“How do I do it all? The truth is, I'm not."

“How do you do it all?”

Is the question I get asked more than anything else.

Sometimes, I’m half tempted to lie. Oh, you know, I just have to be very organised. My husband is great, we’re a real team and the kids aren’t really all that much trouble, truly.

(For the record, my husband is great and I’m not just saying that in case he reads this. And the kids are trouble sometimes, but they’re pretty cute most of the time so I deal.)

The truthful answer to that question, how do you do it all, is this.

I’m not. I’m just not doing it all.

I’m not doing it all by any stretch of imagination.

My life is held together with sticky tape, cable ties and long day care.

My life is held together with sticky tape, cable ties and long day care. Image supplied.

And my house is filthy.

That is how I manage to be at work four days a week, in a relatively presentable state and the kids manage to be entertained appropriately and fed three meals a day (hopefully.)

I sacrifice a clean shower for the opportunity to actually have a shower.

I sacrifice mopping the floors for time spent playing with the kids on them.

The only problem is that, after a spell, a dirty floor and a filthy shower irritate me so much that I lash out at my husband – the poor man. At times I am furious with him for not doing the chores that I also neglect to attend to.

Mamamia’s Co-Founder, Mia Freedman, once said “get as much help as you can afford.”


I finally decided to take this advice on board.

A week and a half ago on my first day of a week of annual leave, with some trepidation and a tiny bit of shame, I welcomed a cleaner into my home.

I booked Christophe using the Helpling service, best described as Uber for cleaners. Like Uber, you punch in your location, specify a time and Helpling will match you with a cleaner, who comes with a police check, an ABN and insurance.

After I apologised to Christophe for the state of my house (he assured me he’d seen worse, but instantly identified the finger prints on the display cabinet that I had never seen before ever – yikes) I left him to it.

And this is how I came to spend the first three hours of a week of leave sitting in the patisserie around the corner from home, drinking lattes and eating pastries at the same time my house was being scrubbed to within an inch of its life.

Christophe did a great job. He got all of the bits of dried Weetbix off the floor under the high chair; a super human feat. I didn’t yell at my husband all week, and I can see clearly now (through the shower screen) the (soap scum) is gone.

I’ve taken Mia’s advice to heart and booked Christophe to come every fortnight, because, damn it, I want to do it all and have a clean house too.

Alys Gagnon’s home was cleaned courtesy of Helpling.