Seeking advice on care for teen during weeknights and overnights

As my professional life becomes more busy/involved, and my ex-husband increasingly unhelpful in co-parenting, I'm realizing I need more help at home, but I don't know what type of help I should be looking for. Most critically, I need reliable and safe care for my 13-yr-old when I travel for work (1 - 2X/month). But I'd also like help during a couple of nights in the mid-week for dinner prep, shuttling teen to activities, and straightening up the house. And my teen would probably benefit from having another adult who is kind and supportive, now that my ex is becoming less present. I guess I could find different people to fill each of these roles, but what I think would be great is one person who can do it all.

How do I find such a person? It's not really a full-time position and not exactly a nanny position -- my ideal would be someone who would help a couple of evenings a week and then be "on retainer" for overnights when I travel. I'd especially like them to be caring and able to connect with my teen. A grandparent-type might be ideal -- I only wish my own parents were available.

Any suggestions about how to find this kind of support?


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I have a college student who lives with us. In return for not paying rent, she helps with my teenager - both on a daily basis and when I have to travel for work. My schedule and circumstances are very similar to your schedule. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. All of us are thrilled with the situation. I’m happy to talk 1:1 if you want more details. 

I highly recommend looking into an Au Pair for this kind of help. We’re on our second Au Pair now. I’m a SAHM with three kids. The flexibility is key, our AP helps with cooking, does all kid related chores plus some, and though ours doesn’t drive, many do shuttle kids around. You just have to find the right person. The agencies are pretty much all the same. The cost is about 20k, plus room and board (so they need a separate bedroom). 

My daughter is a college student and she does this type of on-call help for a family which found her on There are a few "uber-like" services such as sittercity and that you could try.

Could you provide room & board too? What about a graduate student? I have had (very over qualified, super responsible) graduate students do homework with my son once or twice a week since 5th grade. They were awesome guys! I bet you could find someone who could commit to some arrangement.

Another good resource is to post on NextDoor. Through that site, I sold a car, had a crappy old working refrigerator hauled away for free, have gotten doctor advice, etc. Many people post who are looking for specific, and sometimes sporadic, work.

Have you considered a graduate student to help you?