Tip Day Tuesday — Outside Help

It’s REALLY early Tuesday morning and I can’t sleep because my head is about to explode. I will not regale you with tales of how many times I have blown my nose since I got into bed but let’s just say I’m keeping everyone awake. So as I wait for my Chamomille tea to steep, I’ve invented a new DYM blogging tradition – Tip Day Tuesday. I want everyone to post tips for other moms. This could be fun. If it’s not fun, I could blame it all on a Nyquil stupor….but wait, I’m nursing and can’t take anything for this blasted cold. Okay, here goes:

1. Dinner Co-op: I team up with 3 other moms in my neighborhood. We each take a turn making the main dish for all 4 families Mon-Thurs. My day is Tuesday and I make and take the food around to the other moms. Then Mon, Wed, and Thurs dinner appears magically on my doorstep ready to eat, with no mess to clean up and nothing to make but the veggies and desert (ha ha. As if my family ever gets desert). We plan the menus together 5 weeks at a time and all have matching pyrex pans and disposable Tupperware so the dishes just rotate around with the food. It is fabulous and saves a ton of time and money. Plus we have way better variety in the food we eat.

2. Mother’s Helpers — I have asked a sweet 11-year old girl from my neighborhood to come over Tuesday afternoons after school for an hour and a half and play with my kids while I make dinner and clean my house (not a coincidence that this is my dinner co-op night). She gets paid less than half of what I would pay an older babysitter and I can concentrate on really working at the projects I’ve been putting off around my house. Cheaper than a hiring professional house-cleaners and I get things done my way. Hopefully my kids will one day be old enough to fill the roll of “house cleaners” but until then…..

Post your ideas in my comments or on your own blog but let me know when your post is up.

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21 Responses to Tip Day Tuesday — Outside Help

  1. blackbird says:

    you are waaaay ahead of me, tip-wise.
    the moms in my baby playgroup (10 years ago) would do this meal thing when someone gave birth.
    when I first read your entry, I thought, oh, yeah, I used to send the laundry OUT to be done. and, um, we have guys that come clean up the yard twice a year…get a neighborhood kid to shovel your walk? no. that’s not what you mean.
    even though I do THIS for a living, I don’t even always remember to make DINNER.
    If I think of something later I will come back and let you know…
    carpool to nursery school?

  2. Kim C. says:

    You’re way ahead of me too. We do everything in-house now, although I really would have welcomed outside help when all the kids were little.
    Thanks for tagging me – fun! I was watching everyone else get tagged, and sitting quietly in the corner of the blogroom, sniffling cuz nobody picked me.
    I’ll be posting about how hubby and I do our date night, which allows us to avoid outside help in the form of babysitters. Does that count?

  3. jak says:

    I’m thinking, I’m thinking…..I’ll be baahk

  4. jak says:

    oh, i didn’t realise you have been sick-I hope I didn’t give it to you! here’s hoping you are feeling better and getting rest, poor baby

  5. Mom2Five says:

    My mother-in-law has one day a week when all the grandkids come over and their mothers (me!) can go shopping, schedule dentist/doctor/etc. appointments, or whatever we need to do while she watches the kids. It’s great! The down side: We have to schedule early/ rotate our hour or two so she doesn’t have 12 children under 3 years at once.

    Before this, when my older kids were little, we used to trade babysitting with friends. This worked well when we only had 2-3 children, but no one wants to watch five. I’m counting the years until my oldest is old enough to babysit!

  6. Karli says:

    Milk Delivery! I can’t tell you how many times we had to go to the store just for milk, so having it delivered cuts down on those trips. I’m also thinking of having produce delivered. We’ll see.

  7. adam says:

    you should get paid for this stuff katie. my co-workers are always rolling on the floor with me about this blog

  8. Hey, great idea.
    My tip is, train your kids to find shopping fun. I got mine used to it from an early age since I never had the option (or the luxury!) of shopping solo. In the supermarket the kids get to put all the produce in the cart, when we’re clothes shopping they get to pick out a hideous item each for me to try on… it’s all kind of lame stuff but it makes life a LOT easier.

    I’m always amazed at how many of my friends get a sitter to look after their kids when they need to shop, or wait until the weekend when they can get their partners to take over.

    Does this kind of tip count?

  9. Kathryn says:

    These are awesome tips! Thanks. Blackbird – you gave several. I just want to hear different things than what I’m doing. That shopping tip was great too London Mommy. Keep em coming. Next Tuesday will be “What’s your favorite kitchen organization tip?”

  10. blackbird says:

    …still thinking…
    I have huge grocery orders delivered –
    that way I don’t have to lug 20 lbs of dog food and twelve rolls of paper towels.
    I don’t even have to unload the car!

  11. Kelly says:

    unfortunately i really have no tips. sad… because i’ve got two kids under the age of three and i really should have some figured out by now.

    your tips are great though… makes me feel so behind the times in the motherhood arena.
    i’ve got a lot to learn.

  12. Stephanie says:

    I posted mine on my site.

  13. Kim C. says:

    OK, I did come up with a few tips – not exactly outside help unless you count Sanyo and Ball Park, but it’s how we’ve coped.
    My post is at http://www.inashoe.blogspot.com/2005/10/tagged-tip-day-tuesday.html

  14. jak says:

    I’m still thinking- sorry but I’m so distracted from all the half naked hotties I hire to do all my hard work….

    I hope you are starting to feel better-hope you are getting rest and drinking lots of tea…Take care

  15. Heather says:

    Outside help, Well, I swap babysitting to get a break. But I was thinking prayer. It seems like sometimes that’s the only outside help available to me. 🙂

  16. Cynthia says:

    Have you heard of parents as teachers (PAT)? I love our program here and its free and for kids aged 6mon – 3yrs). A lovely educator lady comes to our house 5 times a school year and tells me lovely things that I can do with my child to stimulate her growth(each visit is something different..ie: fine motor, language). They also have weekly playgroups at their centre where I can take my child and she can play with their uberexpensive state of the art toys (since she is very sick of ours). And best of all…its all free.

  17. Kathryn says:

    That sounds so great. If I find a website for it, I’ll post it here and call them. Thanks.

  18. Kathryn says:

    The Parents as Teachers website is http://www.parentsasteachers.org

    Thanks Cynthia.

  19. Kim C. says:

    ooo! ooo!
    I can’t wait for the telemarketer tuesday. My kids and I have fun with them!

  20. Sarah Jane says:

    These are all great ideas. I don’t have kids yet, so I can’t relate on the babysitter issue, but I’m sure the tip will come to mind someday when it is relevant for me. It does make me realize though that I should offer that service to the Moms I know, like my sisters. I love the dinner co-op idea though. My husband and I do something similar with some of our friends. We take turns, once a week or so, cooking a nice dinner and having each other over. It’s nice because we get to hang out with each other, eat good food, and the task of cooking and hosting only falls on each of us about once a month. It has been a fun thing, and cheaper than all of us going out to dinner once a week.

  21. HolyMama! says:

    pWOw! I was horrified when you said ‘dinner group.’ Like, having people over Dinner Group. But this? THis sounds briliant! (No one would want one meal a week from me, though, because even my own family doesn’t. THe other houses would be all, “Oh noooo, it’s not HER night, is it? Ew!”)

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