For many parents, the work life balance struggle has never been more real, but now thanks to a Melbourne mum-of-three, an ingenious solution for those in need of help has been created.
“One night my husband and I were having a wine and we said wouldn’t it be lovely to come home and have everything sorted, kids have been fed, there’s dinner for us,” Shelley Roberts told The Project on Monday evening. Their realisation? “We need a nonna.”
And so with that, Nonna – a service that connects women seeking part-time work with young families wanting a long-term helping hand around the home – was born.
Services available via Nonna include taking on the school drop off or pick up, putting dinner on the table and helping with homework, bath time and other household duties. Basically, it's like a fairy godmother got crossed with a grandparent.
According to Roberts, though, there are important differences between what a nanny does and who a Nonna is.
"Nannies tend to want full-time work," Roberts explained. "With nonnas, they may be happy to work part time, they may be happy with just a few hours a day. They're quite happy to do school pick up and then hang around to give the kids a snack, sort out dinner, clean the breakfast dishes that you've run out of the house and haven't done."
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Importantly, Roberts added, "they're quite happy to stick around long-term. They're someone who can build a relationship with the family."
Nonnas earn $35 an hour and are also able to claim travel expenses.
Since announcing the business earlier this week, the response to what was once a pipe-dream for Roberts has been overwhelming.
"Great idea for employment of seniors," one Facebook user wrote.
"What a great idea for families that don't have any family support close by, but also benefits older women who love to care for children, as well as make some extra money. Win win for everyone," another agreed.
"I would have loved a Nonna for my kids. My mum passed away when they were very young. What a great idea," one fan of the project wrote, while another added, "Great idea for people who don't have close family. Nonnas are real blessings."
We couldn't agree more.
What do you think? Would you hire a Nonna to help out around the home?