In a previous Boss Mom post, I shared the importance of staying connected to your village to maintain your sanity and personal connection to yourself. This is such a critical step for your mental health. In keeping with the theme of maintaining your sanity as a BOSS Mom, another useful tool to leverage is seeking support.
Seeking support could be something as simple as asking your husband to pick up the groceries or make dinner. It could be hiring an assistant or mommy helper. Whatever support looks like for you, the key is to get some!
When I first became a mom, I was already a senior leader at an organization. So my plate was quite full. But I also had a well-ingrained type-A personality. After all, being Type-A contributed to me reaching this level in my career. So, it was a part of my personality that worked well for me.
Well, if you know anything about Type-A’s (or if you are one), you know that we like things to be done a certain way. I mean I get it, no one cleans your house like you do. Yep, I got that. But that mentality typically translates to us doing things ourselves to ensure everything is done to our standard. With that, asking for support feels risky as we may fear the support person may not do the task the way we want it to be carried.
But here’s a secret to success as a BOSS Mom. Done is GREAT! What you need is to move things off your plate. So, seek help to move things off your plate, period.
Here are my top five favorite helpers for a BOSS Mom:
Child care support
When you are thinking about seeking help, one of the first things that may come to mind is “I don’t have the money to pay someone to do X.” But for each of these, the range of costs is from free to expensive. Below is a list of some options within different price points:
Free (or no money exchange)
Intern – You can often find a student who is looking for work experience to add to their resume or portfolio. So, if you are planning to redecorate a room in your home or need help with a website for your business, consider placing an ad at a few colleges or organizations for a student to do these projects instead. One caveat, you may need to deploy a bit of patience and have a supportive posture, remembering they are using this experience to learn and grow. I’ve personally used interns to redecorate spaces in my home and also for researching topics for work projects. Both were quite successful!
Family members – Often, family members are eager to help you, but they don’t know how. So, take the guesswork out and tell them. A simple conversation could lead to your sister picking up some groceries for you when she grocery shops for herself.
Bartered services – Bartering is exchanging services with someone else. For example, as a BOSS Mom, you may be great at financial planning but you could use some help tutoring your child in French. So instead of paying for a French tutor, you exchange their tutoring services with developing their financial plan. As a BOSS Mom, there are likely tons of skills you have that you could trade with someone else.
Au pairs – An au pair is a child care provider who is from a different country and lives with the family. There are several reputable companies that manage placing au pairs with families such as Au Pair Care and Au Pairs in America. Those who I know with au pairs rave about the considerable support they provide and how invaluable they become to the family. One thing to note though, au pairs typically have a finite window of time they can stay in the country (typically up to two years). So, using au pair services means switching caregivers several times. Some won’t mind that while others may see that as a disruption.
Meal services – Various meal services such as Blue Apron and Hello Fresh have become popular in recent years. These could be a great option for a BOSS Mom who doesn’t have time to shop or meal prep but has the bandwidth to cook the meal. If you need to go a step further, there are people who will cook the meal for you (either at your home or their location) and deliver it to you. Or if you want to be a bit non-committal, order dinner from UBEReats from time to time.
Shoppers – Personal shoppers take on many different forms. From having clothes curated for you and sent directly to your home to having your Target or grocery items delivered, having someone else take care of your shopping has become more mainstream during the COVID pandemic. Signing up for a membership can help save a few coins and you will also receive special deals.
Private personal staff – This includes a personal chef, maid, driver, nanny, personal assistant, etc. These resources are typically costly. However, because their job is to assist you exclusively, you will receive a higher level of support from them. Depending on your needs, this could be a great solution for you. One way to bring the cost down a bit is to share their service with another person. For example, nanny shares (when two families share one nanny for their children) are very popular and are seen as higher touch care than a daycare center. The families split the cost of the nanny such that they pay less than having their own private nanny but still have the experience of a more personal experience for their child.
House manager – Simply put, a house manager ensures the house is run efficiently. If you are a fan of Downton Abbey, Mr. Carson was in essence the house manager. Some things the house manager focuses on are ensuring the house is stocked and cleaned, plans are made and executed for upcoming needs, staff to take care of aspects of the house is maintained, etc.
So, regardless of your budget, there is a way for you to obtain some type of support to move something off of your plate so that it is more manageable for you to carry. Think about where you need support (remember done is great!), figure out your budget, and bring someone on board. Trust me, you will thank me later.
Don’t forget to share this series with the Boss Moms in your life!
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