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May 05, 2014

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PAMomof2

This article is very disspointing. I can't afford to hire someone to do our laundry, to clean our house, to prepare meals, to babysit additional children, to tutor and help with homework, and to handle organization. 6 of the 7 tips involve paying someone to do things for you, which is a luxury many families don't have, even with both parents working. I do agree with spending more time with your children and letting things go, but there are no tips here other than hiring someone to do them for you.

Suzanne

I am past 60 now, and my children are in their mid-30s. When I was a kid, and when my kids were kids, homework was something kids did themselves. Occasionally I asked my parents, or my kids asked me, for help with something, but mostly homework was an independent project. If a kid were seriously struggling with a particular subject, the parents sought out extra help from the teacher or hired a tutor. I have never regretted not being constantly involved in my children's homework. They learned to focus and do the work and figure out the tough stuff---and if they didn't bother to do this, they learned their grades would drop. We always emphasized and tried to model the importance of learning, so the kids cared about their academic achievements. There are certainly things I regret doing or not doing in raising children, but letting the kids do their own homework was in my experience the right way to go.

Alanna

My $0.02 as a work-outside-the-home mom: I hire a housecleaner 2x a month and my home is "clean" yet still cluttered; I hire a tutor once a week to help my daughter who is struggling with math and time-management yet both children do their own homework. But hiring someone to do laundry? You've got to be kidding. If it's that much of an issue, teach your kids to use the washer and dryer and make it their chore.

Involve your kids in chores, organizing and cleaning; this can become a family activity. Outsourcing your spring cleaning should only be necessary if the need is catastrophic (or you are fastidious to an extreme). Kids need to be involved and responsible in keeping the house. If you are doing everything for them, it's a disservice to their development. They'll grow up expecting that everything will be taken care of for them as adults, and nobody else wants to be an adult's "mom".

Stepmom

I find it interesting in definition context that all the joy and pride of being a parent is annexed to hiring someone else to do it for you. Why not invite your child to come along beside you to learn these tasks and thus, you would find yourself spending naturally occurring time with your child? I love sorting laundry with the five year old and sitting him on top of the dryer to press the button to turn it on. Be realistic...do you think your college student will benefit from the housekeeper doing all the laundry growing up and paying his roommate do iron shirts? Promote self sufficiency and you will graduate an adult into the world after college.

Gata_Louca

A nice reminder to not sweat the small stuff, but I can't help but be cynical that most of these tips involved paying for outside services, a luxury few can afford. Not a surprise that it links most of these suggestions back to care.com to find a helper! Nothing worse that content creation done to sell more company services.

Gata_Louca

Furthermore, Mary was a SAHM for 5 years. And she still advocates for paying for outside services?

Julie Waters

This was a complete waste of my valuable time to read this. Tips? What tips? Hire someone for this, hire someone for that? Not every mom is the CEO of a website. Come back down to earth and post something for the real moms to use! I perfer to hire a sitter that will give my kids her full attention and not what shirt gets washed with this or that bra that doesn't go in the dryer! I work full time and am the mother of a 7 and 5 year old plus a 4 month old. And with a man who goes to school full time! I'm responsible enough to have children so there for I am responsible enough to clean my house, feed my kids, help with homework, do laundry and even have some alone time with my guy! I manage every day and it doesn't involve hiring someone!

Jenny

I agree that many of the suggestions include hiring someone to help out which is not always an option for people. I think these are good things to mention and some of them I've taken advantage of, but I'd like to see more options of how to spend more time with your kids and balance the other things in your life without having to hire someone to do everything else for you. Other things that have worked for me is to do your shopping online - I rarely make "target" or "grocery" runs because I try to have staple items delivered to the house. This has been a huge time saver for me and you can also find decent deals online as well.

Michaela

I have to agree with the first comment, these advices are good for rich housewifes, how about cleaning less instead of hire someone who does the cleaning for you or encourage your kids to do a cleaning day all together? Ok this article is on a webside that provides care, maybe this is the reason for these tips.

