“Outsource everything you can afford to.” This was my therapist’s tip to me as I struggled to navigate a particularly overwhelming season of life. She forced me to hang up my “Superwoman” cape and really focus on how I’m spending my time and what makes me feel relaxed and fulfilled. Her suggestion – where I can, find someone else to do or find some other way to do all of these tasks that are draining my limited free time.
I reluctantly took her advice at first, but now, I’m never looking back. Time is such a luxury to me. When I look back on my pre-Mom days, what I miss most is the ability to spend my time as I please. Now, my time is easily spent going from task to task, event to event, and person to person, leaving what can feel like little to no time for myself. But for me as a Mom, it’s important for me to still find free time for “me” regularly.
How each mom chooses to spend their free time will look different. For some, it will be time to sleep and relax. For some, it will be time to catch up on personal projects or goals. And for some, it will be time to spend with family. Or maybe a combination of all.
Here are a few suggestions of things you can consider outsourcing to convert some of your busy time to free time:
- Laundry – I don’t mind doing it, but WOW, I am amazed at how much laundry our family accumulates. If your laundry has gotten out of control, or if it’s just a task you hate, consider trying Hampr. It is a subscription service that will pick up, launder, fold, and return your laundry within 24 hours for a fee.
- House Cleaning – A housekeeper who comes regularly, or periodically to tackle deep cleans, can make a huge difference in the amount of time you spend cleaning on a regular basis.
- Tasks– If you feel overwhelmed by small tasks or duties there are options for help with those as well. Task Rabbit is a tool that can provide you with household help like mounting furniture, home repairs, and furniture assembly. Fiverr provides freelance digital help for individuals or businesses for things like: graphic design, content editing, and ghostwriting.
- Meals – If cooking isn’t your thing or you simply don’t have enough time for it, you can consider using a meal prep service like Clean Creations. Also, some restaurants offer family meal packages that can save some time for dinner or can be spread over a few days for lunch options. For those nights when you simply don’t feel like cooking at all, consider food delivery services like UberEats and DoorDash.
- Grocery Shopping – If you can’t find enough time for your regular grocery or errand runs, consider using Instacart or Shipt where a personal shopper will retrieve your items (as well as text you with questions or updates) and deliver them to you. Some stores also offer grocery delivery and places like Walmart, Target, and Sam’s allow you to place your orders online and pick them up via a drive-thru service. This is such a time saver for me, and I only go inside to grocery shop for items I prefer to see in person.
- Buy Nothing Groups – Most neighborhoods have a local buy nothing group (you can find these on Facebook) that allow you to post items in your home you want to give away for free or items you are searching for. I like to use this option when I am cleaning and purging. I can simply take a picture of an item I want to give away, post it, and leave it on my porch for a neighbor who is interested to pick it up. This saves me from riding around with bags of donations to drop off for weeks.
- Mobile Car Detailing– If you are in need of a car wash or detail but don’t have time, consider trying a mobile detail service. They will come to you and bring everything they need to wash and detail your car on site. Sherrod’s Mobile Detailing is a favorite of some of the moms on our team.
- Pets – If you are also a pet mom, then you know the amount of needs your pets have too. They come with another set of appointments and services to juggle. You may consider trying a mobile vet or pet grooming services to save you some time.
- Gas – One of my favorites! Pumping gas with children in the car has always been a struggle for me. With the rise of crimes at gas stations in the city, I try to avoid pumping gas when possible. With FuelUp NOLA, they will fill up your car wherever you are for a fee.
- Events – There are new companies popping up often that will take over tasks that you may not have thought to outsource. For Easter, I was able to hire a small business to egg my yard. This was a lifesaver doing a very busy weekend and my kids loved it. School Bakery is a company that will take over the class treats for class birthday parties and they will even deliver to the school!
How to afford it?
Of course, all of this comes at a cost. I certainly can’t afford to outsource everything I would like to in my life, so I choose the things that are most impactful for me. It’s best to figure out what would be the most helpful for you and your family. You can try to look at your budget and spending to see what you may be willing to sacrifice temporarily to free up money for other things. One helpful tip: consider asking family and friends for gift cards you can use to put towards some of these services.