People always ask me, “Woman, how do you do it?” As I was getting my hair blown out Wednesday afternoon, it occurred to me how I do it, or at least how I pretend to do it all. One word – Outsourcing. American companies do it; moms can too.
In our uber-connected, globalized, Flat World era, consultants in India will do everything from fix your Ipod to tutor your kids for their SAT’s. Yes, I know that taking U.S. jobs overseas is controversial, but I think there’s a lesson moms can learn from corporate giants. Outsourcing works.
Stay-at-Work moms are already doing this, whether they know it or not. We outsource our kids when we go to work. I would argue that that this is often not economically beneficial because many of us work to pay our unaffordable childcare, but I digress. The way to make work work is to outsource more of your life. Sisters, this is our modern village.
A recent article in the “New York Times’” Styles section reported that people now hire personal consultants who can not only find you an apartment, decorate it with fabulous décor, take care of your dry cleaning, but also can handle your social life, too. High priced consultants can introduce newly transplanted New Yorkers to “hip” friends and can teach them clever cocktail banter by providing talking points on modern art, opera and other snooty topics. While this may strike some as shallow, obnoxious and frankly bizarre – outsourcing to make friends and paying for Cliff Notes to conversation, I see this as inspiration.
Moms should not be shy about outsourcing what we don’t have the time or are unable to do – for instance, my hair. I have what one would call uncooperative hair. It’s time consuming, labor intensive and simply a pain in the ass to blow dry. I’ll admit it…I’ve become a blowout addict. When I discovered a fabulous salon close to my office last week with affordable blowouts I felt liberated and downright giddy. For those 45 minutes while I’m sitting in the chair, no kids, no clients, no phones ringing, flipping through cheesey women’s magazines and reading important articles about ways to maximize my orgasms, I am at peace. Being served a cappuccino in my chair also helps.
A huge time suck that affects all moms – those working in and out of the home – is grocery shopping. A brilliant Internet invention in the past few years is online grocery shopping. Many moms I know swear by it. I have still not accepted the idea of someone else choosing my cantaloupes but I realize that this is extremely efficient. I say let someone else buy your toilet paper. This is a smart idea. I must start shopping online.
When it comes to school bake sales or any event where cooking may be in order, again I outsource – this time to Toll House. There is no reason to sift and fold when one can easily slice and bake. I would bet my life that a working mom at Nestle invented this concept.
For all of you entrepreneurial women out there…seize this concept. Providing services to other moms is a goldmine. I have a friend who does fabulous birthday parties for girls. She comes into your home and transforms it in to a princess tea party or glamour party, complete with grapes, chips and cupcakes. As I watched her tie the tulle into bows on a dozen chairs and set the china for my daughter’s birthday last June, I realized that it was worth every penny.
Now there’s still one critical area that I have not found out how to outsource – sleep. No matter how I figure it, that’s simply one activity that I really have no time to do.