KSD

I have to agree with the first person who commented.
What a ridiculously disappointing article!
Every single example included hiring someone to do stuff... Some of us work full-time jobs, have spouses who work full-time jobs and still can't afford to spend the money that it would take to "hire someone."
All I realized by clicking on this link to read this article is: a) Care.com is still a business and the purpose of blog posts/articles like these is likely to get more traffic to their site and convince you to use care.com find people to hire (with money I don't actually have) and b) I have now wasted precious time and perhaps should just simply unsubscribe from the email updates on the blog posts so that I don't waste any additional time reading articles that remind me that we don't have enough money to have the kind of life that would allow me to have "more time for my kids."

Monica

I'm another one that got sucked in by the title of the article. Can't afford to hire help and my kids are still too young to do all the chores on their own. I have to accompany them to their activities because what else would I do? Drop them off for their 45 minute practice, then spend 15 minutes on the road to and from to spend 15 minutes at home? None of these tips were of any use to me; very disappointed.

Kimberley

This article made me laugh! Hire someone to do our laundry, hire an "organization whiz" to clean out my cupboards? Hire someone to tutor and cook? What world is this author from? This article is nothing more than a sad attempt at selling services. I understand promoting your business, but in the real world, the average family can't afford to do these things. Realism is missing from this article.

Kim

I agree with most comments posted; hiring someone to do all of these things would be budget-busting for most. I was hoping for more encouragement that maybe your house does not need to be perfect and letting a few things get dusty would be okay. I think the best tip is to evaluate what is really important in your life and prioritize. Very disappointing list.

Lizzie

I agree with PAMomof2, this is a very disappointing article. I am a mother of 1 and my husband and I work full time, not by choice but because we have to. Unfortunately we cannot afford the luxury of hiring someone to do laundry or to make us meals...
My husband and I are both very active parents in our child’s life and your ideas of disappointment are disappointing to me.
Example.. Making meals from scratch. Most evenings we go out with our son and water the garden and he ALWAYS helps with dinner. We believe by eating healthy and teaching him how to eat healthy is important and we do this as a family and is always fun..
Although I do wish I could afford a cleaner once a month just to clean the house. I will not regret any of the time that I have with my son, since my time is limited we take advantage of every moment we have together. I believe my son needs to see his parents working and doing chores, what do they learn if they see you paying someone for every chore that needs to be done. Honestly (Not to rant) but most of the SAHM's that I know have husbands that work late and weekends just to afford the mother to stay home. My son is so lucky to have two parents that rush home at 4:30 every evening to spend with him as a family and our weekends are spent together as a family as well. We limit most chores during naps or after bed, yes we are tired and some days are hard but I will never look back and regret working or having to cook a healthy dinner for my son.. The key is having a partner that can help with the burden of everyday chores. Just felt this article should be titled “If you have $$ here are 7 ways to pay someone to make life easy”

Mommy of 2

Basically, a rich parent parenting tip? I would rather put all that money into my child's college fund and get them involved in chores.

deepika

Useless article, should have read the comments before reading the whole thing. What a shameful way to advertise care.com services for hire. This is as bad as false marketing!! Total turn off from anything care.com

Christine

Some ideas from our family 1.) Shave the dogs in the Spring. 2.) Have your carpets cleaned annually around the same time. 3.) Buy a Swiffer floor cleaner and let the kids decide which one gets to use that and which one gets to Windex the doors and windows. Mine like to take turns. 4.) Use good quality paint in a shade that will hide scuffs. 5.) Consider installing wainscotting on the lower half of walls. SO easy to clean! 6.) Pick only 1 chore a week that takes a lot of time, and let the kids do a limited coveted activity like watching Spongebob or playing Minecraft for an hour while you get it done. 7.) Get kids to help fold and/or run folded laundry up to various rooms (bonus indoor exercise!) 8.) Kids get to clean their own rooms and are more incented when family or friends are coming over for play dates or parties! 9.) Kids take turns cleaning their shared bathroom every 2 weeks. 10.) Both kids and parents take turns showering in the master bath, kids at night, parents in the morning. That way there is only 1 shower to clean. 11.) MOST IMPORTANTLY! Set the alarm if you need to but plan to spend at least 30 minutes completely undistracted with each child every weekend doing what THEY want to do aside from scheduled activities. You will be amazed at how much they have matured since last week!

