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Full Time, All the Time

with Britt Reints

Forget the 9 to 5; the demands of a working mom aren’t limited by a time clock. Full Time, All the Time is a blog about balancing the many roles of a modern woman - and maintaining your wellbeing while doing it. I am a writer, mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend and sometimes volunteer living in Pittsburgh. Oh, and I think you look pretty today.

You can also find Britt on Twitter and at

A case for paying other people to do the hard things

Categories: the juggle


Please Pay Here 3-14-09 19I’m a proponent of learning new skills. I believe the sense of accomplishment are worth the frustration and time invested. Doing things that are difficult can, eventually, make you happier. But, I’m also starting to learn that paying someone to do hard stuff for me can make me pretty darn happy as well.

After seven years of running my own blog, I recently received an email from my web host letting me know that my site was no longer eligible for a shared server. It was “using too many resources”, an explanation that still doesn’t make sense to me, and I was to be “upgraded” to a virtual server that would cost five times my current monthly rate. I logged into my admin panel, took a look at graph bars that purported to be monitoring my resources, and promptly realized I was in over my head.

The support staff at my web host sent me emails with links to articles that might as well have been written in a foreign language, so completely indecipherable were they to me. I began activating, deactivating, and uninstalling willy-nilly, frantic stabs in the dark that I was told were making absolutely no difference.

I sent a plea for immediate help out to Twitter. Thirty minutes later, I paid $100 to have someone “debug my Wordpress installation.” I felt relieved and went to bed knowing the experts were in charge. The next morning, I awoke to an email from said experts letting me know that I’d have to do more than debug; I needed to find a new host and transfer all of my websites.

Fortunately, another Twitter friend had reached out to me following my initial plea was prepared to help me do exactly that. She broke my problems down into language I mostly understood and set me up with a long-term solution that will only cost twice what I’m currently paying. (Funny how double sounds like a deal after quintuple has been tossed around.)

The switch took a couple days and a few emails, but I mostly went about my life and simply waited to receive word that everything was fine. It was… strange. Not so long ago I would have stayed up until the wee hours of the morning searching forums and googling definitions as I tried to save money by fixing the problem myself. If I was lucky, I may have come up with an acceptable solution, but I would have never been able to “clean up the code” and make the behind-the-scene changes that the experts did. And, I would have lost hours (and probably clumps of hair) in the process.

Instead, I spent my weekend hanging out with friends, attending a fundraising gala, and starting a garden with my family. I suspect all of those things made me a lot happier than learning how to fix my broken site would have. Paying someone to fix my problems for me may not have been the most frugal choice, but I’m certain it was the best one for my business, myself, and even my family.

What problems do you pay to have other people fix?

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6 comments so far...

  • Well, people pay ME to clean their houses. I can see the trade off. Less stress, more time for the family, and more time to themselves personally. I guess you cold say it’s a pretty good trade!

    Blondefabulous  |  April 8th, 2013 at 8:15 pm

  • This is exactly how I feel about my accountant!!!!

    I know that I could sit down and figure out “the financials” of my business, given enough time. Ive learned, however, that my best skill is sales and customer service. And my accountant is damn good. It’s a really secure feeling knowing that he’s got my back.

    Bonnie  |  April 8th, 2013 at 8:41 pm

  • Up until recently, (like 5 years ago) I paid someone (my MIL) to clean my house. Then, I decided I didn’t like how it made me feel (like a teenager) to not be in charge of my living space. So I told her I would take over, and she promptly started a business cleaning houses. After all this time of not having someone do it for me, I can tell you, if she had room in her schedule, I would hire her back in a heartbeat. I still pay for lawn and pool service (Pete is as lazy as I am, and as a former landscaper has put his foot down on the matter), and I would pay for dinner (restaurants, frozen meals) if I didn’t have my Pete, who is a wonderful and happy cook, to make them for me. In fact, if I had the sort of income that I sometimes dream of, I would pay all the service people for everything except a nanny. I would have a laundress, a maid, a cook, maybe not an accountant - I like numbers, a landscaper, a personal shopper, a make-up and hair artist at my beck and call, the works. I couldn’t pay a nanny, too much of my self-worth is wrapped up in how I raise my children - from homework to stomach aches and all the fun stuff, too.

    Allyson  |  April 9th, 2013 at 7:51 am

  • I would love to hire a maid or maid service. It would simplify things a lot.

    We have a lawn service. Long ago, Mitch used to do our lawn (and I will say it looked better when he did), but it took him most of the day to do it right. And then he’d lay down for a way-too-long nap. The money we pay the service is well worth having him around on a Saturday.

    Megan  |  April 9th, 2013 at 9:58 am

  • I am paying others to help me with my blog. I still need to write the industry-related content, but anyone can put together craft ideas or travel things to do.

    Au Pair International  |  April 9th, 2013 at 11:26 am

  • If I ever have money I’ll pay someone to clean. It is easier to keep myself picked up if I know someone is going to be cleaning, how can they clean if there are piles?
    I’m even considering using a portion of the tax refund to hire someone to do some deep spring cleaning - behind the fridge, degrease the stove area stuff. It is one thing to dust & vac but hours on my hands and knees for the others? Ugh.

    Mich  |  April 9th, 2013 at 1:25 pm