Delegation and automation are hot topics in the business world, but they can also be applied to our personal lives - especially as mama’s! You don’t have to do it all! You can delegate to people outside of your home or you can delegate to your kids. You can automate things you know have to get done (like laundry and dishes) in order for your home and family to run smoothly. Trust me, delegation and automation will bring you so much freedom! And I hope this episode causes you to reflect and take action in some way to bring those things into your life!
In This Episode Allie Discusses:
What delegation and automation look like in your home.
How pride, fear, and control hold mom’s back from delegating things in their homes.
Things you can delegate to your kids.
Ways you can automate everyday tasks and chores.
Mentioned in this Episode:
Homemakerish U with Kendra
Clean It Like You Mean It with Kendra
Allie’s Courses (Use the code PURPOSESHOW for 10% off!)
The whole premise of Declutter Like a Mother is to focus on decluttering 30 minutes a day, every day, for 30 days. But you aren’t doing it alone, you are doing it alongside a community of warriors! We rally. We focus. And it just creates this team atmosphere unlike anything else. That's why I get so amped up about it and I'm always urging everybody to join.
This is the time! If you like accountability, if you like that team feeling, if you like me and you want to hang out with me and hear me talk about this in a really focused, intentional way, Declutter Like a Mother is where you need to be! It's totally free to sign up! I hope to see YOU there!
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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.
From the dawn of time, mothers have warred through unmatched trials, the pain of child bearing, seemingly insurmountable piles of laundry, PMS. The time has come. Mothers all over the world will gather, trash bags in hand, war paint on their faces, an unstoppable force against the clutter that fights to steal their time.
Warriors Gather! Declutter Like A Mother 2019 is upon us!
Visit alliecassa.com/warriors to enter this 30-day challenge. Don't worry, it's free!
Hey, beautiful friend! Welcome to another episode of The Purpose Show and the first one of 2019!
Okay, so I moved this episode around, tweaked what the topic was going to be, and moved my editorial calendar around a whole bunch because I really wanted to start the year off well.
There's so many important topics that have been on my heart lately that it's really hard to narrow it down and choose what's going to make the cut. What's going to become an episode? What's going to become a blog post? What's going to be a livestream or an email? You know, what's the final cut gonna look like?
This episode has really been a personal life lesson for me and it's been something that's been constantly on my mind for weeks and weeks. I needed it to be an episode so I moved it up to the top for January and here we are.
I'm really pleased with this choice. I think it's going to be really great way to kick off the year.
We're going to talk about delegation and automation for moms. Delegation and automation are things that are really hot topics in the business world and that’s where I picked up on this idea of, “Oh my gosh! Everything doesn't have to be done by me - in my business.”
So really quick, just kind of a background…when I first started my business…if you guys have listened to Episode 06, you know our story. How we were super broke, poor and struggling and really under the thumb of oppression in our lives especially with the finances. And so when I started my business, I didn't have the option of delegation and automation because I didn't have the budget for it. I had to just pull myself up by my bootstraps and figure out the cheapest way to do everything and that involved it all being done by me.
But as I grew and my business became successful, I was able to branch out and took the huge, scary risk of hiring my first team member, my VA named Kena, who's still with me after all this time. She's awesome. If you've ever emailed me, that's who you're getting. So “Hi!” Kena, if you're listening!
Learning and growing as a businesswoman, I began to learn about productivity hacks, delegating to other people, and hiring team members. Paying for tools (some of them even actually being free). Getting my hands on tools that could automate things that I was doing over and over again that didn't necessarily need to be done “live or fresh” every single time, and things that didn't need to be done by me. And business has taught me that.
And it applies to everything. Business has taught me to do what only I can do and delegate or automate the rest. And that's a really huge life lesson.
So, whether you're in the business world or not, if you're a stay-at-home mom, homeschooling mom, work-at-home mom, work-outside-of-the-home mom, or you’re just a young woman who's listening to my show…It doesn't matter how much you have going on. If you're a woman in this modern world, especially if you are a mom, you need help.
So, here's the big question that I want to be a ‘light bulb’ moment for a lot of you. I want you to ask yourself this question…about everything in your life, everything on your calendar and on your task list: Does it really have to be done by me? Does this task really, truly have to be done by me?
A lot of the time it doesn't. I just want to be honest with you guys and share. I had so many pride issues come up inside myself over that question and over this issue in my personal life.
With the business, after I got over some money mindset issues and realized that I'm not going to go broke and lose everything if I hire somebody to help me with something. And actually, the more I hire, the more I delegate, the more I give tasks away, the more successful I am, and the business is, and the higher our revenue becomes because I'm focused on the things that I'm really good at. The things that make the business money. The things that bring more people into the business, bring more clients and customers.
