Ep #13: The Benefits of Hiring Help To Get Things Done

Parenthood Prep with Devon Clement | The Benefits of Hiring Help To Get Things Done

Today, we’re switching gears over here on the podcast. I’ve got something going on right now, and there are tons of parallels between this and having a new baby, sleep training, and all that good stuff I know you’re dealing with as brand new parents.

I recently hired organizers to help me with my apartment, because I have a ton of stuff and I’m really not good at organizing my own things. I wouldn’t quite use the term hoarder, but I’m definitely a little bit of a clutter collector. If I’m at your house working with you, I will have your baby clothes organized within an inch of their life, but when it comes to my own, it’s a different story. So I hired organizers to help, and I’ve had some valuable realizations that have helped me relate to new parents on an even deeper level, especially around getting help.

Whether you’re asking for help from loved ones, or you’re hiring help from a professional, uncomfortable thoughts and hesitations are never far behind. Tune in this week to start wrapping your brain around the benefits of getting help from people who know what they’re doing. I discuss how to look after yourself while you’re doing something new and challenging, and you’ll learn how to make the decisions that will help you get what you want.

We love to joke around, but we need to get real for a minute. Real talk: it’s time to give your baby the roasting they deserve. Did your baby spit up on your brand-new dress the second you put it on? Maybe they screamed through our sister’s wedding vows. Whatever it is, drop a voice note with all the juicy details by clicking here or using the tab on the right of this page and finally call out your little ones for their adorable crimes.

If you enjoyed today’s show, and don’t want to worry about missing an episode, you can follow the show wherever you listen to your podcasts. If you haven’t already, I would really appreciate if you could share the podcast with others who you think would benefit, and leave a rating and review to let me know what you think.


What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • What stops too many parents from asking for help.
  • Why trying to save on the price of getting professional help could lead to extreme disappointment.
  • How everything costs the same, whether you end up spending extra time or money on something.
  • My thought process around hiring professional help.
  • Why you need to give yourself what you love, whether that’s tequila or chocolate.
  • How to avoid extra stress when you’re trying to get something done.
  • What you need to commit to whatever it is you want to achieve.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

Today, I’m going to be pulling back the curtain on my own life and tell you guys about something I am doing right now and going through, and how I feel like there’s so many parallels to having a new baby or sleep training, and all of those things. So, stay tuned.

Welcome to Parenthood Prep, the only show that helps sleep-deprived parents and overwhelmed parents-to-be successfully navigate those all-important early years with their baby, toddler, and child. If you are ready to provide the best care for your newborn, manage those toddler tantrums, and grow with your child, you’re in the right place. Now here’s your host, baby and parenting expert, Devon Clement.

Hello, and welcome back to Parenthood Prep, the podcast that prepares you for parenthood. This is my first time recording in a little while. I was traveling last few weeks, so I banked a bunch of episodes for you guys to get while I was away. Let’s see if I still remember how to do this. I missed it though. I really love doing this podcast, and I love all of you who are listening. So, thank you so much for that.

As always, we’d love to get your feedback in the reviews. Or you can email us, or leave a voicemail on our website, HappyFamilyAfter.com. Don’t forget to roast your baby. All of those things. I just would love to hear from you. You can also follow us on Instagram @happyfamilyafter. You can submit questions that way. I love to hear your questions. I would love to do a whole Q&A episode; I think that would be great.

Speaking of episodes, we have something exciting coming up. I don’t think it’ll be the next episode; I think it’ll be the one after that. I am going to interview a dear friend of mine, her name is Liz Orr, and she just published a book about the Enneagram, which is one of my favorite things. I love it. I love how it helps me understand myself, and my friends and the people around me.

We’re going to talk about how it relates to parenting and all that stuff. So, I think that’ll be really interesting. Even if you’ve never heard of it before, even if you don’t know what your Enneagram type is, or anything like that, I think you’re going to get a lot out of it. So, looking forward to that.

Today, what we’re going to be talking about is a little different. We’re going to switch gears a little bit. Because what I have been doing this past week is I hired organizers to help me with my apartment. I’m a little bit of a clutter collector. I’m not going to call it “hoarder,” I don’t think I’ve reached that level, but I do have a lot of stuff. I’m not good at creating organized systems for things like that, especially when it comes to my own stuff.