Julie

Mary is suggesting hiring out because she is writing on Sheila's blog...who is the founder and CEO of Care.com I agree with everyone's comments (too expensive for me to hire out). Have your kids join you in your chores (laundry, dishes, garbage, dusting, etc.). This is a model they will have to follow as adults. Make it fun like "Stepmom" said. With the time they give to help - that is some extra time to spend with them instead of complaining and doing it yourself. And, my laundry is personal - even with choosing cycles and colors and just personal stuff. Who wants a stranger to touch that? Thanks for sharing Mary, I'm just staying true to self in giving my feedback. I must say though, as far as Care.com goes, I am currently working with them for a companion for my Mom. I received many many applicants so if you have a need like that or can afford care.com, it is a legitimate company :)

Bridget

My takeaway here - just throw money and other children's mothers/parents at your work. Unrealistic for most people. A disheartening read.

Patrick McKinley

I will agree with the dissappointments on this article. Six of seven were items to be hired out. Most all families cannot afford this. As a single parent and full-time-working father, I LOVE spending time with my children and this means we don't hire out. We do it together. When you don't have a TV....it becomes so easy.

Carol

Reading this post was a COMPLETE waste of my time! I cannot believe Care.com would allow such a shallow view of parenting on its blog. Seriously! This writer talks like everyone else is an idiot. Of course we all know that we could "just hire someone" to do the work. Is this supposed to be some constructive insight? A high-school kid could have written this. Come on!

Emily

Like most of the other responses, I too was disappointed that the tips offered were suggestions to hire someone else to do these tasks for you. For those who can afford this, I guess this is a good suggestion. I do not have a problem with a parent hiring for certain services to be done, like cleaning. However, I do find some concern in the fact that some of these outsourced services included interactions with the children. Cooking meals together is a wonderful experience for children and their parents. As a parent educator, I often encourage parents to include their children in the cooking process. I would not suggest that this household task be outsourced or eliminated, because I believe that parents and children should do this together, instead of mom or dad slaving over a hot stove while the rest of the family does something else. I also had concerns with the recommendation to hire a tutor or babysitter to help with homework. This is something that I believe parents should be actively involved in. Some children require additional assistance with learning and homework completion, but most students should be learning how to complete their homework by talking with parents and learning with parents. If appropriate habits are learned early, then there is less work required by parents in the future.

In a nutshell, while I appreciated this article's intended point to focus on the important stuff in life and let other things go, I think that we have to be careful when we define what is "important." Teaching children about life's responsibilities and how to manage time and responsibilities seems very important to me.

Anna

I am a working mother of 5. And no, we cannot afford hiring help. But we do manage, and here is how:
- older kids (12, 15, 17) have their weekly schedule to wash dishes and pick up our kitchen. It is not perfect but it keeps cooking and eating for 7 people under control. I cook, they clean.
- younger kids (18 mos and 3 yr) set the table. Is it perfect?- no, but they are content, busy, and happy to help.
-cooking (and any other activity) is limited not to a project but to some time limit. For example, I cook for 10-15 min of my time, the rest should be done by technology. We cook from scratch, but it can be done: beef stroganoff takes 5-10 min of mixing and it cooks by itself for another 30, but I am "free". Rice takes 2 min of cooking and the rest is just keeping an eye. Rostbeef takes 5 min of cooking and 1 hr of sitting in the oven. Etc. Pies requires 5-10 min of my time and 40 min in the oven.
-same applies to cleaning or sorting. I dedicate 15 min in the morning. What is not done will have to wait. The rest goes to time with the kids, getting them ready. If they feel like helping great, but they often enjoy playing next to me cleaning. They are still too cobsumed by their toys, by the time they start needing more attention my 15 min is done. I am all theirs. Is it a perfect house?- no. But it is a balanced and ok/safe place.
The older kids handle their laundry for years now. I dont touch it. We run machines daily for hours because of many people and 2 dogs, but not one person is doing all the job. My husband does most of laundry and I do most of the cooking.
- kids can and do cook dinners and desserts once kr twice a week. Everyone can manage pasta, ground beef and tomato souce-"italian" dinner for example. They can toss salads even as young as 3-4 yrs. This is the most time consuming dish for us. Perfect salad? It depends. I would not have made it, so it is better than nothing, and they are proud and happy to help.
- with dancing, model UN, guitars, ballroom, ballet, foreign languages, figure skating classes, etc etc drivjng is my second job. I work till 4pm and drive the rest of the day. Used to. Now i delegate and cooperate. Carpooling and scheduling, and sometimes simply asking people to help. Some have no problem to drop your child off at your place on a regular basis if it is not too much out of their way. But remember to help too. It is ok...
- kids can manage their rooms, a bathroom and one forth of the common space of their choice weekly. They are not eager but it is fair and managable, so they do it more or less peacefully. Is it perfect? No. But they and we all spend balanced time (yes, limited to one or two hours) as needed. After that we are free even if the gask of cleaning is not 100% complete. We are looking for balanced, managable, safe, not perfect and ideal.

