Hiring help is not a “tip” for getting it all done

My real life: some days there are dirty dishes…everywhere.

In the past two weeks I’ve read two articles with headlines something like “Tips For Getting It All Done and Being in Bed by 9” and “Productivity Hacks for Moms.”

These articles promote spending quality time with their children, while carving out time to exercise, fix healthy meals and get eight hours of sleep. Great! What tips do you have for me?

Oh. Those headlines should have read like this: “How The 1% Gets It Done” and “I’m In Bed by 9 pm Because I Have a Nanny that Cleans and Does Laundry.”

Let me get this straight. Your “tip” is that you pay someone to clean, do laundry and help you “prep for dinner”?

I’m sorry – these are not “tips” or “hacks”  because last I heard the definition of “tip” is “a small but useful piece of practical advice” and a “hack” is “a clever solution to a tricky problem.” Hiring help is neither of these things and something most of us can not do. The majority of families do not have a line item in their budget for chef or nanny.

It’s a bit of a fairy tale, I would say. It’s definitely not my real life.

Fairy tale life:
My nanny watches my children, cleans, and does laundry…while I work.

My real life:
My children are in school all day, so I don’t need childcare. Sometimes my boys have to wear dirty clothes because there’s no clean laundry. If you came to my house you would might see dirty dishes, books, toys, dog hair, crumbs…

Fairy tale life:
Someone comes to my house and preps healthy, organic meals and helps me plan dinner.

My real life:
We eat a lot of scrambled eggs, grilled cheese, frozen stuffed pasta and homemade flatbread pizza. And by homemade, I mean I open the flatbread package, pour pasta sauce on it, top it with pepperoni and cheese and pop it in the oven. We often run out of fresh fruit and vegetables because I don’t make it to the grocery store. I do use the crockpot a lot, so there’s that.

Fairy tale life:
Since I don’t need to cook or clean much, and someone is watching my children, I can go to yoga or hit the gym most days.

My real life:
My alarm is set for 5:15 a.m. so I can exercise. Ask my husband how often I actually do that. If I wait until evening, it doesn’t happen either. I do try and take the dog for at least a 15-minute walk.

Fairy tale life:
I’m in bed by 9 p.m. so I can get a good night’s sleep.

My real life:
Ha ha! That’s a good one…in bed by 9 p.m.

It’s great that you can afford help. In fact, I’m jealous. But next time, call it what it is…and it’s not “tips” or “hacks.” It’s resources, money and fairy tales.

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