I’ve mentioned in a few posts that I hire help to manage my home. Today I’ll share why I do it and how that works for us!
As you can see from the above picture, our family has grown a little bit during the past few years!
We went from a four-kid family who was well on our way to launching our tribe to a ten-kid family plus two daughters-in-law. Sometimes an 11th kid hangs out with us (he lived with us for 18-months and has siblings at our house; he’s part of our family 100% and we’re thankful to have him with us a few times each week). Here’s our current family breakdown:
- Asa and Eva are married and live in Lincoln.
- Justus and Kelsey are married and live in York.
- Elias is a senior in college, attending the university across town.
- Malachi is a senior in high school.
- Brayden is a third grader.
- Bonus Girl is a first grader.
- Keith is almost four and is in morning pre-school.
- Bonus Girl 2 is age two and a half.
- Bonus Girl 3 is age two.
- Bonus Girl 4 is one.
- Bonus Boy 1 is age three and is at our house several times each week.
At one point we had five kids in diapers, but hallelujah, we are down to only two in diapers with three who only wear them at night!
Why I Hire Help to Manage My Home
The short answer is that if I don’t have help, I can’t get anything done.
But whoa, whoa, whoa. Without a doubt, I am getting something done all day. Let’s all be clear about all the mamas who have from one to twenty-one kids – we DO get something done all day. It just might not look like clean laundry or a clean kitchen, right? It might look like this:
No matter how many kids you have and what you feel like you accomplish each day: you are getting something done if you are loving people.
That’s what matters.
Meanwhile, the people we love get hungry.
As you know, I have pulled back a lot compared to how I used to “make everything we eat from scratch with the finest ingredients.” We still eat well, and that’s because I focus on feeding us a lot of fruits and veggies with our meals, even if it’s frozen pizza.
And because so many of our kids are itty-bitty, and all seven of the littlest kids have some extra needs because of their life experiences, most of my time is taken up with childcare. My kitchen looks like this most of the time:
We can create that after just one meal. ;)
And so, I hire help. Plus I say “yes” to anyone who volunteers to come over and help. The community God has provided is amazing and we couldn’t do this without them. We are so thankful!
- I have a friend who comes for an hour and forty-five minutes every Monday through Thursday mornings. While she’s watching our three or four littlest (Keith is at pre-school for part of that time), I clean, cook, do laundry, organize, declutter, change bedding, or work at my computer if needed. It’s amazing what I can get done in that short amount of time when I don’t have littles underfoot!
- My daughter-in-law, Kelsey, comes a few hours each week to help give me a break but more importantly to help meet some of the extra needs of one of our little ones that were caused by trauma. it’s making a huge difference in our little one’s behavior and in my stress level.
- Three teens come over on Wednesday afternoons for four hours to work together to care for our littles and do some basic household chores. While they are there, I leave the house and go to the library to write!!! This afternoon is life-giving for me!!
- I pay someone to come deep clean for two hours once each month. She does the chores I never get around to, and it’s amazing!
- I have a virtual assistant to help with some blogging work that must be done but that I don’t have the time/ability to do.
Every one of the checks we write to pay for these services is completely worth it. I’m so thankful for the much-needed help. We love our kids and delight in being with them. But we would truly be under so much stress if we were never able to get a bit of a break. And man cannot live on frozen pizza alone.
How we afford to hire help
We receive subsidy money for our foster kids, so we use some of that to pay for some of the help we need. Beyond that, I guess we afford it because we prioritize it. Our budgeted “splurges” are very minimal, as in, we spend very little every month on things like eating out or getting coffee from specialty shops. I don’t think we could afford to do both: hire help and spend money on splurges. We use the extra cushion of money that we have to hire help, and it’s worth it. Do we feel “splurge-less?” Goodness no. We have fun all the time; we just rarely spend much money to enjoy that fun. :)
—-> How I make fun coffee at home for $0.35/cup
—-> How we save money on eating out <—- I did the math once; I fed ten people – four adults, three kids, and three toddlers – chicken nuggets and fries with a movie and it cost $10.16 total!