Kush

Looks like this author's whole focus was to sell for care.com !! I didn't even bother reading rest of the article, since every tip had hiring someone to do it for you !! If that's the case, your kids will grow up either thinking every house-old does this or they will resent you for not teaching them to do their own stuff because I don't they will be able to afford these luxuries in their own adult lives. I have had a full time nanny for a long time, but now that my kids are in middle school, we are on our own, and my kids help out in laundry, dishes, setting up table , cleaning up etc. Wish this was not written in an attempt to "sell" !!

Jasmine

As a working mother of 3 kids under the age of 10, this article was ridiculous. I would love to pay for a full time housekeeper but can't afford it (if I could I would just be a stay at home Mom and not have to worry about any of it). I agree with all of the comments left so far, this was a joke.

martinezma

I agree with what every one is saying this is just sad hire someone yeah lol but whats wrong with dreaming or wishing I could afford that type of service ha made myself laugh.

Danielle

I agree with everyone else who thought this was a ridiculous article. I get that it is content on care.com but it's not feasible for everyone to hire someone to help with everything that takes a chunk out of our day. I agree with the people who think it's good to get the kids involved with things around the house- that makes the work lighter for everyone and gives them something to do with you around the house. Definitely a disappointing read.

Paula

I agree with the majority of the comments above. This article was disappointing. I work as a Full Time Nurse in the SF BayArea , have two children and in NO way can afford to hire someone for everything that involves maintaining my household. I would love to hear more tips on spending more time with my children BUT I think I know exactly what to do but like most simply can't afford to do it. I need to work part time.
Here are a few things in my crazy busy life that I do to allow me a little more time with my beautiful boys….

1. I dedicate a day to laundry, it's called family movie night. We put on a movie , order take out or make a simple meal that they help me with, like tacos. We wash, fold and put away laundry together while watching a movie together. Yes, we pause the movie and still enjoy it.
2. Once a week I make it a priority to let the kids cook with me, play a board game or help with a project that needs to be done in the house. This allows for working as a team and counts as "quality time."
3. Once a week (sometimes more) we eat out , making every attempt to find a healthy and affordable place to eat after an activity (swim class, soccer or baseball.) While we wait to be served we talk about our day, we discuss homework, practice spelling words, LAUGH together and leave all the electronics behind. We take turns weekly picking out our eating spot.
4. We do chores together. My son loves to mop and dust while I make the beds and tidy the rooms. He's only 6 and I often have to go behind him to re-mop but he has fun helping and I consider that time together. My 18yr old son , when home from the university surprises me with an easy meal he can cook . He also does his own laundry. I trained him well when he was very young :)
5. When attending sports activities, I find a way to exercise. Run, walk or jog around the field. Stretch. Jump rope. My son loves to wave at me as I'm exercising while he plays soccer. He's often expresses how much fun it is to exercise together.I also watch half the practice so he feels and knows I'm paying attention
6. We go to the library together. I can get my finances done online and respond to emails while he enjoys sifting through books or using the computers.
7. We visit the coffee shop together whenever possible, we can read and socialize.
8. I disagree with the article that states she wishes she hand't spent so much time at family events. I have a lot of family and being with family draws our family closer. We love to visit aunts,cousins, grandma and grandma. Here is where memories are created and you can still spend quality time with your children at family parties. Dance with them, if at a park play a game of basketball, volleyball, catch, play chess, checkers, cards etc etc,
9. In the car while driving places, talk about your day, tell stories, tell jokes. JUST BE FUN! These are the moments they will remember.

