I was chatting to a friend this morning about starting your own business. I run my own business (in addition to my blog) and she’s hoping to go self employed once she starts a family. We were talking about self employment options for mums (pretty limited), and she’s also going to be picking up a bit of writing, but she was also saying she’d be quite happy to ironing for other people – a job that everyone she knows hates except her. I’ll be honest, I can’t remember the last time I even bothered doing the ironing, as my husband wears a polo shirt and jeans to work, but I am dreading actual shirts coming back into the household.
It got us chatting about what other jobs that overwhelmed and overworked parents might want to outsource. It got me thinking, what IS the worst part of parenting that could hypothetically be done by someone else? Is it cleaning up those poonamis? Is it getting up at 2am in the morning (after you’ve gotten up at midnight and 1am as well), is it watching them throw that lovingly crafted nutritionally balanced dinner on the floor immediately after you made it? The tantrums in the ice cream aisle at Tesco? Or maybe for those who’ve gotten past the toddler stage it’s the homework, endless questions and school shirts that need ironing.
For me it’s the worry. If someone could just take all the worry off my shoulders that would be fab! Things like worrying that there’s something wrong because they wake up four times in the night, and then they sleep through the whole night and it’s 7am but now you’re worried that something bad has happened because why aren’t they awake yet?! Worrying about our kids is instinctive and I wonder how different parenting would be without it! Unfortunately I don’t think that’s a service anyone could offer, if they could, they’d be getting rich quick that’s for sure!
If you could outsource just ONE part of parenting – get someone else to do it instead – what would it be? I’m asking top family bloggers and getting inside the brains of mums and dads around the UK but I’d love to know your response too.
A lot of people would skip out on the night time routine, especially when broken sleep is involved.
Night feeds!!! My daughter is 13 months and still like a newborn at night – Jenna
Anything that happens between 10pm and 8am – Chantelle
Night nanny! If I ever win the lottery that will be my first investment! – Kate
Or get a bit of help with the morning routine.
The morning school run – my two have been a nightmare the last few days, refusal to get dressed, put shoes and coat on, and then using every excuse under the sun to walk as slowly as possible to school – Hayley
A clothes fairy would definitely be high in demand.
Wash and iron all the school uniforms and find matching pair socks – Lianne.
The washing and the ironing bane of my life! – Stacey
Definitely someone to put the clean clothes away. They tend to sit in piles on the stairs for days. I live in hope that my husband might take them upstairs and put them away but he manages to walk past every time – Sarah
Hunting my son’s room for pants!! He’s almost 13 and takes them off and flings them anywhere it’s a constant hunt for them! – Jen
Someone to get the kids dressed in the morning! My baby rolls over & crawls off everytime I try & my 3yr old outright refuses… aarrgh! – Lauren
And there’s definitely a lot of desire for general housework to disappear.
Picking stuff up off my floor and hoovering. I do it all day every day, when I’ve done one room another is suddenly full of crumbs and has toys mixed up all over the floor! – Jenny
Have someone to do “stuff around the house”. Not just cleaning. But anything that you sit down at the end of the day and think you should really do. Before you flick on Netflix. – Andy
I wouldn’t mind a toddler chef as well!
I would absolutely outsource the absolutely constant mealtimes – thinking about what to feed them, making it, clearing up, shopping, etc. It feels like groundhog day! – Becky
Not to mention all of this…
Getting ready to go out anywhere. Particularly if we are on a schedule. Just the thought of it is raising my heart rate. – Charlotte
Dealing with the bickering between siblings without one of them making it look like you like the other one more! – Deborah
The guilt!! If I could outsource all the guilt I get from being a parent, I’d totally sign up to that service! – Abi
The tantrums! I’d love someone to deal with the tantrums for me so I’m not always the bad guy! – Jo
The trips to the doctor for the kids’ injections. I hated the anticipation of it all and then there is that look on their face as they’re hit with the needle. “Why are you doing this to me?” – Pete
I’m not surprised by most of these things as they all struck a chord with me. Anything above would really alleviate the workload and help out with a bit of the parenting overwhelm. What I was surprised at is not a single person I spoke to said they’d get rid of changing nappies. It’s a job I thought I would absolutely hate, but actually, I really don’t mind (as long as he holds still anyway) and I guess lots of other people feel the same way!
What part of parenting would you outsource if you could?