers will cook, many will plan meals or manage food delivery subscriptions.
  7. Household organization: They keep the home organized and tidy, implementing systems to ensure that everything runs as efficiently as possible.
  8. Travel arrangements: House managers may be responsible for making travel arrangements for family vacations, ensuring all transportation and accommodation details are taken care of.
The role of a House Manager

Can a house manager help with child care responsibilities?

Absolutely! A house manager should tailor their services to meet your specific needs, and this often extends to child care responsibilities. A house manager can be a huge support in managing the day-to-day aspects of your children's lives. This can include arranging and overseeing after-school activities, scheduling playdates, coordinating transportation to and from school and events, and even helping with homework. While they may not take on the role of a full-time nanny, their involvement can ensure that your children’s schedules are organized and they are where they need to be.

House manager alternatives

If having a dedicated house manager isn't the right fit for your family or lifestyle, there are several alternative solutions that can help keep your household running smoothly. 

In my home for example, we have professional cleaners that come every other week (we may up them to weekly soon), we have an au pair that provides childcare 4.5 days a week for our two kids, I use a VA service to help with light research and appointment bookings, and we place almost an identical grocery order weekly to ensure we are always stocked on meal prep items.

You may want to consider stacking your support bench with one of these options below. Each alternative offers its unique benefits, allowing you to tailor your household support to match your specific needs and preferences. The goal is some semblance of work-life balance, and finding the right combination of support.


A housekeeper primarily focuses on the cleaning and maintenance of your home. They tackle tasks like vacuuming, dusting, mopping, and ensuring that every nook and cranny is spotless. Some housekeepers may also take on additional duties such as laundry and basic organization. The primary distinction between a housekeeper and a house manager rests in their scope of their responsibilities. While a house manager oversees the household’s overall operations, including scheduling, organizing, and sometimes even child care, a housekeeper is specifically dedicated to the home’s cleanliness and day-to-day upkeep.


A nanny is someone who provides child care within the comfort and safety of your home. Unlike house managers, whose responsibilities may encompass a wide range of duties from household organization to scheduling, nannies specialize in all things related to child care. This includes feeding, bathing, and engaging in educational and fun activities with your children. They may also assist with homework and transporting children to and from school or extracurricular activities. Of course a nanny is just one type of child care option, but there are many others (here are 6 common childcare options for working parents).

Family assistant

A family assistant is a jack-of-all-trades who assists with a wide range of tasks to streamline your family's life. They might help with homework, run errands, and pitch in with household chores. The main distinction between a family assistant and a house manager is their approach to helping out. While a house manager tends to coordinate and manage household operations, a family assistant is more hands-on, providing personalized support for day-to-day activities.

Virtual assistant

A virtual assistant, commonly known as a VA, works remotely to offer a range of administrative services for your professional needs. They utilize digital tools and platforms to communicate and fulfill tasks efficiently. Unlike household managers who are physically present to manage the ins and outs of a home, VAs provide their assistance from a distance and typically focus on professional tasks rather than household responsibilities. This may involve tasks such as email management, appointment scheduling, social media management, and various clerical duties.

Who can benefit from a house manager?

Virtually anyone with a bustling household can significantly benefit from the services of a house manager, but they're a godsend for certain groups, including:

  1. Postpartum moms – A house manager can offer a much-needed sense of structure and support during this overwhelming time. By taking on the day-to-day management of the household, from organizing schedules to supervising other household staff, they free up new moms to focus on recovery and bonding with their newborn.
  2. Busy professionals – For individuals juggling demanding careers and busy personal lives, a house manager can help alleviate the stress of managing household responsibilities. Whether you are working from home, or in an office, they can handle so many tasks to lighten your load.
  3. Individuals with anxiety or depression – For individuals grappling with mental health challenges, keeping up with household responsibilities can become daunting. A house manager can offer valuable relief by shouldering various tasks and providing much-needed support and organization.
  4. Families with multiple children – As any parent knows, managing a household with multiple children can be chaotic and exhausting. A house manager can assist with organizing schedules, supervising homework, and managing extracurricular activities.

Consider this before hiring a house manager

Before you decide to bring a house manager into your home, here are some considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Budget – Determine if the cost of hiring a house manager fits within your family's budget. It’s important to weigh the benefits against the expense to make sure it’s a financially feasible choice for you. Depending on your area, you should expect a house manager to cost between $20 and $40 an hour, and you can likely find someone for part-time support.
  2. Privacy – Consider how comfortable you and your family are with having an additional person in your home on a regular basis. A house manager will be involved in personal aspects of your life, so it’s crucial that everyone feels at ease with this arrangement.
  3. Expectations and responsibilities – Clearly define the roles and tasks you expect the house manager to take on. Having a detailed job description from the start can prevent misunderstandings and ensure that your needs are met.
  4. Compatibility – Since the house manager will be working closely with your family, finding someone whose personality and working style match yours is key. Look for a candidate who understands your family's rhythm and can adapt to it.
  5. Background and references – Always conduct a thorough background check and contact previous employers for references. This will help you gauge the candidate's reliability, skills, and suitability for your household.
  6. Trial period – If possible, consider a trial period to assess how well the house manager fits into your household dynamics and manages the responsibilities. This can be a great way to ensure that both parties are comfortable before making a long-term commitment.

How to find a house manager you trust

Finding a house manager you trust involves a thoughtful and thorough hiring process. Here are some steps to guide you through to find the perfect house manager:

  1. Start with a detailed job posting – Begin by crafting a job advertisement that outlines the specific duties, required skills, and qualifications for your house manager. Posting a house manager job description on reputable job boards and in local community forums can attract a wide range of qualified candidates.
  2. Leverage your network & social media groups – Ask friends, family, or colleagues for recommendations. Sometimes, the best candidates come through personal connections who already understand your expectations and values. And definitely leverage any local mom Facebook Groups. Often there are groups dedicated to pairing support with moms.
  3. Screen resumes carefully – Look for applicants with relevant experience and a strong work history. Pay attention to longevity in previous roles, which can be a good sign of reliability and commitment.
  4. Conduct initial interviews – Arrange initial interviews to gauge the candidates' communication skills, professionalism, and fit with your family's needs. This can be done via video call or in person, depending on your preference.
  5. Invite for in-person interviews – For those who make a good impression, invite them for a more in-depth, in-person interview. It’s beneficial to have these at your home to see how they interact in the environment and with any family members present.
  6. Consider a paid trial – Before making a final decision, offering a short, paid trial period allows you to see the candidate in action and confirm they're a good fit for your household.
How to find a house manager you trust

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