• Dr. K

Outsourcing is not just for the workplace today

When I initially heard this term what would come to my mind was usually related to the workplace. People tend to outsource for services they are not equipped to offer “in house” such as specific training, consultations, etc. In 2020 I associate this term with my own household and outsourcing for services that I do not want to spend my time doing rather than saying I am not equipped to perform. I know how to clean, cook, grocery shop, and do laundry. In all honesty, I hate doing ALL of them and am not ashamed to say it. Cooking was never something I enjoyed but have learned to embrace it. If you ask my husband, he will tell you that I was good at it (smart man). After I had my daughter, I realized that there were not enough hours in the day to be managing everything I needed to do in my house, with my family, and for my career. There came a point when I needed to get creative with how and where I was spending my time and be honest about where I needed to bring in reinforcements.

Cleaning was the first of my list of “I don’t want to do” list that I needed to solicit some outsourcing for. Cleaning is also one of the most expensive services to solicit help with depending on the size of your house and the frequency of the service. Knowing all of this, I still researched and got some assistance from a co-worker with finding a reputable and affordable person that I could invest in to help me with this “chore.” It took my husband a lot of convincing before I could really bring someone to consistently to clean our house. The best piece of advice I received from someone about this was to bring to his attention all of the time this will free up for both of us (yes, we split the chores in the Kumi house) and allow us to spend that time on other things that we really need to (work, family, outings, etc.). The advice did work, and while we started with bringing someone in once every couple of months, we finally got ourselves into a routine with the frequency of the service. Sure, it put a dent in our already stretched monthly budget (hello kids and daycare), but we found a way to make a few sacrifices and make this a “non-negotiable” in our home.

The second service on my “list” was grocery shopping. While I never minded going grocery shopping, after having Ava I literally had no time to do this unless it was on the weekend which took away from family time, or “me time.” Call me selfish if you like but those who know me understand how much I value both of those areas. Someone suggested a service to me, and it went along the same path as the cleaning service. Had to do some research, convincing and try it out intermittently at first. It afforded me so much more time to do other things, and while there were times that the “shopper” did not get things correct, or openly communicate, overall, I was satisfied with this use of money too. Again, we got creative and some small sacrifices to cover the minor additional cost at doing this. Once things settled for me, I did get out and go to the store for some “alone” time (moms, you get it), but once COVID and my second pregnancy hit…hello Instacart my old friend.

Those are the only two services I have used so far, but once I find a good laundry one you can be sure I will get creative with explaining that one to my husband. My point with this post is to stop feeling guilty about paying for something you can do but choose not to. This is not 1950. Most of us are working one, if not two jobs, raising kids, keeping a house, and trying to sustain lives in those homes. Get the help where and when you can. This is the reason these services have been developed in the first place and should be taken advantage of. I look at it like a physical illness or pain that you have. There are pills and treatments to help you feel better, so we take them. We need to put the guilt aside, stop giving a shit what the neighbors will say when the Peapod truck pulls up or the cleaning lady leaves. I was there myself at one point, and then I realized I was probably the smartest, most envied mom on the block. Not just because I found these services and began using them, but because I got my husband on board with it. I am getting back valuable hours each month that I can use however I choose to, and that is really the goal with all of this. Life is hard. We have supports but we do not use them. There are too many things to balance each day so learn to take advantage of the services that will benefit you, free up your time, and lead to less burnout and frustrations each month.

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