26 Jun How to Delegate: Mom Edition
I have to tell you the honest truth: you are not wonder woman. You can’t do everything…and that’s ok! Today, I want to share:
- how to delegate the things that you have to do
- what things you should delegate
- what things you shouldn’t delegate
- and how you can delegate those things to your family
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Women are great at knowing how to delegate in terms of our business or job, or maybe the volunteer responsibilities that we have if we’re in charge of something.
It seems easier to delegate those things.
But when it comes to delegating in the home, thoughts run through our minds like, “I have to do this all on my own or I’m not a very good mom. I’m not a very good wife if I’m not consistently doing these things all by myself. I need to be taking care of the home all by myself, parenting all by myself.”
I really want us to let go of this martyr mentality that we can fall victim to. When I say us, I mean myself, because I’ve definitely been in this place before.
It’s time to accept the fact that we don’t have to be Wonder Woman in our homes.
What it takes to be a great mom
It doesn’t take a beautiful home and a beautiful yard and perfectly behaved children and cuisine on the table every night for your kids to know that you love them.
Your kids already think of you as a super mom. Your husband thinks of you as a super wife.
They feel that way without you having to be this Wonder Woman that we sometimes put this pressure on ourselves to do.
So, how do we go about delegating in the home? How do we go about bringing in help in certain areas and what we should do ourselves?
The First Step: Going to The Lord
The blog is about helping you live out God’s best for your life. The Lord doesn’t expect us to live out a graceful, passionate, and righteous life for the Him, without His help.
And so, that’s the first step whenever you feel overwhelmed. When you find yourself falling into this martyr mentality in your home, go to The Lord first.
Go and tell Him your frustrations. Don’t believe the lie that God doesn’t want to hear your problems. Don’t think that because He already knows about your frustrations, that there’s no reason to talk to Him about him.
Even worse, we blame Him for the things that are going on in our lives.
But the truth is, God wants to hear from you.
The Psalms are filled of people pouring out their hearts to the Lord. David, of course, wrote many of them, but there were other leaders that wrote these poems out to the Lord, too.
Sometimes, when I read them, I think, “This is exactly how I feel right now. This is where my heart is right now,” and they weren’t afraid to go to Him in that.
There are Psalms that talk about being in the pit of despair, being in a valley full of enemies and not knowing what to do.
And we can do the same thing. We can go to the Lord.
We can tell Him our frustrations, and we can ask Him for wisdom. There’s a verse that I’ve shared multiple times on the blog and podcast. It’s Jeremiah 33:3.
A mentor of mine calls it God’s phone number, because it talks about going to the Lord, seeking Him, asking Him, and that He’ll be faithful to respond to us.
That doesn’t always mean that He’ll give us everything that we want, but it means that He’ll give us what we need.
He’ll speak to our hearts and He’ll show us things that we wouldn’t otherwise know.
So whenever you go to God first, you can ask Him for wisdom on what you should do, where you should delegate.
Maybe He even show you some things that just need to be let go.
It’s always about going to Him first, telling Him your frustrations, be in the attitude of seeking Him first and then knowing that the knowledge that you need, the wisdom that you need is going to come to you.
How to Delegate to your family
There are certain things on your To Do List that you can delegate to your family.
I’ve mentioned this idea of this martyr mentality a couple of times already. Too often, we do things on our own. We don’t even ask our family for help.
Start by asking for help
They don’t know that we need help because we don’t ask.
So, we’re here scrubbing the dishes while they’re all watching TV, and in our heart we just get bitter, and we have never even asked for help.
We can get into this mentality of, “Well, I’m just sacrificing for my family, and I’m the only one,” and almost like a pity party that happens just because we don’t ask.
Sometimes all you have to do, is ask.
One of the benefits about encouraging my family to eat dinner at the table every night has been, afterwards, my family all works together to clean up.
We all work together to clear off the table. Someone is emptying the dishwasher. We’re putting stuff away, so that it’s just extending that family time, and cleanup is super fast when everyone works together.
But, again, all I had to do was ask. All I had to do was teach my children simple things like:
- Taking their plates to the sink
- Helping wipe down all the surfaces
- Pushing in the dining room chairs
It was those small things that would’ve caused me a lot of bitterness in my heart in the past. But because I’ve asked and I’ve asked my husband and I’ve talked to him even whenever I’m not frustrated, that’s actually best.
