Welcome back to the blog. I promise I’m not beating a dead horse, but I want to talk about another form of self-care.
What are your thoughts? Already on the outsourcing train, contemplating, never thought about it, or totally against the idea? During my first trimester I was chasing a toddler while battling extreme exhaustion and tiredness, so adding another child to the mix will only add to my exhaustion.
So, I started thinking about ways to make my life easier, and in popped outsourcing! Duh! I recommend outsourcing to my clients ALL THE TIME, and have several friends who do it. So, one day while I was chatting with my mom I shared that I was thinking about hiring a cleaning service after Baby #2 arrives.
She was SHOCKED!
This lead to an interesting and amusing conversation where my mom sat in awe of how prevalent outsourcing has become, and I laughed at her amazement. In her defense she’s an old school Navy wife who is used to white knuckling it, and getting things done regardless of the hurdle. So, this was a new concept for her.
As someone who grew up in a household where you ‘figure it out’ and ‘get it done’ you may see why it took me awhile to join the outsourcing train. As a military kid and wife I’ve developed a lot of grit which is a wonderful trait to have, but as I enter a new phase in life of becoming a mother of two I decided to take my own advice.
It’s time to outsource!
Now, I understand that for some outsourcing may seem out of touch and expensive, so let’s get creative. Outsourcing does not have to be professional services but instead tapping into family members or friends. While we lived in Nebraska George and I had a HUGE support network. Our friends kept us fed for the first month or so (breakfast, lunch, & dinner) and we had babysitters at our disposal.
We were extremely blessed!
That is not the case with Baby #2. We moved multiple times from 2019-2021, with one of those times being during the pandemic; therefore, we haven’t developed a support network. So, we will be tapping into professional services this time around.
The first service that came to mind when I thought about outsourcing was cleaning. I LOVE having a clean home, but it has been extremely difficult to manage during this pregnancy. I’ve been getting it done by cleaning the first floor one day and the second on another. So, between the body aches and exhaustion this mama has been TIRED! Since I’m due in August I plan to test out two cleaning companies in July to see who I prefer. As for laundry, I’m going to leave that up to George as it’s his responsibility, but I am interested to hear his preference. You see, George has beat me to the outsourcing train. We currently have a basic lawn mowing service that I plan to ramp up once the baby comes because trimming bushes, pulling weeds, and cutting tree limbs will not be on the top of my list.
Food is a pretty big deal to me. Since we’ve dealt with the pandemic I’m pretty sure you’re familiar with various services like meal kits, grocery pickup/delivery, or if you’re fancy a personal chef.
Meal kit subscriptions such as Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, and Home Chef can make your life easier as these companies deliver meals to your doorstep with all the ingredienats and recipes inside. All you have to do is grab your pots, pans, and you’re ready to go.
Also, you may consider subscribing to a grocery delivery service such as Amazon fresh, Instacart, Walmart grocery, Google shopping, or your local grocery store. These services have their pros & cons, but if you want to eliminate a trip to the store this is the way to go. So, if this is new territory, I recommend making your first order prior to giving birth. My local grocery store, Kroger, saves past purchases/items making it easier to add to your cart for future purchases. When you have limited time or are battling sleep deprivation this is one way to easily knock something off your list.
Then you have meal trains where family members or friends can take turns contributing meals, creating freezer meals by cooking in advance/saving leftovers, or hiring a postpartum doula who offers meal preparation services.
As I mentioned earlier, we had tons of babysitters after having Remy. I mean, everyone wanted to get their hands on him. So, even though I don’t plan on bringing in a babysitter shortly after Baby #2 arrives I never know what the military has in store for us. George could deploy, have a TDY, or be put on some other assignment that takes him out of the home. So, I would rather be safe than sorry, and let’s not forget about dates! Dates are very important!
Since we still haven’t found our tribe in Georgia, I’ll be looking into a few companies to secure a babysitter: Care.com, helpr, enanny source, Seeking sitters, and Urban sitter.
Since I run a solo private practice I fill all of the positions in my business. I’m the therapist, booking agent, speaker, receptionist, administrative assistant, web designer, content creator, head of finance, marketing director, and etc. Therefore, I’ve been brainstorming ways to maintain my business while prioritizing maternity leave. For now I’m focusing on these areas:
Planning in advance: I am a big planner; therefore, I’ve started preparing for maternity leave by refraining from accepting new individual clients, discussing options with my current clients, creating a list of tasks to complete in June and July, and thoughts on how I will reintegrate back into my practice after my maternity leave. As of now, I plan to take 8 weeks off, but since childbirth/babies are unpredictable it may be longer.
Post maternity leave: I plan to create and prepare for events, assignments, engagements, and work with individual clients that’s on my calendar 2 months after my due date prior to having the baby. Since life after Baby #2 arrives is unknown, and I have no idea of how long it will take me to complete tasks preparing in advance is my way of getting and lightening my load.
Electronic systems: My first order of business before going on maternity leave is to set up my automated email response. In addition, I’ll be setting Google calendar reminders, utilizing scheduling apps, and using my Rocketbook planner & notebook. If you’ve never heard of a Rocketbook it is AMAZING as it blends the world of physical writing and electronic systems. Check it out here.
Some additional ways others have shared outsourcing their work related tasks are by hiring a virtual assistant, graphic designer, or a contractor to complete tasks outside of their wheel house. Some of these providers can be found on Upwork, Fiverr, or overseas.
So, whether you’re pregnant or a mommy of multiple children if outsourcing is going to improve your mental, emotional, or physical health I say go for it! Since this is a collective space share the deets! What are your thoughts on outsourcing? For it or against it? What services have you found the most helpful?
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