Despite my challenges: single parenting, working full time and caring for my elderly parents, I do find that I can spend quality time with my kids if I make the effort. It is a constant work in progress as I always seem fatigued. I don't deny that like most parents I often feel guilt that my time with them is just never enough but I remind myself that we can only make the best of the time we have.
Hope this helps some parents out there..

SDmom

As a work-from-home-mom who could probably afford more than I hire out - some of this was informational - however I agree with all the posters - the solution isn't ONLY to hire someone... Remember- this is the president of a company whose purpose is to have you all hire help. This is a MARKETING article - dressed up as something informational and helpful. The end result punch line of this article is to subconsciously hire all these positions through care.com. Don't fall for the subversive marketing.... stay within your means - and as was stated above - weave some of the mundane tasks into fun family activities.... Learn - "good enough" and "no" and use those more often :-)

Evelyn

I wish I could afford someone to help me with such things. Unfortunately I'm a single parent who has to keep a roof over our heads and pay for programs to take her to school in the morning and bring her back home by 6pm. The only thing I regret is not being able to give her a father who can also be there for her. I stress alot but when I spend time with her nothing else matters..not work..not anything else. Its definitely hard to work and put a roof over our heads being that I'm the sole provider and I feel guilty having a fulltime job because I dont have the time to bring her to school or pick her up. Hiring a housekeeper or anyone else is more stress on my back when sometimes I barely have $20 for ourselves.

Karen

I was disappointed with this article too. I was really hoping for some good tips. It sounds like the writer was having a bad day. I always feel guilty that I don't get to spend enough time with my kids. My husband and I work full time with no family around to help but we have no choice. When I feel sad or guilty about this I just think about how lucky I am to have 2 wonderful children and also feel fortunate to have a job where I have been for 25 years. I cherish every moment I have with my kids. Yes, I feel bad that I can't always get the cleaning done but I get done the things that have to be done. I always wish that some day I could hire someone to do the chores but it's not going to happen. I wouldn't change my life for anything.

Jen

I agree, your tips are terrible. They all say to hire/pay someone to take care of things for you. MOST people don't have enough money to pay for someone else to do things for them. Terrible advice I just wasted 5 minutes reading that advice and I could have spent it with my kid!

Tamika

Wow! Care.com should be ashamed this article. We get it you want people to purchase services from your site but implying the only way to get things accomplished is to hire someone else is an insult to our intelligence. It's clear this article was advertisement not a sincere way to help mothers find more time for their families.

carolyn ingoglia

Great article BUT i cant afford to hire. I wish it was given advice on how to let it go with rational tips... like how to clean and not be so anal without hiring someone else...

Millie

Sooooo...basically, you want us to win the lottery to be able to afford a housekeeper, chef, tutor, chauffeur, and personal organizer? Your tips to "let things go" are absolutely ridiculous. And, what does Elsa from the movie Frozen have to do with this topic? "Letting things go" by becoming rich overnight and hiring someone to do everything for me?

Mike

This article is terrible. I am a dad who struggles with several of these things. There are laundry loads to be done, cupboards to be cleaned, closets to be organized. My advice is to just get comfortable with a little disorganization and space out these important but often not urgent tasks. And for heaven's sake, cooking meals from scratch is essential! Our children's generation is predicted to live shorter lives than we do because of the way we are all eating today. Very disappointing article.

G.A.

The writer has extreme OCD and didn't know how to have fun as a mother.
Bad tips. Hire a bunch of people? The idea is to have fun with them.
Cooking, cleaning, helping them. Did she hire somebody to hug them and kiss them too? What a poor article.

chi

What a terrible article with bad advice. Hire people to do all the work. Just spend money with one income instead of saving for college. This article was a ad for care.com services

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