If I’m at your house working with you, I will have your baby clothes organized within an inch of their life, your diaper changing station, all that stuff. But my own stuff. I’m like, “Oh my God, why are there piles of things everywhere?” So, I decided to hire an organizer. It’s been a long journey.

What I’ve realized, as I was thinking about it, as I did the initial evaluation with them, the initial call, all these different things, is that it’s so similar to what our clients go through when they are considering hiring us. Or hiring any sort of help; hiring a nanny, hiring a house cleaner, hiring a sleep trainer, all of those things. Hiring someone to walk your dog or take care of your lawn, or whatever.

I think that this is a little bit different from that, because it’s a bit more intense. It’s very emotional. It reminded me a lot of working with our clients on sleep training. It really helped me relate to a lot of their hesitations. Because in my mind, I’m like, “Okay, your baby’s not sleeping, you have this problem, I can fix it for you. Just do it. Don’t you want things to be better?”

I just went through all these things in my mind that just were such parallels to that. Obviously, not everyone hires a sleep trainer. Many, many, many people don’t. And with a lot of these things, I’m so fortunate to be able to afford to hire someone to help me with this. I know a lot of those things are not accessible to a lot of people.

But I also think there are a lot of parallels to anything in your life; having your family members come help you when you have a baby. Or sending your child to occupational therapy, or speech therapy or camp or preschool, or any of those things. You just might be having all of these thoughts, and I wanted to talk a little bit about all these things that I was thinking, and these hesitations that I had, in the hopes that it would help you if you are thinking about doing something like that.

The first hesitation that I had was cost. It’s expensive. I had a number in my mind that it was going to cost, and it is 1.5 times that. It was a lot. I was like, “Holy crap, that is a lot of money. That is like two pretty nice vacations we could go on. Is it worth it to me? Yes, I hate looking at piles of crap all over my house. Do I really want to spend that kind of money on getting rid of it?”

Also, “Okay, great, this is a fancy company. They have their printed paperwork, and all that. They have administrators and things like that. Surely, I could put the effort in to find someone cheaper and save some percentage of this. They’re so expensive.”

But I’ve hired other people in the past who are less expensive, and they haven’t gotten the job done that I was hoping to get done. Either they were super busy and didn’t have a lot of availability. Or the way that they did things was not just come in and do it all at once, so they would do little projects over a period of months.

I have this thing that I say, which is, that “everything costs the same.” And I think in a lot of cases, it’s true. It’s just you’re not always paying in money. So, sometimes you’re paying with your time. That’s also very valuable. If you’re spending hours and hours doing research to find the cheapest whatever, flight or caregiver, you’re paying with your time, instead of just going with the one that was the easiest to find online. That was going to make the job easy for you.

Or going to a couple of different grocery stores to try to find the best price on something that you’re buying. You’re saving money, but you’re paying with your time. And in a lot of cases, that’s totally worth it. But in this case, I was like, “Okay, I’ve already paid with time, and it has shown itself that I’m not going to find someone cheaper that I’m going to work with.”

Then it was like, “Well, maybe I can just live with it how it is. Because spending that money is a lot, and is it worth it to me to have these results? Do I even care enough about these results to make it worth spending this amount of money?” So, then I went through that whole thing. And every time I walked into my bedroom, and I saw the stuff that was all disorganized, I was like, “Ugh, I hate this. Yes, it is worth it. I don’t want this to just stay the way it is.”

Also concern that I would spend all this money and it wouldn’t stick. I know, that’s a big worry for people who are thinking about hiring a sleep trainer, or something like that. “We’re going to do all this, it’s going to be great for a week, and then my tendencies to be messy are going to come back and it’s going to be a mess again.” That’s something that I don’t know yet, if that’s going to be true.

I know with sleep training that it’s going to stick. You have to work pretty hard to like un-sleep train a baby. I don’t know, I kind of like my chances of being able to completely un-organize this again in a couple of weeks. But we’ll see. And I am putting faith in the organizers and myself to create systems that are going to work.

This is partly something I think that our clients deal with too. It’s like, “I’m spending all this money. I think I’m going to commit much harder to keeping the systems going and keeping it organized after the fact.” Because I made a big investment, not only financial, but also time. I basically took off this whole week; I’m doing very little, because I want to be here with them. They have a lot of questions for me about stuff.

