Outsourcing a “wife”

If you are a working mother, you know that you do not have enough time in your week. And you are not alone!

In this article Get a Wife, that Leah McLaren wrote for McLean’s Magazine , March 2012, she reveals that “functioning households need two days of domestic labour a week” and that most “working couples don’t have the time.” The article goes on to describe the issue of priorities and choices – between continuing to work in a fulfilling career and becoming a half-wife – that faced Gaby Hinsliff who went on to write a book called Half a Wife: The Working Family’s Guide to Getting a Life Back.

While Gaby chose to become a freelance journalist to give her more time with her son and her family obligations, you may not want to quit a fulfilling career to follow that path. Which still leaves you with the dilemma of – how do you get everything done without burning out?

Some of the choices are to outsource specific tasks to others in your community. This allows you to chose which activities you want to engage in and which you just want a result (that de-stresses you).

Some of these tasks could include:

  • part-time child-care,
  • help with animal care,
  • home cleaning services.

There are organizations and businesses in your community that specialize in these specific services and can usually provide them to you on either a regularly scheduled or sometimes occasional or ad-hoc basis as well.

For other activities, it’s not always so simple to outsource…

  • First you need to find someone that is capable of doing them as well as you can. Otherwise it is more of  a stress and bother than it is worth.
  • Secondly, the person has to be trust-worthy. You are not going to give your credit card or bank details to just anyone.
  • Next, they have to have the time, patience and competence to get the required information from you and carry out the task without direction. If giving direction takes as long as doing the task – you may as well do it yourself.
  • Finally, you want someone who is capable of reporting back to your satisfaction. You don’t want to be left wondering if it was completed.

It is possible to hire someone to do these types of tasks to your standard. The role you are seeking is that of a personal assistant or concierge. Someone who makes your life easier by off-loading tasks responsibly.

It’s almost as good as having your “mother” living with you – but without the “nagging”!!!



About Judi B

Writer & Photographer
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