I started to learn all of this stuff about delegating and automating things in my business, and started thinking I can apply this to my personal life and I think it could be really great.
But when I started to do that in my personal life, I just had a lot of issues come up in myself. And really the root of all those was pride, fear and needing to be in control.
I didn't really realize it at first, but what it came down to was that I felt like I had to do it all in order to be a good mom or a good wife. And I really struggled with that. And as I struggled through that over the last two or three years, probably mainly the last two years, I noticed how many moms share that struggle and even more so than I did.
I noticed so many moms won't even do things like hire a sitter so they can have dinner out with their husbands every once in a while. While we all have exemptions to this…maybe you have a child that has really high special needs and you really can't leave or you have a special circumstance…usually though, that's not the case and it comes down to a control issue.
It's this underlying fear of, “What will everyone think of me if I admit, through my actions, that I can't do it all? Or if I come clean and show I'm not actually doing it all?”
There's this thing happening online, specifically with social media, that's basically ‘curated imperfection.’ When social media first really took off and over the last few years, Instagram specifically, has become a place where there's this thing called ‘curated perfection’ and it's like the ‘perfect’ everything in every photo. And you know what? I get upset when people use that as an excuse for their own unhappiness when somebody loves photography and has beautiful photos and they're like, “Oh, you're fake.” It's not fake to take a beautiful photo. The fact is beautiful Instagram feeds capture attention, gain followers and it's good for your business. It's good for your brand and all of that.
But what I mean is ‘curated perfection’ where it's so fake and there's nothing real. Even your caption is so overly perfect. Really? Is this really how your life is? I just can't believe that. Like the type of people that you don't even know what a really hard day would look like for them because they never are very real and raw.
And that's not everyone's calling; I am not blaming them. But it kind of had caught fire and spread. All over social media there was this overly perfect curation of bliss and nothing real.
And then we swung the other way and now there's this thing called ‘curated imperfection’ where everyone's all about (I'm using quotation marks with my hand sarcastically right now) “being real.” But really, you still look great when you supposedly have no makeup on? It’s like you staged it. You faked it. It’s like that joke about Beyonce…I woke up like this…and it's like seriously? It’s practiced and curated imperfection and that's not really helping anyone. It's actually making everyone feel a whole lot worse.
So with that comes all of this guilt around what if I was really real and raw and I just came clean and was like, “I really can't do it all.” It's not about making a silly Instagram post bashing my own mom skills in a joking way. But really like I can't handle cleaning my house because I just started a company. Or I work outside of the home 60 hours a week and my son is going through a rebellious stage and I'm overwhelmed by that and I don't know what to do. My marriage is on the rocks and I'm trying so hard to just get through the days. My house…I can't keep up with it and I need help. I need to hire help for that. And then feeling guilty about that because everyone else seems to be doing it all or you’re feeling expected to do it all.
And I could go on a major tangent about this - it’s not right that this is how we've been made to feel by society - but I won't go on that tangent cause there's plenty of people doing that and you could look it up yourself.
But really that's the underlying issue. It's about control. And what is everyone going to think of me if I really admit that I can't do it all? If I delegated all these things that I “should be doing?” How will that look? Will my kids grow up and think, “Oh my mom didn't really do that much.”
These are all fears that I have had and that I've talked with other women, specifically working mothers, about and they have. And I see this all the time. My job is to be immersed in the world of moms and this is what I'm seeing.
And so I just want to speak to that really quick before we dive into how you can delegate and automate your life a little bit as a mother. I just want to say that I've been there and I want to be really raw with you guys. I have cried many tears, feeling frustrated, feeling ‘less than.’ Feeling like I'm in this battle, this tug of war between making my life easier and doing less things really well, rather than trying to do everything and not doing it very well at all, and holding onto the pride of ‘I can do it all.’
What frustrates me so much is that everybody knows that social media is a highlight reel even though I am pretty real with you guys. I share behind-the-scenes things, and I'm honest about struggles and mistakes. I mean that's what my blog and my podcast is about. Getting out of the muck and the mire and stepping into abundant life in the middle of the messiness of real life. Right?
But I'll still get messages like, “How are you doing all this work in your business and it's going so well? And you're in all these interviews, on all of these different podcasts and all of this media? And your kids are homeschooled and you and your husband go out every week? How are you doing all of that?” I’m not. It's the result of a lot of people being on my team. That includes my husband and my kids. My kids are on my team and I'm on theirs. I have an actual team on my business. I have a girl, not a girl, a woman, a mom of two who's awesome and who's listening to this right now because she does all my podcast stuff as well. Ashley.