Don’t wait to talk to your family about how to delegate in the heat of the moment, but say later, “I would really love to spend time with you guys after dinner. Could you and the kids help pick up after dinner, so that we can all do something together? It’ll go by really quick.”
If you say it in a calm setting, not with a raised voice, you’ll get a better response. Sometimes, all you have to do is ask.
Setting Up Routines and Chores Based on Age
Another thing that I’m an advocate of is to set up routines and chores for your kids based on their age. You do not have to wait until your kids are in high school to give them chores.
That would be crazy.
For me, whenever I see chores and I start delegating things to my sons, I see that as a blessing that I can give them to contribute something to our family, to do something independently, and kids want that.
They want to have structure. They want to have something that they can contribute to your family.
So let’s talk about some things that you can have your kids do. And remember, you know your kids better than anyone. But make sure that you don’t underestimate what they can do, because I guarantee they are capable of so much more sometimes than what I really give them credit for.
Toddler/Elementary School Age
My sons are in the stage right now, and they have daily chores things like:
- taking all the dirty laundry from their hamper to the washer
- feeding the dog (although I would just recommend that you double check that that’s done, so that your dog doesn’t die or is malnourished, because he doesn’t get any food. So make sure that you double check them for a while!)
- setting the table
- picking up their own toys
- making their own bed
- putting laundry away
- wiping down bathrooms
The biggest tip that I can give you is to help your kids help you.
When I set up my boys’ room, I tried to make it as easy as possible to put laundry away. They don’t have this huge, heavy dresser that they can hardly open the drawers on. They don’t have high-closet space.
We hang up every shirt that they have, and then they have one basket that goes in a little cubby for underwear, one that’s for pajamas, socks, etc.
Whenever I separate their laundry out, I put them in little piles, and then they know right where each item goes, and they put them away themselves. They bring up out all the hangers, I hang up all the shirts, and then I hand them back to them, and they put it back on the rack.
Those are things that you can do to help your kids help you. Make sure that you’re giving them the tools to be successful.
Pre-Teen/Middle School Age
Once they get up to a little bit older, this middle school age, of course, they can do everything I just mentioned, but then they can also:
- do dishes
- help cook
- pull weeds
Those are different chores that you can delegate. And to be honest, whenever they’re first starting out, they’re probably not going to be done as well as you do them.
With delegating it’s important to let go of perfection, and not to expect adult quality work from them right away, but just expect progress from them.
High School Age
Once you get high school kids and kids that can drive, they can:
- pick up groceries
- fill up the car with gas
- drop mail off at the post office
- watch their younger siblings
- pick up dry cleaning.
Think about smaller things that normally, you would do yourself, and let them be responsible for that.
There are a lot of grocery stores now, where you can order everything online and pay for it, and then it can just be picked up.
But there wouldn’t be any harm in, whenever they’re in middle school, taking them with you to the grocery store, teaching them about why you choose one type of food over another.
Teach them how to meal plan. And then, whenever they’re in high school, they already know what kind of brand of dish soap that you like. They already know where to find certain things because you’ve groomed them up.
Then they can start taking the reins on things and you can delegate those things to them.
But like I said, the important thing is just to not expect perfection right away.
You aren’t perfect, they’re not perfect, and they’re not going to do things exactly the way that you do.
Realize that you’re not cloning yourself. You’re just teaching someone else to do the things that they are able to do. Another thing is that you can delegate is not just delegate to your children, but it’s okay to get outside help.
How to Delegate to Outside Help
Just because you can do all of the things doesn’t mean that you should. And so, if your budget allows, consider getting some help.
Think about what your time is worth.
If your time is worth something and there’s someone who can do something better or a service that can do something better than you can in a shorter amount of time, then consider the value of that.
You do not have to hire a personal chef in order to get some help in the kitchen. There are things, like I mentioned, where you can order online, and then you can just go pick it up at the grocery store that’ll save you time.
Once in a while, my husband and I we order some meals from HelloFresh. I’m not an affiliate or anything like that, but it’s just something fun that we like to do.