So there you have it. That’s the why and how we hire help to manage our home.
More about Home Management
I used to be super organized. Now I feel like I just hang-in-there most of the time. Because of the help I hire, I am freed to do more which helps me stay more efficient. This makes a huge difference in our lives so that I can care for our family more peacefully.
- I meal plan, loosely
- I’ve simplified the meals we eat
- I try to keep a good stock of all basic food on hand, plus toilet paper, kleenex, diapers, and wipes – so that I can avoid running to the store very often.
- I do my best to schedule appointments in the morning when I have help – blocking out my afternoons to breathe a little bit and work on my website while our girls nap. Otherwise I’d be running all day long.
- I say “no” to most outside needs right now. I can still love my neighbor and reach out to those hurting around me. But I’ve taken a break from things like going to baby showers or attending MOPS meetings. I love those things, but I can’t add anything else to my days right now.
I guess the key for any of us is this:
- Learn what God says “yes” to and what He says “no” to during this season in your life.
- Try to be organized in every way that you can so that you can be at peace and be efficient with these “yes’s” and “no’s.”
There’s not much time left for this, so today I wanted to highlight several of this year’s Home Management Bundle resources that are great for helping you to be organized and efficient. Check them all out here. There are several different planners and organizers to pick from, so you can enjoy figuring out what works for YOU. Plus there are items that guide us in meal planning, managing our time, decluttering, and cleaning.
Each item ends up only costing $0.54! Take advantage of this offer by Friday, November 11.
Do you hire help to make it through your days? How does that work for you?
So glad I found you!
Love the honesty. Now I don’t feel so bad when my kitchen is piled up with dishes!?
Hi Laura! Praying for you and your crew as you continue to work through the days with such a large crowd! I have two little ones and work full time. We do pay someone to clean twice a month – it saves us hours that we can spend together as a family after work. We also pay for a WalMart Plus subscription for groceries so they are delivered right to our front door – it has been SUCH a blessing and saves hours every week. It’s enough to get through each day with work and kids– we don’t beat ourselves up about accepting help when we need it :)
I have been hiring out help to help me organize different areas of our house as a mom of littles and homeschooling there is sure a place for needing outside help!
Laura; i have been quite sick for the last year and recently was in hospital. now we are trying to gain back my strength. i have tried to get help as my house is a mess and needs a deep cleaning. also my diet has changed franically so i need to clean out a lot of stuff i now our food pantry at church could use. people here don’t want to work and those that say they do want fees starting at 50.00 an hour., which i cannot afford. 1 girl that contacted me said she was about to lose her apt. as they were selling the building and she needed money for a deposit and rent, & moving and wanted $50 an hour plus travel expenses as she says she doesn’t have a car & could only work 2 hours a day and needed to be paid in cash daily. I’m disabled ;living on ss which barely pays my mtg & utilies.. i have a little saved but at that rate i would go thru it real fast. friends of mine did a yard sale right before i went into the hospital and mad a little but not as much as i would have liked. NOW MY DRS. ARE SUGGESTING I GO INTO REHAB OR HOSPICE. BUT THEY ARE NOT LIKE THEY USED TO BE DUE TO LACK OF HELP. I’M ON WAITING LIST TO GET HELP THRU THE STARE WITH A 5 YEAR WAIT. THEY SAY TN. IS THE WORSE STATE FOR SENIORS. MY BROTHER LIVES IN THE CHICAGO AREA AND GETS ALL KINDS OF HELP REALLY MORE THAN HE NEEDS 7 PAYS NOTHING. THE HIGH SCHOOLS HERE ILL NO LONGER REFER HOME HELPERS. MY CHURCH IS DOWN TO VERY FEW & most are older than i am 80’s & up..Perhaps i a out of line and $50 an hour is the going rate i don’t know. I see online where people have responded to ads than been ripped off or the work wasn’t done etc, you do not mention what you pay and it sounds like you do not live in a large city but small town .i know that makes a difference.any advice or tips in this area would be great i’m sure i am not the only one in this boat