Let's take Ashley for example. Ashley is on retainer for a set amount every month and she has two jobs. After I hit ‘stop’ on the recording button here on my podcast, I send her the raw file. She makes sure that it goes to the editor and that he edits the episode well. She listens through all the way to make sure there's no mistakes and then she uploads it into the platform that we use. She gets the episode out on time everywhere that it needs to go. She makes sure the show notes are written and they're written well and that they flow really well with the episode. She also does my press. So her sole job is to get episodes up. And she reaches out to people, podcasters and media executives, and she gets me everywhere. That's her job. There's one person whose sole job is to work full-time doing those things.
So, of course, it looks like I'm doing all these things, and I'm getting all these interviews. That I'm everywhere and I'm doing all this stuff. I'm not doing any of that. I just show up for the interviews. And even that, I have one day a week that I say “I can handle doing interviews on this day, but if it's not gonna work then, then let's just not do it.” It's not worth my time, even if it's a really big deal. Because I've got four kids and I'm adopting another one. I homeschool and I'm working. There's limits. It just looks like it's not. Does that make sense?
So you have to understand everybody that you feel inferior to…it's all in your head and you're letting that happen. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” So stop consenting. Let's stop this BS game that's pointless and pitting us up against each other instead of making us a community.
I want you guys to know how imperfect I am. How often I break down and yell and have to apologize to my family for my words and my actions. How many times I get overwhelmed and feel like I went in too deep in over my head. Like this mission that God has placed in my lap is too much for me and He picked the wrong girl and I can't handle it. Like I can't handle the mean comments that come my way all the time. Worse, like I can't handle the kind comments that come my way all the time. Like I don't deserve this and I can't live up to it. It's a mess, you guys. It's a total mess (I want to say another word than mess, but I'm sure your kids might be listening so I won't say that) but it's just a total mess. It's a total poop show. We’ll say that. And it's hard.
I just want you guys to know that that's where I'm at. That's my heart and it is hard to let go of control. It's really, really hard, especially when it comes to your kids. I can delegate in business all day long, but when it comes to my home, when it comes to our meals, my kids, it's hard. It's a pride issue. It's a fear issue for sure.
I'm just going to share some things that I have learned that have helped me. Maybe some of this will work for you and apply to you. Maybe it won't. Maybe some of it won't fit your budget. Maybe some of it won't fit you at all. Maybe you don't need as much help as I do. But I just wanted to share my heart and be raw with you guys for a few minutes and then just share some things that have worked for me and hope that it encourages some of you to maybe consider letting some things go. Getting some things off your plate so that you can focus on the things they do need to be done by you.
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We have focus areas that we work on in decluttering our homes each week. I send you two emails a week. I go ‘live’ two days a week just talking to you. Showing up for you. Letting you see my face and hear me talk about the areas you're working on. Answering some questions.
It's a very, very high-touch, highly-engaged, really incredibly inspiring challenge. There's nothing else like this on the Internet, I promise you!
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One thing that I have seen some women doing…We haven't gone this route, but I've seen it work really well. I even read a blog post about it recently and I was like, “Oh, I need to add that to this episode’s notes because that's such a good idea.” One of the hardest things about being a mom…If you're a working mom, you go to work or you get your work done all day. For me, my work schedule is very light right now. It goes through ebbs and flows, where it will be a really full work season and then a really light work season. For the last six months or so it's been pretty light. Just working for a few hours, a couple days a week, which has been awesome. But even then - just the weight of my business - being the CEO of it and doing the tasks that I do need to do, doing live streams and energy-draining things, going to work and doing my thing. And then doing the school with the kids, even if it's just part of it because Brian does most of it…It's a lot.
And one of the hardest things is getting dinner on the table at the end of the day. I've really finally come into my zone with meal prepping once a week. There's a blog post about that. I will link to it in the show notes if you'd like to read it. I had a lot of trepidation around meal planning. I didn't like to decide what we're going to eat ahead of time. I was afraid of it and really avoided it. But I've kind of just opened my arms to it because of the place that I am at and the place that my family is at and the way our lives are so full right now. It just needed to be done. So, I tried it again. I figured it out and I love the way that I figured it out. So there's a blog post if you just go to alliecasazza.com/shownotes/091, you can read that blog post.