Of course, I’m taking more calls. I’m actually recording this podcast while they’re on their lunch break. But it’s a big commitment, both emotionally and financially, and I want to make sure that it’s going to stick. If it doesn’t, if I start to slip, am I going to be mean to myself? Am I going to say, “Oh my God, you spent all this money and you’re still just a messy idiot?” I might be. I hope I won’t be. I think I’m good enough at self-coaching at this point that I won’t be. But the fear is there.

Speaking of that fear and that judgment, are these organizers going to come into my house and say, “Oh my God, what a messy pig you are. How come you just couldn’t organize this yourself, you idiot?” And I wonder sometimes if our clients think that?

They’ve gotten in a bad situation with their baby with sleep, do they think that we’re judging them for us being able to do this job and they weren’t able to do it? I certainly hope not. Because listen, it is a skill. And it is something that we have a lot of experience with and a lot of practice with. And we are not exhausted parents trying to figure out how to do something they’ve never done before.

I never judge our clients for the situations they end up in, because I know how easy it is with a baby to just fall into some patterns or some habits that don’t really serve you in the long run. I never tell anybody that they did anything wrong, or they created a bad habit, or anything like that. Because that doesn’t do them any good. That’s not helpful to them. It’s not useful to them to berate them.

But that self-judgment is there. “Why can’t I just do this? Why can’t I just be organized? If these people can do it, why can’t I do it? I’m smart. I’m capable. Why should I have to pay someone to do something that I should be perfectly capable of doing myself?” And the fact is there are just some things that you are not capable of doing yourself, especially when it’s your own stuff.

If I ever have a baby, I don’t think I will sleep train that baby by myself. I think I will have one of my coaches come and do it, and help me, because it’s so much harder when it’s your own things, when it’s your own house, when it’s your own baby. It just makes it so much more difficult.

The other thing is that they’re here in my house for this whole week, all day, every day. What if I don’t like them? What if it’s awkward having them around? What if I’m feeling some emotional feelings about things, and these people are just staring at me while I’m having a mental breakdown over digging out all my crap and figuring out what to keep and what not to keep? That’s a real fear.

Sleep training and newborn care is such an emotional time. You’re in such a vulnerable state that you really want to make sure that the people that you have there are going to be people that you want to have around and are going to really respect your vulnerability and respect your emotions. And so far, they’re great. I haven’t had any breakdowns yet, but I’m sure they’re coming.

It just feels really good to know that I feel safe with these people, just the way I hope our clients feel safe with us when we are with them in that early, newborn stage. It’s something you might be considering, especially if you’re having friends or family coming and helping. That’s a different relationship.

Even if you completely break down in front of me multiple times in the three days that I’m with you sleep training, or the couple months I’m with you when you have a newborn, you’ve never seen me before and you never have to see me again, until I come sleep train your next baby. That can be really nice. You’re not thinking for the rest of your life, “Oh my God, I fell apart in front of her. I feel so stupid about that.”

Which you shouldn’t. Emotions are normal, you’re allowed to have them. But we all do it. We all judge ourselves. That’s just something that’s going to happen.

So, why I ended up choosing to take the plunge after dragging my feet about it for a while, is that I really want to get the job done. Someone used this phrase with us when they were hiring us for sleep training, that we were “reassuringly expensive.” Which means that they know we’re going to get the job done.

And I feel like these people just have it down. The reviews on their website were great. I love the way they run their business. I love that they’re paying admins and they’re paying overhead. We do that with the agency. I have a bookkeeper. We have a coordinator; I don’t do it all myself. And yeah, part of that is built into our income, and the fee that we charge the clients, but it makes the process so much easier for everyone, the clients included.

So, I probably could have found some ragtag solo organizers just doing her own thing and is great, but who knows if that would have gotten the job done? I wanted people that really seemed like they knew what they were doing, had a good system, and they were going to come in here and do it all at once. They weren’t going to be like, “Okay, well, I have 10 other clients. I’ll come to you for a couple hours on Tuesday, and then a couple hours next Wednesday.” That doesn’t sleep train a baby, and it doesn’t get an apartment organized.

I wanted to really have everything done. I just was honest with myself, “You cannot do this yourself. You won’t be able to. You’re almost 43 years old and you have never been organized in your life. You just really need help with this. You need someone to help you really just overhaul everything.” And so, I decided to take the plunge. I’m so glad I did.

