Almost half of today’s two-parent families have both parents working full time: 46 percent, to be exact, up significantly from the 31 percent in 1970. But just because both parents leave for work in the morning doesn’t mean all the household and family tasks disappear. Homes still need to be cleaned, children need to be fed and taxied to and from friends and activities, and, most importantly, families still need to spend time together. The New York Times labels this type of modern family as “stressed, tired, and rushed.” But it doesn’t have to be that way, does it?
The good news is: NO! It doesn’t have to be that way. But what will it take to have the modern family and still be, well a family instead of people sharing a roof over their heads? It takes outsourcing some of the work and two supportive partners as parents.
What can you outsource?
If you’re looking to make more wiggle room in your schedule as a working parent, it’s probably time to consider what work around the home you can hire out. And while some of these things will resonate with you, others might not, and that’s ok! Every family will be different, but the truth is: everyone needs help.
So take a look at this list and see what you can do to make more time to relax with your family.
- Cleaning the house. While we’re all about giving your kids a couple of age appropriate chores, we also support the moms and dad’s who hire out the toilet cleaning. Whether it’s once a week or once a month, hiring out some of the household tasks can take a huge load off your shoulders. If you don’t even know where to start when it comes to finding a reliable house cleaning service, Care.com can help you get started. Oh—and start asking your friends. You might be surprised how many of them are paying someone else to scrub their baseboards, too!
Childcare. Finding someone to help out with the kids a few afternoons or mornings a week might be all you need to make a two-income house work more smoothly. And guess what? The majority of families in the U.S. use some type of nonparental care weekly (that’s over 6 million parents!).
The cost of nonrelative child care might be beyond your budget, but guess what: there’s even a solution for that. The rising phenomenon of “Nanny Shares” is making it easier for families to have someone care for their kids while they’re at work. “Nanny Share” is when two or more families split the cost of a single caregiver. That could mean watching all the kids at once (built in play date!) or having the nanny split her time between families. It’s a good option for many reasons, and we’re big fans of the kids having friends to play with, too!
- Meal prep. You knew it was coming—but come on, you know the straw that often breaks the camel *cough* Mama’s *cough* back is daily meal preparation. Finding the right meal service that actually saves you time and money isn’t as complicated as you think. With delicious, healthy meals delivered right to your doorstep once a month, you can have 10 (or more, if you use leftovers!) meals already to go. Just pop them in the slow cooker before you leave for work, come home, and wah-la! Dinner is hot and ready.
- Car cleaning. If you’re in your car often, driving kids to and from activities and school, as well as your own commute, you can alleviate a lot of stress by having it cleaned regularly. And guess what? There are companies that will come to you and give your car a good detailing! (Here in Utah, one of our favorites is Drive Sunny!) We can’t think of anything better than a sparkly, lovely smelling car after a long day at work.
- Yard maintenance. If you dread mowing the lawn, pruning your trees, and fertilizing, it’s probably time to find someone else. If you can find a local kid to hire, that’s our favorite option (we believe in instilling that entrepreneurial spirit young!), but there are so many great, affordable landscaping companies in every state. Whether you just want the lawn mowed or a full service yard care every week, you can find one that will fit in your budget and give you your Saturdays to spend time with your family.
Pick your family and your career
You don’t have to do it all. Really, you don’t! Enlist your village and prioritize your family and your career. It’s totally possible, you just have to be willing to admit you need a bit of help.
The great news is, there are options that won’t break the bank. If you’re unsure of where to start, take the most consistent need and have someone else do it: dinner prep. Beehive Meals was started with the intention of serving others and allowing them to spend more time with their families. And our mission is to give you the time you spent prepping dinner (and stressing about what to make) back so you can sit down for that game of UNO or story with your kids before bed.
Start saving time for your family today, and sign up for Beehive Meals. In no time, you’ll have delicious, healthy meals ready to go, ready to fit into your busy schedule.