In a busy medical practice there are many tasks that simply cannot be delegated, and at home there are some jobs you may just not want to delegate - like playing with your kids!
After all, you became a parent because you wanted to have time with your children. But one way to free up time for what is most important is to identify where you can and would like to delegate.
Although one advantage of a medical career is a high enough pay scale to afford outside help, sometimes women put off using available services out of a false belief that they are "too expensive."
My friend Silke was a busy working mother with two-year-old twin daughters. She was frustrated with her inability to keep the house clean. When someone suggested she get a housekeeper, she was reluctant to do so because of the expense involved. Now Silke is from Germany, and has the national characteristic of being very organized and efficient. A supportive friend with a sense of humor asked her, "what kind of German are you?" You make $80 an hour, and you could pay someone $80 to do four hours of housework for you. Which is more efficient? After doing the math, Silke went ahead and hired a housekeeper.
You can decide what tasks to delegate by looking at which jobs nourish you and which are just drains on your time and energy. My family likes to be outside, and we find that yardwork is a great way to spend time outside, get some exercise, and let the kids play outdoors, so we have choosen to pay a housekeeper but do some of our own yardwork. But if we find we are not getting to a particular job, like pruning the shrubs, we go ahead and call a lawn service.
Some moms love to cook, and even involve their children in cooking as a family activity, so that is something they want to keep. Other moms feel the very best gift they can give themselves is a personal chef who comes to their home and prepares healthy meals that they can just heat up and eat.
Take a minute to think about whether there are areas where you could free up your time by hiring outside help. How does the cost compare to what you earn in a fifteen-minute appointment? A forty-five minute appointment? Could you even put a price on the value of the extra time you will have to relax and have fun with your kids? This week, try asking three friends or colleagues if they have any referrals for the service you need. Next week follow-up with phone calls. What better mother's day gift can you give yourself than some outside help that will free up time for yourself and your family?
About the author, Rena Seltzer, ACSW
Other articles by Rena Seltzer, ACSW
- Work-Life Balance: Women Physicians Balancing Career and Family