And then I thought about my self-care during the process. What do I need to be able to mentally and emotionally commit to this? What am I doing to take care of myself? I’m making sure I’m getting plenty of sleep. I’m making sure I’m eating and drinking water throughout this process. Even though it’s very intense, and there’s a part of me that just wants to go between working with them and completely zoning out. I’m still taking care of myself.

I got some easy meals. Made sure we had some leftovers I could quickly heat up, so that I’m not thinking about food and not having anything to eat. I’m also taking breaks at the end of it. I’m not trying to say, “Okay, they’re going to leave at five, and then I’ll do two hours of work calls that I couldn’t do during the day,” because I know that I’m going to be emotionally wrung out. I want to just do something relaxing and fun, and something that’s going to help me take care of myself.

I always tell our clients, “Make sure you have your comfort foods. Make sure you have wine, if that’s something that you do that you love.” I joke with them, “You can hide in the closet and take shots of tequila. Whatever you need to do.” Or maybe you love ice cream, or you love sandwiches, or whatever. “Give yourself things that you love.” Maybe you love bubble baths, maybe it’s not food or drinks or whatever.

Give yourself something that you love. Give yourself access to that because you are doing something so intense and so emotional, that you really need that recovery and that comfort for yourself at the end.

My partner knows… He’s going to be here one of the days helping them go through his stuff… but he knows that I’m really involved with this all day and that when he gets home at the end of it, I really just want to relax and do something fun. Tonight, we’re going to see a show, which will be great.

Also just making sure that I’m not giving myself additional stress during this week. I’m not adding anything on top of this. I’m doing only needed work stuff. I’m not trying to juggle this and other big projects. I just really want to be at my best for this, and really be able to take care of myself.

I know when you have a baby, especially a baby that’s not sleeping, taking care of yourself can be really difficult because you’re exhausted and you just don’t have any other options. But if there’s anything you can do for self-care, while you’re involved in this super intense period of your baby’s life, whether you’re hiring someone to help you or not, just really try to do that.

And yeah, just being super kind to myself and allowing the thoughts and feelings to just flow through me. If I find myself judging myself or feeling stressed out, I’m just saying, “Okay, yeah, that’s a thought. Cool. Thanks, brain. Thank you for serving that to me. I’m not going to spiral about it. But thank you for offering that thought that I might be a horrible, messy person who doesn’t deserve to live. Great. Yeah, sure. That sounds good. I’m not going to buy into that. But thank you.” Just really taking care of yourself.

So, if there’s anything you’re considering getting some help or support with. Whether that’s just having a friend who’s really good at sleep training, who  sleep trained all her kids, come over and help you. Or hiring someone. Or training your dog. My sister just hired a dog trainer. I think she was feeling guilty about that. Anything that you need help with, that’s something that you’re not great at.

Having a chef make your meals and drop them off. There are a lot of meal delivery services. You don’t necessarily need a private chef in your home but getting a meal delivery service. All these things.

You’re going to be judging yourself about the cost. You’re going to be judging yourself about, “Why can’t I just do it myself?” Just don’t do that. You need help. We all need help. We all need support. We all need these things. And we deserve to have them. Even if they’re not affordable, and we need to work with a friend or something like that.

Listen to my other episode about how to get help when you have a baby. Even if it’s not help that you’re paying for. Maybe you can trade with a friend who’s super organized to come organize with you. And you sleep train her baby, or whatever. But yeah, something to think about when you’re thinking about getting someone to help you is just stop judging yourself for it. And just do it. You’ll be so much happier in the long run.

So, stay tuned for updates from me on how it went with the organizer. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye.

Al right, listen up, folks. We’d love to joke around but it’s time to get real. And that real talk, it’s all about giving your babies the roasting they deserve. Yep, you heard it right. We’re calling for an epic Baby Roast. We want you to drop a voice note on our website and call out your little ones for their adorable crimes. Did your baby spit up on your brand-new dress the second you put it on? Maybe they decided to scream through your sister’s wedding vows? We want to hear all the juicy details.

Head over to HappyFamilyAfter.com or hit the link in the show notes. Every page on the site has a button on the side for you to record straight from your phone. Your story might just make it onto an episode of the Parenthood Prep podcast. We can’t wait to hear.

Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of Parenthood Prep. If you want to learn more about the services Devon offers, as well as access her free monthly newborn care webinars, head on over to www.HappyFamilyAfter.com.

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