Updated: Jul 15
We hear you loud and clear! And we get it because we're moms too.
Here are the top five problems we hear our Sherah member families struggle with in their busy lives along with the top tips from our team of personal assistants.
#1 - I hate laundry.
Not one person has said they like laundry. It comes up as a top problem in every new member call. Some of you hate the folding. Some hate putting away. Some hate everything about it. Some of you haven't seen your dining room table top in a few weeks. Here are several ways to tackle this problem area differently. Try them and see what works for you.
It seems counterintuitive, but instead of doing laundry once a week, do smaller loads several times a week. Each person gets a day. It creates smaller loads that require no sorting, faster folding, and easier putting away. Depending on the age of your kids, you can even assign a day to each kid and make it their responsibility to bring their dirty clothes to the washing machine on their assigned day.
Have your sitter help. Many of you already have a babysitter in your home during the week. Do not hesitate to ask them to help with the kids' clothes. They often would rather be busy than bored especially if they're in your home after the kids have gone to bed. They can easily fold a load while you're wrapping up work or out of the house.
Incentivize kids to help. If your kids are old enough, leverage a chore chart with rewards assigned to each chore including laundry. Instead of a reward being based just on time, make it based on how much you hate doing the task! If you hate putting away, then reward more for this final step! Chores don't have to be rewarded with just money (although we are fans of Greenlight cards). Think outside of the box and leverage whatever motivates your kiddo.
Outsource when desperate. When push comes to shove, sometimes you just need to get it done. Puritan Cleaners offers a wash/dry/fold service, and they'll even pick it up and deliver it back to your front door in two days turnaround time. At $3 per pound, it's great for towels, sheets, workout clothes and cheap kids clothes. Definitely not for your delicates as they use high heat. Another innovative service is SudShare where a neighbor in your community picks up your laundry, washes it in their home, and brings it back within hours for only $1 per pound.
#2 - I'm sick of figuring out dinner.
To be honest, this may be tied with laundry on the loathing scale. Having to put something in front of your family every single night is exhausting. It takes the the joy out of cooking. Combining the frequency of it with your family's hectic schedule and their picky eating habits, and it's close to impossible. Here are some tips to help ease the pain.
Come up with a weekly general plan and don't feel the need to get creative. Routine is key here, and kids actually like routine. Routine also frees up your mental load alleviating another thing you have to think about. First look at your weekly calendar and identify which days are easier for cooking and which days need fast solutions whether that be leftovers, something fast from the freezer or pantry, prepared food from somewhere local, or delivery. Below is just an example, but the point is to figure out the weekly routine that works for YOUR family.
Sunday - Cook a big meal when you have more time
Monday - Leftovers from Sunday, re-serve meat as sliders, add a veggie
Tuesday - Pickup/delivery of healthy prepared foods from somewhere local
Wednesday - Easy meal to cook on a sheet pan, Instant Pot, or out of your freezer/pantry
Thursday - Leftovers from Wednesday, add a veggie
Friday - Pickup/delivery/eat out after a long week
Saturday - Cook or eat out depending on how you feel
Another way to create routine is to stick to the same types of meals on certain nights. You can always spice things up with different ingredients and sides to keep it from getting boring, but there is fun and sanity in routines like Macaroni Monday, Taco Tuesday, Wacky Wednesday (Breakfast for Dinner), Thoughtful Thursday (Kids "cook" for each other), Pho Friday, and Spaghetti Saturday. Make it fun and once again remove the decision making.
The last tip is to find a close friend or neighbor who has this same struggle. Stop doing double the work some nights and share the load. You invite their kids over once a week and always feed them on a specific night. They do the same with your kids. Reciprocation and leveraging your community can be a lifesaver. Plus your kids will complain less and have more fun eating with friends twice a week.
Need more help? Sherah can help you with meal planning and grocery shopping for your family. Just let us know.
#3 - I can't remember the last time I had a night out.
Whether it's a date with yourself, a best friend, or your spouse, getting a routine in place (see the trend here?) is key to preparing and sticking to it.
Pick the same day each month, add it to your calendar, book the sitter in advance, and invite your special someone including yourself. First Friday nights reserved for Girls Night Out? Second Saturday afternoon reserved for alone time to do what YOU want to do? Last Saturday night of every month for date night? Pick a date and commit to it. Do your best not to let anything else get in the way.
If team status meetings are important enough to schedule in advance at work, aren't dates with those you love the most also worth it? Go ahead and book a recurring date for the next 12 months. Sherah can also help get that scheduled for you, find a sitter, and book your dinner reservation.
#4 - My home feels so cluttered.
Many of us have homes that look organized, but if you open a closet, or go into the attic or basement it's another story. Here's the secret - hire someone else to do it. Not only are they better at organizing and hauling junk away, but there is a psychology to having someone else go through your stuff.
They are often better than you are at identifying what needs to go (four deviled egg plates?), but they also don't have the emotional attachment to your things. Having someone else stand over your items and ready to haul them away on the spot actually makes it easier for you to let them go. Plus many of them will resell your nicer items for you on Facebook Marketplace for a cut of the sales, but they do all the work.
We have several local home organization companies we recommend depending on your needs. They typically charge $300 to $900 for a half to full day depending on how many people they send and how long it takes. It is worth every penny though. Trust us.
#5 - I'm sorry to bother you with this, but...
When it comes to guilt, moms have it the the worst.
Even when we are working around the clock being a wife, mom and (insert paying job here), we often still feel guilty asking others for help. Our spouses may have their own big job and stressors. Our aging parents and in-laws have their own struggles. Other neighborhood moms have their own kids and tasks to juggle. So we tend to feel guilty asking others for help even though we're the first ones to want to help others.
We have to lean into our community though and help one another. Look around your life and stop being nervous or guilty about asking for help. From a neighbor across the street to the sister or cousin who keeps offering help, start asking for help and start saying yes to offers of help. And don't forget to reciprocate and help others. We're all in this together.
If you can afford to hire a personal assistant service like Sherah, that's where the real magic
is. We understand that not everyone can afford a personal assistant which is why we created Sherah to begin to make it more affordable and flexible than hiring your own assistant directly. Plus when you are paying to get help, it removes the guilt from it. It also removes the stress knowing that the help is always there no matter what the task or what time of day.
Take a look at this very long list of over 80 tasks that we help our members with both virtually and in person. Or you may have a very specific need or you may have a vague problem that's hard to put into words. That's okay! We help our members define the problem and goal, plus the options for solutions. We pretty much can take on almost anything! And if we can't do it ourselves, we know exactly who to call to get it done quickly and well.
We hope you find these top 5 tips for busy parents helpful. After hundreds of hours of new member onboarding calls and thousands of tasks completed, we hear your pain points and we see what works well for many.
Please feel free to share your top tips and best practices with us too! Rise up, don't give up!