I'm Leah, and in a lucky twist of fate, I've landed my three dream jobs:
book editor, writer, and mother. Since having my son in December 2008, my
work-life has been in constant flux - full-time? part-time? freelance?
working at home or in the office? It depends on the day and which way the
wind is blowing - and figuring out how to keep it all going is a constant
challenge. Heck, I'm still getting used to the idea of being someone's
Check out my profile on Work It, Mom! and my personal blog, A Girl and a Boy.
Some days it sure feels like I’m trying to do it all myself, but even in my darkest woe-is-me hours, I know that I definitely, definitely am not. It would be hard to overlook the hands-on support of my does-more-than-his-fair-share husband, and then there are the “it takes a village”-style friends and family who are a part of my son’s life too, but when I take an even bigger step back and look at all the balls I’m juggling on an average day, and I see how impossible it is to do that alone, I realize how much I rely on not just a village but a sprawling network of helpers (paid and not) to keep things running (relatively) smoothly, and I imagine most other working mothers do too.
You might not have thought about it this way before (especially since the word tends to have negative connotations), but whatever you want to call it, chances are that if you work, you have to outsource something, if not several somethings. What do you outsource?
A lot of us rely on child care–whether it’s a nanny in the next room or a fancy daycare facility in a downtown office building or Grandma swinging by a couple of times a week–but sometimes that’s just the beginning. Do you have a house cleaner who comes a few times a month? Do you eat out a lot, or bring prepared food home with you? Do you order groceries online and have them delivered to your house? Do you use a diaper service? Do you send your kids to a tutor for help with their homework? Do you call a gardener when the weeds grow higher than your youngest’s head?
I know one mom whose work hours prevent her from taking her daughter to and from school each day (and the bus doesn’t service her area), so she hired a private driver. I know another mom who’s such a talented scrapbooker she’s been hired to create photo pages featuring other people’s families (and this while she has two kids and a job of her own).
I know there are moms out there who somehow manage to work from home while taking care of their kids and their homes and their yards and the cooking (does not compute; have they learned to work in their sleep?), but I think even those women–and probably even the full-time stay-at-home-moms with no formal job responsibilities–get outside help that allows them to do everything else they do.
And you know what? That’s nothing to be ashamed of, even if the word “outsourced” does leave you feeling a little cold. So let’s put it this way instead: Who makes it possible for you to “do it all”? Who are the people in your proverbial village?
Subscribe to blog via RSS