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WOHP - what do you outsource?

  1. avivoca

    watermelon / 14467 posts

    We outsource childcare and major home projects. I wish we could afford lawn service again! That was AMAZING and I loved coming home to a perfect lawn.

  2. Pumpkin Pie

    persimmon / 1431 posts

    @MrsH: how about hiring a mother's helper a few times a week to help with the chores/errands, etc. You don't necessarily need a service to get stuff done. You can just hire a helper.

  3. LCTBQE

    nectarine / 2461 posts

    this is a small thing that you might already do, but last spring I started using Amazon Pantry (and regular Prime) to buy all of our cleaning supplies and a lot of dry goods/household basics, and we never have to waste an entire Saturday morning going to Target anymore. Plus, Prime remembers what you bought, so you can just re-order the same paper towels and stuff when you run out.

  4. Mrs Green Grass

    pomelo / 5628 posts

    We have a cleaning service, gardener, and we just hired a morning nanny to get LO to school, then she does shopping, laundry, meal prep after. We did blue apron for awhile, but it was a ton of work!

  5. Kimberlybee

    grapefruit / 4997 posts

    We eat out a lot on the weekends but I am trying to cut down on that this year. I bought a pressure cooker recently and hoping to speed up my cooking. I wish I could outsource home cooked meals. I have a meal train going on from family and friends until February since we just had our DD2. It's so nice not to have to worry about cooking for a month!

  6. winniebee

    hostess / wonderful grape / 20803 posts

    Well, I WAH but it's not like I get to clean or cook or do laundry while working and my husband works 80 hours a week. So we have a house cleaner ever 2 weeks and I hired a nanny that was willing to do light housework and laundry. I run errands on my day off, with the kids, and do grocery shopping Sunday's with one of the kids.

  7. winniebee

    hostess / wonderful grape / 20803 posts

    @Mrs Green Grass: when DS2 starts part time school in the fall, we will do the same for afternoon care. Have nanny pick him up, put him down for a nap, do housework then pick the older up from school and do their after care.

  8. Mrs D

    grapefruit / 4545 posts

    @Mrs Green Grass: We are doing a PM Nanny as soon as LO2 (due in March) hits 2 years...I cannot wait...we thought about doing the morning Nanny but for us we need the help with pre-school/daycare pick ups...so PM worked!

  9. shellio

    pear / 1614 posts

    I've been there with the drowning feeling. We outsource a few things but I took a really hard look at what we need, what we can put up with mess-wise, and what it would cost us to hire people to do even more - delayed retirement? fewer vacations? etc. I tried to really come up with systems that would help streamline the day to day mess that is generated. Do you need a better organizing system for toys, so there aren't toys everywhere after bedtime that require more cleaning? Do you have too many dishes that require hand washing? Not judging here, just listing some of the things I came up with in our home!

    As for suggestions, I don't know if amazon pantry has been mentioned and I haven't tried it myself but I've heard good things from others. It wouldn't eliminate the need to grocery shop but would at least cut down on the time it takes, and ensure a supply of quick meals that are still relatively healthy and allergy-appropriate. We try not to eat packaged food but have started keeping some items around that are easy to throw together for a quick dinner. I've heard great things about personal chefs as some have mentioned above - for example, one person I know said they come over once or twice a week, prepare several dishes at a time, and clean up after themselves.

    My biggest issue was (and still is) the little day-to-day stuff. Unloading/loading dishwasher, wiping all the counters, putting away everything that accumulates on the counters and kitchen island after a day of activity, folding laundry and putting away, etc. It is so tedious and time consuming. I mentioned to a coworker that I hate doing this stuff every day and she actually asked her cleaning lady if she would be willing to come over to tidy up each day and the lady said yes. Point being, you can always find someone to do what you don't want to do. If you already have a cleaning person, maybe ask them, or ask around for references on a person that is trustworthy. I second nextdoor.com as we've found that to be a valuable resource. A great nanny as has been mentioned is also a valuable asset. Sorry this post is so long but I totally feel your pain and still struggle with this myself!

  10. shellio

    pear / 1614 posts

    Also - we splurged on a nice Roomba a few months ago and I don't know how we lived without it. We rarely vacuumed before so its not like it saves us any time but with two dogs we really should have been vacuuming all the time. It encourages us to keep up with the floor debris, hubby or I spend an extra 10-15 minutes every night going around and picking things up and putting them where they belong so the robot can do its job and it has definitely improved the general tidyness of our house!

  11. Anagram

    eggplant / 11706 posts

    So far the only thing we outsource is childcare. That's already so expensive for us that we can't afford to outsource anything else without drastically changing our spending/lifestyle/travel habits, and we'd rather keep that stuff and clean our own house, do our own laundry, etc.

    I do buy a lot of convenience foods for dinner--not necessarily unhealthy processed foods, but I'm always totally willing to be already washed/chopped veggies or frozen veggies that just have to be microwave steamed. And I only cook 2-3 times a week, but bigger batches and we eat every meal twice.

  12. Applesandbananas

    pomegranate / 3845 posts

    We do a lot of easy meals, like meat paired with steam in bag veggies, a pot of chili, a crock pot roast, etc. that we can eat twice or take for lunches.

    We also use paper plates and plastic cups to cut down on dishes. I keep a tote bin in the living room that I use to do a fly by of the kitchen/living room/dining room. I just scoop up all LO's stray toys and put them in the bin and then dump the bin in his room when I have a chance to put a few things away. His room is almost always a mess but I don't have the time or desire to constantly pick up shit for him to turn around and dump it out two seconds later.

