I know you are doing all the things. Mom bossing is hard. Well, actually being a mom is hard...even without the job! But in order to get some of your sanity back, let’s talk about when to hire out home chores.
Having my own living space was amazing when I first was in law school. As a single woman in school full-time, I maintained each and very aspect of my home life with ease. It made me feel like an adult, and I actually enjoyed taking care of my minuscule apartment. Wiping down the counters, making a meal and even vacuuming were not chores, they were signs I was becoming an adult. (And dare I say that I actually enjoyed tidying up on the weekends?
Add fifteen years, a spouse, children, pets, a full time law practice and running two additional business…
Can I tell you how much taking care of our home ranks on my priority list these days?
It’s at the very bottom. And I cannot even hide the fact anymore that I do not care. The stress of coming home to overflowing laundry baskets, a sink full of dishes and dust on every corner of what we own not only makes me feel like a failure, but most days, I am too exhausted to care.
I started asking myself if there were ways that may make my life easier. I sat down in the middle of my messy closet and started asking where I was failing the most. Not only in my family, but in my business as well. Could I get help and even bigger, could I afford help? I made myself a list of the why and when I should start hiring things out.
Here are the questions I asked (and continue to ask) before I hire anyone to do anything — whether it is at home or in my businesses:
What is my time worth?
This is the biggest question you need to be asking yourself in your business. I understand that your answer may be “I’m not making any money right now.” That is understandable and girl, I’ve been there. But if you have no idea what your time is worth, you may be doing (or trying to do) a task that ends up taking all of your time and brain capacity and then you are walking away from things that could be done quicker.
As a lawyer, I know what my time is worth for clients, because I bill by the hour. But for blogging and writing, that was a bit harder to calculate. So for the first several years, I guessed. I set a rate (a very low rate) and told myself that if the task I was trying to do was lower than my hourly rate, then I would hire it out.
This will become easier as you go along, especially in an online space. Working with brands, selling a product or being paid for collaborations will help you start setting an average business number and you can flex it from there.
Will this save me time?
This is usually an easy question. Of course having help, especially good help can save anyone time. But knowing if that time was valuable to my family time and to my business was another question entirely. I had to ask what I needed done and what kind of an impact would this make.
Will this save me money?
In the last several years, I hired a housekeeper and it has changed my life! She only comes one time a month and she does not touch my kids’ rooms or bathrooms-that remains their responsibility.
I also hired a runner for the office a few times a week that does errands for a set fee.
Both of these things create space in my life where I can not only make money but I can take the focus off of the smaller issues in my day that I usually beat myself up about.
Can this reduce my stress level?
Yes girl! Yes it will. Walking in from a long day to a clean countertop is one of the highlights of my month! I know it may sound trivial, but your home requires the best version of you to function.
On the days that I would hit the door with an armload of work and look around only to see more of it was soul draining. Yes, paying someone is a sacrifice to our monthly budget, but now it is actually making me money. And maybe you don’t need house cleaning. Meal preparation services, hiring a neighbor to drive the kids back and forth from soccer practice, or even lawn maintenance are all home chores that someone is willing to provide a service for.
How often do I need to re-evaluate?
I re-evaluate how things are going every month. Several months ago I added online grocery shopping to my list. I rarely step inside a grocery store anymore. It comes delivered. And since both of my kids are active in sports, I have a rotating schedule of moms who we take turns driving car pool-and these two services are free!
I’d love to know where you are at in your home chore struggle and if you have any tips or tricks of your own!