But one thing that I've seen other women do is really neat. And that is they set up a ‘meal swap’ with other moms in the area. They prepare their meals a few days ahead of time. They prepare extra and then they swap with other moms. Then the next person does it and they do it too. Everyone's taking turns making a bunch of food and it's way less often than it would need to be if you were only doing it for yourself. So that's really cool. And I really liked that.
Also, a meal service as an option. There's even more affordable options out there. It's not like you have to hire a private chef to come in and do your meals or anything. There's Hello Fresh and Blue Apron. Those are great if you don't have a super specific diet. We do have a really specific diet and I haven't really been able to find something that I felt was worth the cost, really well-sourced, and that fit our special diets in our house, so those haven't worked for me but they are a great option if that's what you want to do.
Also hiring a Mommy's Helper who's just looking for extra cash. Maybe somebody who's in college that has a flexible schedule and a go-getter attitude. Somebody who's trustworthy or recommended by someone that you trust, if you don't know the person.
Mommy's Helpers can also be great if they're in high school and you just want them to come watch your kids for a little bit even while you're still at home getting some other things done. Instead of hiring a nanny or somebody who this is their career and is really expensive, Mommy's Helpers are great. They just want a little extra cash and they just enjoy kids. They enjoy helping. They're great. So if you have like an ‘in’ with somebody that you trust or that's recommended and they're just looking for some extra cash, that can be a great option. I think the key when you're asking for some help from somebody like that is to delegate to them small at first. So, give them a little bit and then grow that into more until you've completely given them certain tasks.
I think the key is, in business and personal life, communicating what your desired outcome is super clearly. What result would make you think that they did this job fully and well? Tell them that. Nobody can read your mind. So when you're delegating, especially if you're new at it, you've got to get really clear and communicate what is it that you're looking to be done here? How can they do this job and have you say, “Oh my gosh! You're amazing!” What would that look like?
Instead of saying, “If you could just help me get the kids ready for bed and then just hang out here for an hour while I run to the coffee shop and get a little work done, that would be great,” tell them…is it going to make you super upset if you come home and there was toothpaste all over the kids' bathroom counter and they didn't wipe it down? And the clothes they wear for the day are just on the floor instead of in the laundry? Are you going to want them to run the dishwasher or clean up after dinner? Be specific and communicate what you want from them. That is such a key to good delegating.
Also, let's talk about delegating to your kids. Bella is my oldest and at the time that I'm recording this, she's 9. She'll be 10 in February. My kids are a little bit older. I definitely don't have super little kids anymore. I've got 9, 7, 6 & 4. I'm at a point where I've been delegating to my kids for a few years now. But I want you guys to understand, even if you have younger kids, start them somewhere right away, even if it's not super helpful to you.
Delegating to your kids is so huge in raising helpful, self-assured kids. Seriously. Do not let the frustrations that come with teaching your kids to do things instead of you doing them yourself keep you from raising them this way, because it is frustrating and it takes a lot of patience, but don't let them get away with that. They need to learn to do things, to contribute and to be helpful.
This is a strong statement, but I really stand by it. I think one of the saddest things that I see in the way that today's kids are being raised is that parents are not giving them enough. They don't have to help. They barely have to contribute. It's a huge praise-worthy thing when they just get decent grades and don't smoke cigarettes by the age of 11. It's super sad and I think that responsibility goes a long way.
We just got back from a family vacation and we stayed at an Airbnb and the kids did their chores, even there. Of course, it was lighter because it wasn't our house and it’s not the same setup, but they swept up after meals. They washed the dishes and they did what they needed to do. They picked up their clothes and put them in the laundry bag instead of just throwing them on the floor by their suitcases. I think it's really important to raise kids who contribute. It is such a huge blessing for you as the mom and then also for the people that they end up living with as adults, whether that's roommates or if they get married. It's really important to raise kids who contribute and that's a really big core value for me.
It's crazy because I'll go over exactly what I've delegated to my kids, but it's not insane. I'm just giving them basic things that they can absolutely handle for their ages. And when people come over, they'll see the kids doing their chores and they're like, “Oh my gosh! My 20-year-old doesn't even do that!” And I think it's messed up because they're living in the house. We're a team. We're a family. We're supposed to contribute.
When you're delegating to your kids, just like if you were delegating to somebody else, like a Mommy's Helper or something, be really clear and straightforward. Don't expect the kids to know how to do it. I used to struggle with this really bad. I've learned so much, but it's really hard for me to not just expect my kids to know how to do something basic.
You have to remember that these are children and they're new here. They're new to the world. They've never had to do this before. You've been washing dishes for years. They don't know how to wash dishes. It's not common sense to them that all the stuck-on food be off before they load it into the dishwasher. Actually, common sense…you would think the dishwasher would get it off, but we all know it doesn't. You have to rinse them off first.
