What, oh what, should you let go of, as a working parent? What, oh what, can you outsource? I hear from mamas in the Mindful Return E-course that they know delegation is supposed to be really important both to combating overwhelm and to advancing professionally. But it’s not always easy to figure out what exactly to delegate.
I know well that belief that so many tasks require *me* to do them; or it seems they cost too much to outsource. This is an issue I really struggle with myself (must have order! must have control!), and I’ve had to learn to think creatively about ways to let go of certain things. Trying to do it all myself was what put me in a puddle of tears on my kitchen floor. (And ultimately inspired me to create Mindful Return…)
Today, I challenge you to put all judgments and opinions aside for a minute, and just brainstorm all the things you do in a day (sit with a pen and paper, set the timer for 5 minutes, and make a list!) and options for who might do them instead:
- Cleaning Your Home: If outsourcing on a weekly basis is too expensive (or exhausting!), have you considered monthly? Every-other month?
- Lugging Milk Home on Work Travel: Have you thought about Milk Stork? Liz Lapetina, one of the awesome graduates of the Mindful Return E-Course just wrote a fantastic blog post reviewing her experience with shipping milk home while on work travel.
- Baby Care: Are there things you and your partner can divide and conquer? (When our babies were little, I was affectionately referred to as “master dresser” and my husband was “master changer.”) Can you bring in a parents’ helper for a few hours on a weekend to help out? Can you get a babysitter for 2 hours on a weeknight so you can stay late at work one day a week?
- Tasks at Work: Can you grow your team by training more junior talent, allowing you to take some things off your plate?
- Taxes and Accounting: Can a professional do this more accurately and efficiently than you can, whether for home finances or for a business you own? Think about the opportunity costs here.
- Food: Perhaps a weekly takeout night is in order? Or a few meals a week from Blue Apron? Or a joint effort at meal planning with your partner using an app?
- All Other Things Under the Sun: Is there an affordable concierge service nearby (services like Queen Bee Concierge in the DC area) you can invest an hour or two with? Have you explored the world of postpartum doulas?