Let’s face it: as moms, we have a never-ending list of things to do. No matter how hard we work, something is left undone. There simply just aren’t enough hours in the day. Fortunately, there’s help–outsourcing! Outsourcing tasks is the idea of having someone else do a particular task for you. Sometimes you pay for these jobs to be done; other times, it’s more like a favor or a division of labor.
Raising kids takes a village. With varying work, school, and activity schedules, it’s nearly impossible to get by without childcare help. Whether you have someone to help with the kids sporadically or routinely, having an extra person to rely on is so relieving.
School and activity drop-offs and pick-ups can also be a source of major concern. Outsourcing tasks like this might mean you enlist the help of a trusted friend or family member! Perhaps they can do the drop-off and pick-up for a specific activity, or commit to a certain day of the week. It’s a simple favor that goes a long way!
If you are the parent of a special needs, disabled, or neurodivergent child, there are often extra help and resources available to you! Check with your local county for recommendations for respite care or other caregiving services.
“I’m a big fan of outsourcing childcare. We have always had a full-time or part-time nanny or au pair but also have a roster of babysitters. I like to have a list of at least six people I can call because their availability is all different.” -Jennifer Dewey
For many of us, a messy house causes great anxiety. Not having the time or energy to keep it spick and span causes even more anxiety. It’s a vicious cycle. If you can afford it, try outsourcing tasks related to cleaning by having a house cleaner. It’s a great way to maintain a livable, organized space. You can even get help with decluttering and organizing.
“Having a cleaner every other week is great. When we do it ourselves, we can never get it all done at once, so there was always something still dirty. I love coming home to an entirely clean house, even if it’s just for one day.” -Laurie Golden
“To keep a balance on expenses versus sanity, we have a housecleaner clean just the ‘wet’ areas of our home every other week. She cleans the bathrooms and the kitchen and it is such a big help!” -Karli McNeill
“…I finally found an independent cleaner who comes only when I need. She only does the kitchen and/or bathrooms, and it’s been life-changing. I’ve found the cost is more manageable with an independent cleaner compared to a cleaning service, and they are open to coming on an as-needed basis.” -Kaitlin Lochner
If there was one good thing to come out of the pandemic, it was grocery pick-up and delivery. Most major grocery retailers (Aldi, Amazon, Kroger, Meijer, Walmart, etc.) have grocery pick-up for free with a certain amount spent, or grocery delivery for a minimal fee. Instacart and Shipt are also great services that give you back some time!
You can take this a step further by using eMeals. Their slogan is, “less stress, more dinners.” The premise is that you choose from their premade meal plans and then send the shopping list to your local grocery store. You get the groceries and make dinner!
“Instacart was a game changer for me! It takes off so much of the mental load from grocery shopping, packing, unpacking, and even narrowing down choices.” -Faten S.
“Instacart has changed my life! No I’m not being overdramatic! I have benefited so much from taking grocery shopping off [the] to-do list. I love the convenience of being able to order groceries from my phone in between meetings or even while taxiing to the gate in an airplane when I have landed on a business trip.” -Franki Lynn
“The main thing I outsource is grocery shopping. I use Walmart+ or Aldi curbside. It is a huge time saver for me. I also use eMeals for meal planning. You pick your meals and it gets added to a shopping list; I use Walmart and you can add groceries.” -Allyson Dunn
Getting groceries is only half the battle! Then you need to find time to cook and figure out what to make that everyone will eat. Oh, and don’t forget about lunches for everybody, too. There’s a meme out there that says: “Who knew that the hardest part of being an adult is figuring out what to cook for dinner every single night for the rest of your life until you die?” It’s funny because it’s true!
Luckily, there are many services available to help ease this burden and make outsourcing tasks like this easier. Some of the most well-known meal plans are from Blue Apron, EveryPlate, Hello Fresh and, Purple Carrot (a vegan option!). Each subscription is unique in its recipes and prices.
There are also local options that offer freshly prepared meals ready to go. Clean Plates Detroit, based out of Ferndale, delivers ready-to-eat meals in Metro Detroit. Simply Good Kitchen in Birmingham has a vending machine/kiosk for to-go meals. And, Full Circle Meals in the city of Washington offers weekly pre-ordering or grab-and-go meals that are fresh and ready to eat!
“I get lunch delivered for just me every week! With so much going on in my head and on my calendar I would constantly forget about lunch and once I did remember to eat [it was] the question of what? How? Where? Now I have something I can easily pop in the oven or microwave and I am good to go in 15 minutes and it prevents me from eating snacks as a meal! I’ve tried both Factor and CookUnity.” -Sofia Konstance
“My husband surprised me with four meals this week from Hello Fresh because he thought I could use some help with dinner time as I have been struggling lately. We order it randomly when we need dinner inspiration.” -Amanda Nihem
“We used to use Blue Apron for meal delivery! Everything came in one box, and the directions were easy to follow. We enjoyed cooking the meals together and liked that it got us to try different meals that we otherwise probably wouldn’t have tried.” -Whitney Cornelli
Cut the grass. Pull the weeds. Plant the flowers. Rake the leaves. Plow the snow. No matter the season, there’s always some outdoor job waiting to get crossed off your to-do list. Consider outsourcing tasks for things like lawn maintenance, especially if it isn’t something you enjoy doing! Coyro Landscaping in Grosse Pointe or Majestic Lawn & Landscape in Macomb County are two recommendations. You could also see if there is a high school or college student in your neighborhood looking to make a little extra money!
“My husband and I would always share our lawn maintenance chores, based on his work-travel schedule. Recently, we outsourced that task. It has been nice to not have one more item added to my list when I am solo-parenting.” -Jessica Johnson
You don’t have to do it all, especially not alone. If you have a partner at home, enlist his/her help. If you’re the one doing the meal planning and grocery shopping, perhaps your partner can do the cooking. Eve Rodsky created a program called “Fair Play,” which outlines a system for how to divide up household tasks fairly, based on your needs. Have a discussion with your partner about how you can work together to accomplish all that needs to be done.
When it comes to shopping for yourself, try out a clothing rental or subscription service. These can be used for special events or just everyday clothing. Subscriptions like Stitch Fix are a great option to take the guesswork out of your daily wardrobe. Other services, such as Rent the Runway, can help you save time, money, and energy when looking for an outfit for a special event.
For your laundry needs, utilize a local laundromat or dry cleaner. Some areas even have companies that will pick up/drop off your clothing for you!
As for your pets? Hire a dog walker! Check out your local community for teenagers or others who are looking to help out.
If you’re trying to decide if outsourcing a task is right for you, here is a tip from mom Karli McNeill: “I set my own ‘internal household labor rate’ to $50 per hour. It’s different than my salary; basically a financial number for what I see my time is worth for labor at home. If it’s a task I do not enjoy and someone else can do it better or cheaper than my rate, then I will look to outsource it. The amount we choose to outsource depends on our financial goals at the time. Are we trying to pay down debt? Lower stress? Save for a trip? We adjust outsourcing based on that!”
Take back some of your precious time by outsourcing tasks from that never-ending chore list. You deserve it!