Be really patient. Take a deep breath. Be clear and straightforward. Communicate. Show them and set your expectations, audibly, to them right out of the gate. Be super patient in the beginning. Delegating to your kids is probably not going to be time-saving at first, but in the long run it will be. So, just remember that.
One example of something that I delegated to my kids really early on - I used to make their beds in the morning. We would pick up together in their rooms and I would just make their beds for them. One day they got a little older and I was like, “Why am I still doing this? This isn't a great use of my time. I could be downstairs making breakfast while they make the beds and then come downstairs to me.” So, I showed them how they make their beds. Then the next day I watched them as I walked them through it, but they did it. I was reminding them like, “Hey, you know, make sure you tuck it in. Make sure that the bedspread is on straight. Make sure it looks great.”
Then the next day I let them do it themselves and went back upstairs and checked their work. For example, Hudson - I remember he always had a really hard time being patient, following through and doing something well. He still struggles with that. I could totally tell he threw the blanket on and didn't really give a crap and that's normal for kids. And so instead of being like, “This is a joke! Get in here!” I tried to stay positive and constructive and say, “Okay, bud. What could we do? See? Let’s straighten it. Here, make sure that tag goes in this bottom corner.”
It's not about being anal and being super controlling and expecting perfection (because we all grew up with a kid, a friend, that had a mom like that and we don't want to be that mom) but it's just about showing them like, “I expect you to give some effort. And I expect you to help. And this is how you do this thing correctly. I'm not going to be crazy about it and make sure that it's wrinkle-free and perfectionistic, but I expect you to put some effort in.” You can tell when your kids are really trying (they're kids so it's not perfect) and when they're just being lazy and are not giving any effort. So, staying positive and constructive and showing them how to do it correctly.
Then after it's good and you've showed them, communicate your expectations and communicate the house rules really clearly. Talk about, “We're a family. We're a team. I expect this of you.” And then live out that expectation.
For example, you know my kids are normal. They're human beings. If I am ever upstairs doing a load of laundry and I peek into the boys’ room and I see their beds were unmade and there's laundry on the floor, I'm going to go get them and bring them in there and talk to them and say, “This is not cool, man. This is not what we do. This is not helping. This is not contributing. This is a mess. This is not how we treat our space,” and I'm going to make sure that they make their beds, pick up the laundry and pick up their room. It's consistently doing that, even when I'm in a rush. I'd rather be late to something then let that mess sit there and let them get away with that. Because my job is to train them up and teach them to contribute and that's super important to me. Or at the very least go to the thing that we were late to and then when we get home, first thing, “Go in your room and do what you were supposed to do. This is not cool.”
Also, I've never really been a huge fan of Chore Charts and systems like that. I think that they're just hard for me to maintain. They’re hard for me to stay on top of. But a little while ago we got this really cheap whiteboard Chore Chart at Target. It's got little magnetic star stickers and just enough space to write each kid's name and their main chores and using a star system. Now, not all the kids care about it, but most of them really care and they want to get those stars. The reward system works really well, especially with Leland. He is super competitive. He loves to meet goals and he loves to have a system like that.
We put it in the kitchen where I can see it. I see it all the time and because I'm seeing it, it reminds me to use it. We have a system where if you do your chores every day for a week, you get 30 minutes of extra game time on the weekend (because the kids are allowed to play with their video games and technology on the weekends.) That's awesome. That works really well. If they were younger, we would probably do a piece of candy or something like that, but it works super, super well.
So, that's how I've delegated to my kids. I know some of you are probably thinking, “Well, how do I get them to stick with it and how do I stick with it?” And there really is no easy answer. The fact is it's really just about I decided what I wanted for our family. I know it's going to be hard and sure, I mess up. But I'm pretty dang consistent. I'm not mean about it. I don't freak out and yell every time. Sure, sometimes I do, but I'm not a psychopath about it. I just say, “Guys, this isn't cool. You're not going to get a star today. You didn't do your stuff. In the morning, you need to get up and do stuff right away or do it before you go to bed. You don't get that star because you didn't do it. I asked you to contribute and you didn't. That sucks. That's not how we do our family.” I don't lose it on them and yell and make it a huge deal, but it's just expected. It's just a calm, firm, steady expectation in our family that everybody helps.
So, let's go over some things that I've delegated to my kids to give you guys some ideas.
