Save Me, Gig Economy: An Outsourcing Wish List for Exhausted Parents

Here we are in the so-called gig economy, with ever more services available on an as-needed basis. We can hire someone to relieve the pain of building an Ikea bookshelf or snag a babysitter, driver or videographer via smart phone. Thankfully, there are amazing options to outsource some of the burdens that slow us down while chasing work-life balance.

But I still see gaps in the market just waiting to be filled by a creative entrepreneur with sympathy for exhausted parents. Okay, I might need to outsource these to a fairy godmother instead of Max & Betty. But here’s my wish list:

  • A bodyguard to protect my two-year-old from the four-year-old. Sure, I can peel the big kid off of the little one when they’re wrestling over who gets the red bowl (everything tastes better in the RED bowl!). But if I could peel even one carrot without being interrupted quite so often, that would be a service worth paying for.


  • A mommy whisperer to remind me of positive parenting techniques. I know I should calmly offer a hug when my child kickboxes me because the zipper on her Hello Kitty pajamas gets stuck. Parenting experts discourage responding with a tantrum of my own. If only I could ping someone to nudge me back into zen mommy mode before I have to give myself a time out….
  • A warm body to hug Child A while I cuddle Child B during bedtime when my husband is out. If one child needs me, the other sees it as a challenge: Who wants Mommy more? (“She’s MY Mommy.” “No, she’s MY Mommy.” Yes, this is a thing.) The result is a screamfest that undoes the hugs, lullabies and bedtime stories, and delays everyone’s sleep at least an hour. Like air travel, the right adult-to-child ratio makes bedtime a lot smoother. (Sensing a theme here? #toddlerfightclub)
Baby Sleeping - Help for Exhausted Parents -
The calm after the storm
  •  An academic Mary-Poppins-meets-Rocky’s-coach to assist with the teen’s homework. Ability to convert frustration and annoyed sarcasm (the teen’s, not mine…most of the time) into motivation, confidence and enthusiasm a plus.
  • A Sherpa to transfer the children to early morning activities when the temperature drops below 4° C (especially if it’s raining). I would tip generously for the additional service of wrangling the children into their many layers of clothing. HUGE tip for finding lost gloves.
Kid bundled in winter clothes -
Mom and I agree: Too. many. layers.
  • A runner to chase the 4-year-old when she shifts into 5th gear on her scooter and zooms ahead, while the 2-year-old stays in 1st gear/runs in the opposite direction. (Bonus for assisting with fast trips to public bathrooms when one kid has to go RIGHT NOW.)
Toddler running away -
It’s always time for a Fun Run (in the wrong direction) when you’re a preschooler.
  • A fun lover with a strong stomach to go on rides that spin (playground carousels or amusement park rides). Perfect first job for a teenager. Like many women – based on my purely anecdotal research – I can no longer handle rides that go around and around. For me, I lost this ability after having my first child. Now, queasiness forces me to outsource riding anything that spins.
  • Photo organizer who would find it life changing and magical to tidy up a decade’s worth of my digital photos.
Tired person working on a MacBook Pro -
Oh, to outsource the pain of organizing too many digital photos. Photo from Pexels.
  • Bedding changer when kids and parents have the stomach flu at the same time and it’s impossible to see, smell or touch someone else’s sick without gagging and running to the bathroom again myself.
  • Reminder to keep me on track when I’m pulled in six different directions and start to lose my train of th


What help do you wish for in your most desperate parenting moments? I’d love to hear about it, whether it’s silly or serious. If on a phone, please scroll waaaaayyy down to comment. Thanks!


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8 Kommentare zu “Save Me, Gig Economy: An Outsourcing Wish List for Exhausted Parents

  • A magic chef, the one that doesn’t mind making the grilled cheese for that ONE nibble it takes to get to “I’m full”. When the kitchen closes and the “Time for Bed” store opens there is a sudden starvation which will cause death by morning (or mourning, you choose, depending on who is suffering more mother or child).

  • Great article – smiled when I read it…so true…. live gets better when you take it with humor.
    I would like to have a filter – to not hear all the achhhhhs and uhhhs of my teenagers every time when I lost hours about thinking what to cook that everybody likes. A filter to not recognize the rolling eyes behind my back when I ask the 5th time to put away the dirty towels from sport lessons or the clothes from last week lying on the bedroom floor… A filter for eyes and ears of teenage mums would be great to keep their adrenaline level low 😉

  • Oh my goodness, I don’t envy you.
    Some of your situations I don’t even know because I have an only child. Plus he’s turning 10, so we are between difficult ages (knocking on wood).
    My other children are the IT engineers at the office – taking care of their neeeds pushes my buttons, too, at times.
    My outsource jobs when I was a new Mom would have been to take care of my own needs. Once baby boy would *finally* fall asleep on my stomach, or shoulder or another body part, I needed to pee, but I knew he’d wake up if I moved, so I would have LOVED to send somebody else to the bathroom for me 😉

    • Ha, that would be an interesting want ad to place! So true, though – and unfortunately, bedpans just aren’t done much. Enjoy the respite with your 10-year-old. Hopefully the next difficult age will be short and mild!

  • For me it would have to be a personal chef! I always think if I had someone cooking, shopping and meal planning for me I could handle anything else that life throws at me!!

    • Oh YES! Jennifer Lawrence has a chef prepare her meals and drop them off at her house (as I learned on the WTF with Marc Maron podcast). I have never wished more to be a Hollywood star.


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