Food is delivered to your door, recipes are planned out, and everything’s there.
Then you just pull out the bag out of the fridge and start cooking and it’s all set up for you.
There are other programs, like RealPlans.com. It’s a similar site where you set up a schedule of recipes, and then they create printable shopping lists and instructions.
It just simplifies your whole process.
Another thing that might need to be delegated is cleaning. There might be a need in your home for a housekeeper to come in once a week or maybe for those big jobs, like spring cleaning or having the windows done, something like that.
It’s okay to do that.
If your budget allows and that’s something that really takes stress off of you, then give yourself permission to delegate that. You are not a better mother or a worse mother by how sparkly your home is or who made it sparkle.
It’s okay to delegate those things if you can. You would be surprised how cost-effective it can be.
I know I have a friend whose husband has work clothes that are pretty greasy. If your husband is a mechanic or a rancher or something like that this make work for you: She takes his clothes dirty to the laundry mat, his work clothes, and they wash, dry, hang them up, ready to go, and then she’s not ruining her home washer and dryer with all the grease. It’s just taken care of, and she goes and picks them up every week and everything’s good to go.
That was a huge stressor for her so, she delegated that. And now, not only does she not have to worry about the time that it takes to do that or the wear and tear on her washer, but also, the stress that comes along with that.
Some other things that you might want to consider delegating are your car or home maintenance.
Changing the oil in the car. My husband can change the oil in my car. He’s fine doing that. But sometimes, if he’s super busy, if it’s a busy season and in our business, I just run to the local car place, and they change my oil in half an hour, and I’m done with it, and I don’t have to worry about it anymore.
Sometimes, I don’t even tell him. I just go and take care of it, and then the stress is off of him, and he’s not worried about it. It’s something I can keep an eye on and delegate it out somewhere else.
Another example would be paying a neighbor kid to mow the yard. He needs the work and the money too! You’re teaching him responsibility. And you’re able to delegate that. (That’s another thing your kids can do if they’re older, is mowing the lawn.) Either way, it’s okay to delegate out those things.
Out of the Box Tasks to Delegate
There are other things that kind of out-of-the-box ideas that you can delegate.
You can hire a personal trainer or a nutritionist to help you come up with a meal plan for your family.
You can have an assistant that takes care of things for you if your budget allows.
I know I’ve said it a bunch of times, but I want you to understand that it’s okay to delegate certain things.
There was a big project at our work that I had been trying to do myself. I was trying to get all of our files from the past years into digital files. And so, I was constantly scanning, organizing files, putting them away, all of these different things over and over, and it was really taking a long time, and finally, I found a young woman that I trusted who came in, and completed the job. It took about a year, she worked part-time for us in just a couple hours a week and she organized and scanned all of our files.
And now, I have instant access to everything.
The truth is, it was something that I could have done on my own. But it was simpler and less stressful for me to just delegate that out.
Put it into action
- Go to The Lord and ask for His wisdom to know what to delegate
- Make a list of all the things that need to be done
- Next put a star by to the tasks that ONLY you can do
- Write the person’s initial by the tasks that other family members can do
- Put a dollar sign by the tasks that could be hired out and do some price checking to see if that’s a possibly
Make a list of everything that needs to be done and then figure out the real list of the things that ONLY you are able to do.
I want to be the only one that tucks my kids in that night.
I’m the only one that can take a shower for myself.
Those are things that I need to be doing. I don’t want to delegate those things.
But things like planning out a meal plan or maybe making my children’s beds. Those are things that I can delegate, and those are things that are off of the list that only I can do.
Once you make those lists, you’re going to find ways that you can delegate the every day tasks your life that is really going to really take a lot of stress off of you.
When we get overwhelmed, we fall into a pity-party mindset. We’re overworked. We’re underappreciated, and sometimes, all it takes is accepting help.
Part of being healthy is realizing where you can let things go and realize what things you can give to other people that you don’t necessarily have to do yourself and there’s no shame in that.
There’s no shame in saying, “I need help and guidance.” There’s no shame in that. And so, I am giving you permission to look at the things that you need to delegate and to start doing that today.
Related: Lead with Heart: Home Edition