Things that I've delegated to my kids in the past and present. Taking care of pets. Making their beds. Doing the dishes. I never do the dishes anymore. Maybe if somebody is sick I will, but Bella and Leland do dishes the completely. And it's awesome because I hate doing the dishes. The kids' laundry - Bella's started to do her laundry and the boys’ laundry. Definitely have some exceptions, like their karate ghee (that's what the karate robes and outfits or are called.) They have to be washed in a really specific way, so things like that, no. But just getting her in that habit of helping and teaching her how to do the laundry.
All the sweeping and vacuuming is done by the kids. Just general picking up the house. We have a bin by the stairs that we put things in when they belong upstairs and we're not going upstairs. So that way stuff's not out or in a pile by the stairs of ‘this needs to go upstairs.’
I've talked about this before, but emptying out that ‘by the stairs’ bin and putting everything away upstairs where it goes, that's the kids' responsibility. If it's my and Brian’s stuff, they'll just put it on our bed.
Making sure that they get their daily reading time in. They're supposed to read 30 minutes a day. Pulling weeds and helping with the yard. Taking out the trash cans.
Basically, it just is what it is. This is the expectation. This is how it's been set. We definitely talk to them. Our form of discipline usually with the kids is just sitting them down and having a serious one-on-one talk about what's going on. If it's their attitude, what's going on with your attitude? If it's not meeting expectations with helping in the house, then we talk about that with them. Maybe there's a consequence like no video games that Saturday or whatever is feeling appropriate for the situation.
But laziness is just not acceptable. And that goes for all of us. They are being raised by a mom who started a seven-figure empire with $50 and no help. And a dad who slaved away at a job that he hated, that treated him like crap, fourteen hours a day, six, sometimes seven days a week, for nine years. Laziness is not in our blood and we don't do that. And that's how we're raising the kids. So we handle laziness, cutting corners, and basically letting us down by talking to them and saying, “You know, hey, what's going on? This isn't cool dude. This is not how we do things in our family. What's going to help you?”
For Bella, she needs to ‘wake up’ and have breakfast and get her day going and then she'll do her chores and do them really well. Leland likes to get them done at a certain time every day and he likes them to be done so we can enjoy breakfast, so he does his stuff right in the morning. Of course this isn't perfect. Nobody does the same thing at a certain time every day.
Trust me, if you guys are listening to this, I think just the fact that I'm talking about these things is going to put the idea in your head that everything's like super rhythmic and perfect, but if you were hanging out in our house for a week you would see it's totally normal and it's really chill. But there's just that expectation of ‘everybody helps’ and at some point in the day everybody helps.
Moving on from kid stuff, let's talk about other types of delegation. Little tips on delegating that may or may not fit your budget that have helped me and that I've seen other moms do that have helped them a ton. And not even moms, women. There's a one woman in particular that we're Instagram friends and she doesn't have any kids. She's married, doesn't have any kids. She has an online business as well and she has a personal assistant. This girl runs errands for her. Makes returns for her. Does grocery shopping for her. Things like that, so she can focus on her marriage and her business and that's great. Us moms…we need that too.
A personal assistant is something that you could get for $12 to $15 an hour, and really you're not going to spend too much because those things don't take up a ton of time, especially if that person is not carrying around a bunch of kids with them, like I would be if it was me. We have someone that does help, if we need it, with things like errands and making returns. I usually do my own grocery shopping because of the ingredients that we need. But you get my point. You can hire somebody to do those things. Those things don't need to be done by me. Running simple errands. Picking up cleaning spray. Making returns to the mall for shoes that didn't end up fitting my kid. That doesn't need to be done by me.
Obviously, a housekeeper. Their price range really varies with that, but you could find someone that fits your needs and fits your budget. Negotiate with them, like, “Hey, if you could come every week instead of every month, can we work something out where it's a better value?” A lot of them do that already. Even just somebody to come and do the deep cleaning for you once a month, that would be so great. Right?
Truth be told, I have housekeepers that come every Monday. They used to come once a month, then it was twice a month and then I was like, “Screw it. I need a lot of help here.” I don't do any of the deep cleaning anymore. It's really just the kids doing their chores and us just doing daily maintenance, like picking up and laundry. The housekeepers come every Monday and give us a fresh start for the week and it's awesome.
It's money well spent because I have sanity. My house is clean. I don't have to worry about if there's going to be something embarrassing streaked on my baseboards that's two years old because somebody is looking out for those things, and we have a routine where once a month they do really detailed things. They get the dust off our fans and they run a Swiffer across the baseboards for us. They do the detailed things every now and then. They do the weekly detailed maintenance for us and that's new for us and it's awesome. It's been just such a good investment for us. So, if that fits your budget, obviously that’s a great thing to delegate because cleaning your house does take time.
