The Key to Successfully Juggle Work and Motherhood: Outsourcing

working mom, parenting, household management, work/life balance
Sometimes being a working mom seems impossible.  There are just not enough hours in the day to work, raise your child, do laundry, dishes, cook, and the list goes on.  But, there are so many of us (working moms) out there, so there must be a way, right?

The only way that I stay sane while juggling my life is to outsource.  I do it for work.  I do it for home.  I'll be the first to tell you, I'm not good at everything.  I am not the best person for every job.  As a marketing director, I outsource SEM because I couldn't do it as well as someone else could and it isn't worth my company's money for me to fiddle until I figure it out, so I outsource.  The same thing goes with home.  I could not do as good of a job as my son's school to educate him and keep him stimulated all day, so I outsource.

How do you decide when it is time to outsource something?  I'll tell you my strategy to determine when to outsource for both work and home.  I ask three questions:

1.  Could I do this task as well as someone else?

If the answer is yes, I go question 2 with money as a bigger factor than if I answered no.

2.  Is it worth the money?

How do I determine if something is worth the money?  I set an amount my time is worth - $70/hour.  How do you determine how much your time is worth?  The obvious choice is how much do you get paid per hour.  If you don't work right now, how much money would you have to be paid per hour to take a job offer? 
3.  Is this task essential?

If it isn't worth the cost to pay someone to do it and it isn't worth my time, I might as well just cross it off the list and say it is not essential to my life. 

Here's a common question that a lot of parents have to determine:  Do I stay home with my child or do I use childcare?

Outsource childcare?

Q1:  Could I teach J as well as someone else? 
A1:  No.

Q2:  Is it worth the money?
A2:  It would cost me $3,500 of my time a week.  It costs $321 a week for daycare.  It's worth the money!

Q3:  Is this task essential?
A3:  Yes!

So, we choose to send him to daycare and have no regrets.

What are some other tasks that can be outsourced?

  • Laundry
  • Maid Service
  • Grocery delivery service
  • Childcare
  • Lawn maintenance
  • Dog walking
  • Dog yard clean-up
In my world, outsourcing is the only way to make my life manageable.  What experiences have you had with work/life balance?


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