One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past 15 months is that I can’t do everything. Surprise surprise! As much as I love tackling extensive to do lists, there’s just not enough time most days. And more importantly, now that we have Kaiden, I’d much rather spend any extra time I do have with him.
So how do I create time for myself? Well, let’s just say the answer didn’t and still doesn’t come easy.
Plain and simple, it’s all about figuring out what you can outsource and finding someone and/or a service that does it well.
Let me give you a little background first so you understand where I’m coming from.
I’ve lived on my own (i.e., not with my parents) for the last 11 years. And in that time, I’ve done my own cleaning and my own grocery shopping. Always. I just couldn’t fathom paying someone else to do those things for me when I could do them myself AND to my exact preferences.
And then came baby!
Not my bathtub btw!
Both last September and this August, I had major revelations that perhaps it’s ok to get a little help with the more time consuming tasks. In September, we made one of the best decisions ever and decided to hire someone to come clean our apartment every three weeks. You see, [deep] cleaning took up a lot of my time (hours…usually on the weekends). Once Kaiden arrived, I realized there’s no way to do what I needed/wanted to all at once. This meant I cleaned throughout the week during nap time instead of resting or doing other important tasks that can’t be outsourced. After the first professional cleaning, I realized how life-changing this was going to be. Obviously some maintenance is required throughout the in between weeks, but I haven’t deep cleaned a bathroom tub in over a year, and it feels so good!
And then in August, I used Instacart for the first time! Now, let me start off by saying that this isn’t going to be a regular thing because I truly LOVE grocery shopping and picking my own produce. But I’m so happy to have tried it now and know that it works for us, especially during the winter, after coming home from vacation, etc. For those who aren’t familiar with Instacart, it’s essentially a grocery delivery service where you pick your products (from produce, to deli meats, to ice cream) online and select when you want them to be delivered [to your door]. That’s it! Personally, I was a concerned about the cost of this service. I didn’t want to pay a fee for something I can easily do in under an hour. But what I found is that I actually end up paying less for groceries when using Instacart because I truly just order what I need versus buying all this extraneous stuff when I physically go into the store. Again, not giving up this little passion of mine but good to know I have this option if I need it.
I don’t know how this works for other people, but my hurdles with outsourcing stem from a place not wanting to invest in something I can do myself. Superwoman mentality at it’s finest. Also, my parents never hired cleaning help, so it was a little uncomfortable at first. And honestly, it took a little back and forth between me and Vishnu to figure out how we would fit this into our budget, but once we committed, all these doors opened up and I wished we had done so pre-baby!
I guess my takeaway thought here is this – take a closer look at what you spend the most amount of time doing and figure out if it can be outsourced. If no, figure out a way to work smarter, but if yes, see if it’s possible to do so (cost, availability in your area, etc.) and try. You can always go back to your old ways, but I promise you that not having to worry about cleaning your toilets and literally getting back hours every week is life changing.
Happy mama = happy family, right?!
*P.S. If you live in the Chicago area and are searching for an amazing cleaning person, shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). I love who we use and highly recommend her!
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