    We have a Dyson stick vacuum that is light enough for LO (almost 3) to manuver, so he does our vacuuming. He likes to wipe down the tables too, so he does that as well.

    DH has to load the dishwasher, that's just his job and there's no ifs ands or buts about it. I throw a load of laundry in every night (we have a small machine) and it gets piled into baskets wherever until I can put it away. I usually put it away while LO climbs around on the bed.

    My biggest area of frustration is the nightly rush, when we come in the door from daycare and LO is hungry, there's clutter everywhere, and it's a big scramble to get him fed, the dogs fed (and any messes they've made cleaned up), dinner for us started, etc. We rely on screen time but I'm fine with that. I'm only human.

    Hang in there. I know it's hard, I wrote a similar post not long ago. We outsource childcare so we can WOH and with no local family, it's hard!

  13. MrsH

    honeydew / 7667 posts

    @winniebee: I in no way meant any offense to WAH parents. Sorry.

  14. MrsH

    honeydew / 7667 posts

    @Applesandbananas: @shellio: thank you ladies, your replies really made me feel not alone. I really appreciate it.

    The nightly rush also kills me @Applesandbananas - especially because I just feel so drained from work.

    @shellio: I hate the clutter but I also hate cleaning the clutter. Vicious cycle.

  15. winniebee

    hostess / wonderful grape / 20803 posts

    @MrsH: you didn't offend me, but I do think there's a common misconception that if you WAH you have the freedom to do whatever you want. Don't get me wrong, it's easier in a lot of ways than working out of the home (I've done both) but if you do your job correctly you don't have all that much free time! It also may be different than others' experiences - I solo parent quite a bit (every morning until our nanny arrives) and many nights I have to do everything alone.

  16. Mrs Green Grass

    pomelo / 5628 posts

    @Mrs D: @winniebee: yeahs I'm a teacher so I get off somewhat early but I'm gone before LO wakes up so DH needs some help...he was getting to work at like 9/9:30 which just doesn't work. It's been awesome coming home to a clean house with dinner ready!

  17. Mrs D

    grapefruit / 4545 posts

    @MrsH: With regard to the nightly rush...this was killing me...I do pick up at drop off and hated that the minute I walked in the door I had to immediately cook dinner if I had any chance of us eating "homemade" (seriously using that term very loosely). I made a small change a few months ago and it has been HUGE...on Sundays I make a casserole...something easy and that I know K wont fight with me over eating. I walk in the door at 5:45 and if I have just had a bad day and dont want to rush through fixing a nice dinner I know I have good food for K to eat and I can fuss over DH and I after decompressing for a minute. Usually its pasta bake, mac n cheese, enchiladas - something that re-heats well and at least makes me personally feel better than easy mac. (I dont think there is anything wrong with easy mac) I also try to cook one veggie on Sundays for the same reason - having something on hand!

    With regard to the clutter. K is 2.5 now - so we make her pick up her own toys. She knows before bed she has a "chore" of picking her toys up. I bought a bunch of sterilite plastic bins for our family room and she puts all her toys in them at night.

    As for counter clutter - I read a blog post once that was about taking 5-15 mins of time each night to sort the house. I think the blogger had older children who could handle better chores but a couple things I took away from it was that she has a bin on her kitchen counter that collects the "crap" (i.e. mail, kids homework reports, etc). On an ongoing basis - you just throw it in so yes the bin is a mess but the counter is clear. Then once a week or every few days she goes through the bin. She also had baskets on the stairs, one for each family member, and at the end of each day she could walk the house collecting the items that found their way downstairs and needed to go back upstairs...

    I have used both of these techniques and they have both helped me feel better with "quick" fixes. I try to spend 10 mins on my feet after LO goes down just re-grouping the house...its helped a ton...

  18. LovelyPlum

    eggplant / 11408 posts

    We use dog daycare once a week. That helps a LOT. Also, is there a laundromat close to you? Many have wash-fold-dry services. Some dry cleaners do, too.

    I get super overwhelmed at night, too, especially when I am solo parenting, or we are both super busy. I think the key for us is to simplify as much as possible. Get rid of unnecessary stuff that just takes up room that you then have to clean. Clorox wipes are my favorite for quick clean up, as are crock pot meals. I've also taken to to making LO a plate of leftovers at the end of dinner for a quick dinner the following night. It helps!

  19. LovelyPlum

    eggplant / 11408 posts

    @Mrs D: bins on the stairs are awesome. We did something silica growing up, and our chore was to clear the stairs.

  20. Mrs D

    grapefruit / 4545 posts

    @LovelyPlum: yup - my mom did it to (we were older) and it was the one simple/constant rule...your stair had better be clean when you go to bed. Right now I just use it for DH and I - but when K is safer on the stairs she'll get one. For now we use her bins in the family room to collect her stuff...

  21. Bluebonnet

    persimmon / 1427 posts

    I do the same thing @Mrs D: does (make a big meal on Sundays). That way I know I could walk in the door on Monday, heat up dinner and that would help so much with the night time rush.

    I also got in the habit of meal planning and meal prepping on weekends or the night before. It made the after work rush so much easier when I had to just put something in the oven or heat on the stove vs prepping an entire meal.

  22. snowjewelz

    wonderful kiwi / 23653 posts

    Just yardwork... We can't really afford much else!

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