If you can't afford a housekeeper, I highly recommend Kendra. Kendra Hennessy is a dear, dear friend of mine. She runs motherlikeaboss.com and she basically does what I do, but for cleaning and running your housecleaning in general and she's awesome. She has amazing tips to simplify the process and make it easier. We've done some webinars together so you might already know who she is, but I will link to her website in shownotes because if you can't afford a housekeeper, go spend the fee for one week of housekeeping and go get her course because it's amazing. I will link to that in the shownotes for you guys.
I actually am an affiliate for her courses because they're so freaking amazing and we've done webinars together so I've seen inside of her courses. I've even taken some of them. Super, super helpful. So, there's that too.
Another delegation tip that we touched on in the beginning of this episode is meal services. If your budget can handle it, and this is where you're at, you can hire a full-on chef to come and prepare meals for you once a week…like that exists. And then of course, Hello Fresh and Blue Apron and things like that that deliver your food to you and it's all chopped and prepped and you just have to cook it and prepare the actual meal. There's a lot of different options for that. I think there's even a couple of Vegan and healthy ones that I've heard about, but at this point we're just not there anymore. I’m not using those right now.
There's a lot of things to just simplify your meals. You can get groceries delivered now. There's so much you could do.
Moving away from all of that, I want to talk about the fact that sometimes delegation means delegating to yourself ahead of time. It's not that you're delegating it to somebody else, it's that you're delegating it to yourself now so that you can have a more peaceful future. So, not waiting until the last minute to do something important and causing herself unnecessary extra stress.
Maybe one example is Christmas shopping online in November from your couch, with a glass of wine, for everyone on your list and then just calling it done. It just takes a little bit of preplanning and thinking. I have a lot of things like this and Christmas shopping is just one example.
I have gotten in the habit of having this one night in November where after the kids are in bed, Brian and I sit together and we turn the fire on, we watch a movie, we pour some wine and we online shop for everybody on our list. We've got the people on our list that we need to get presents for. We know what we want to get them or if we don't, we have some kind of idea. We have a budget for each person and we just go online. We order the grandparents, you know, canvas photo prints of the kids. We order candles. The kids’ presents from Amazon. We have the kids make their lists early. Each kid gets three presents. We know what they are, they're ordered, they're on their way and it's just done.
Maybe one day in December we'll have to go out and get a couple of small filler gifts.
For example, I usually go to this small shop in Oceanside where I live. I don't live in Oceanside - Oceanside's near where I live. That's what I meant. My friend owns this adorable little small shop called Roam in Oceanside, California. I'll go there and I'll get a couple of small-shop gifts for friends. They're just a little bit more special, a little bit more unique. They’re locally made and they have earrings and jewelry and stuff there. I'll get a couple of things for my mom, my sister, my best friend that lives in Florida.
So, there's a couple little things like that, but getting that Christmas shopping done online from my couch in November for basically everyone on my list is a huge stress reliever.
So, do you see what I mean? That's maybe more automation, but it is kind of like delegating to yourself for the future. It's delegating to your past self and just giving yourself the time and space to think about something.
All that means is just putting it on your calendar. Even right now as you're listening to this…stop, go open your Google calendar, go to November of this year even though it's super far away and just put that in your calendar. From now on, the third Saturday in November or the first Thursday in November is going to be the night that you do that with your husband. You just online shop for Christmas presents. Just make it a tradition.
Just think about that. That is something that will simplify your life immensely and all that is is just thinking ahead. So much of our stress comes from not thinking ahead.
I've got four kids. I'm homeschooling. I'm running the business. Of course, I can't think ahead. My brain can't even process what I'm doing tomorrow. But it's about giving yourself a little space to think, “Okay, what in my life is causing stress in this season?”
A couple of years ago I did that around the holidays and it was Christmas shopping. So, I figured out a rhythm that I could set for myself to make it not so stressful in coming years. Now I've got that November shopping routine and it's awesome!
So, see? Plan out some white space for you to take a drive, go for a walk, go to a coffee house and just sit and contemplate your life in this season you're in right now. What's not working? What's making your stomach turn with stress? How can you make that lighter for yourself in the future? Those are things you can put in your calendar as ‘blocks of time.’ Do it right now. The next time you have an afternoon that you can just have your husband hang with the kids or hire a sitter or something, go get yourself some lunch, bring a journal, bring your laptop, and just reflect and ask yourself, “What's going on right now? What can I do to lighten my load? How can I make this time next year much better?”
Another example of this kind of delegation to yourself is getting your kid's party supplies when you're at the store two weeks before rather than having to make another trip to go get party supplies. This is where my Sunday planning comes in super handy. I don't do this religiously every single week in full, but close to it. It's definitely a really steady weekly rhythm that I have.
I think there's an episode about this. If not, there's a blog post. Either way, there's a whole resource about this. I will link to it in the shownotes for this episode. Again, alliecasazza.com/shownotes/091. I’ll link to that so you can read it.
But Sunday planning is basically a time on Sunday nights where I just get ready for the week. I think everybody has at least something like this, but this works really well for me. Sunday nights I get my planner out and I make our grocery lists, make our meal planning. I do all that. I go to the grocery store, usually on Sunday night or Monday morning, but Sunday night I'm planning so I can look ahead and think, “Oh, okay, look, Bella's birthday party is coming up. I'm going to be at Target getting cleaning spray and whatever else I need on this day so I'm going to get her parties supplies while I’m there.
See, it's just giving yourself that white space to have a freaking second to be still and quiet and think ahead. It's something that us moms just do not get unless we force it and it's something that we should force. You should give yourself at least one hour of quiet reflection and looking ahead so that you can get a clear head and think.
When you do that for yourself, you're going to be like, “Oh my gosh! I'm an amazing mom. Look how on it I am!” Because you gave yourself a little bit of peace and quiet to look ahead and think, “What's going on this week? How can I make my life easier?” And you're going to notice, and you're not going to be, “Oh, I went to Target without a list and now I have to go back in because I forgot that I needed to get Bella sweater. Oh, I needed to get dog food (or whatever it is).”
The same goes for automation. You can save yourself so much stress by automating the things you know you have to get done without a doubt in order for your home and your family to run smoothly.
So, laundry. I've talked about my laundry routine a ton. There's a separate episode about that. If you need it, it will be in shownotes because I can't remember right now what episode number it is, but I have a laundry routine. Basically, I never have to think about laundry anymore. It just gets done and never really gets behind unless we're traveling.
Automating dishes for yourself, if your kids aren't old enough to do them for you. Automating your grocery shopping. Automating your calendar management. Automating your family schedule. Automating your homeschool curriculum planning.
Even automating date nights - no backburner marriages here, right? We are going to make date night happen and we're going to prioritize this relationship because it matters. It's the foundation of our happy family and it's important that we say this is the night we hang out alone. We treat ourselves to dinner out or coffee out or even just a walk at the park for free, away from the kids with a sitter or a family member to watch the kids and put them to bed for us.
That's the biggest thing. For me and Brian, date night is not date night if we come home and we do the whole bedtime routine. The whole point of date night is to be away and get a break – together. Focus on each other and get a break from the whole bedtime routine and it's awesome. If we ever finish dinner early and we're ready to go home, we will stay out until the kids are in bed and then just come up and kiss them goodnight real quick before we go to bed because you need that break.
It doesn't matter what your budget is. It can be done in one way or another. But just imagine if you had some set time once a week to be alone with your man and you went and you just did something together. If it's having dinner, seeing a movie, getting a cup of coffee or tea, taking a walk by a lake or something by your house - whatever it is. Just walk around your freaking block - it doesn't matter - but you had time to be out alone, talking, pouring into each other, spending time together and skipping the nighttime routine, what freedom that is? That is such a gift. It's so important.
These are things that we can automate and say, “These things need to happen in order for our relationship to stay good, for our home to run smoothly, for our family to feel in sync and like everyone has everything they need.” Those are the things that you need to automate because if they don't get done, things get crazy and there's no reason for that.
If we can just think ahead a little bit and give ourselves that space to do so, things will be so much smoother. That's a gift that you can give to yourself and to your family.
So, your action step for today, after this long episode is how can you automate the things that need to get done? How can you delegate things to other people? What's stressing you out? How can you make this season of your life less stressful next year or the next time it comes around? Get some time to reflect, even if it's just at home after the kids go to bed with some headphones in. Do something today. Take action in some way today.
Don't forget! Girl, you better tag me on Instagram. I want to see what you're doing. I want to see that you're listening to this episode. I want to see what you’re doing and how you’re taking action on this…by brain dumping into a journal, what are you stressed out about? What can you delegate? What can you hand off to somebody else? How can you get over your pride and your controlling like I did and I'm still doing and let go of some things so you can do less better? Share with me on Instagram. Allie_that's me. I want to see!
This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.
Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.
I am always rooting for you, friend!
See ya next time!