lifestyle

One Sydney woman outsources $6,500 of her life a week.

Know what caught my eye today?

A story about a Sydney barrister who spends $6,500 a week outsourcing professional and personal tasks. That money buys her a research assistant, an executive assistant, a live-in nanny, three cleaners and a gardener. It helps her “have it all”, by which I mean ‘have a job’ and ‘have children’.

According to Fairfax Media’s report, Bridie Nolan (that’s not her above, by the way, that’s me) lives with her husband, three kids and two step-kids, and this arrangement allows her to run her legal practice, get enough sleep and exercise, and make quality time for her family.

“I simply could not do it all, maintain a practice and be nearly human,” she explains.

No matter who you are or where you live, there are only 24 hours in a day. How you spend your time depends on a myriad of factors but when your time is worth money, like it is for barristers, being wise about how you allocate it is smart. Nolan says she would rather spend the ‘free time’ she has relaxing with her kids and husband rather than doing accounts, cleaning the house or shopping for groceries. All power to them, I say.

But the cold hard truth of the matter is that very very few households would have a spare $650, let alone $6500, to spend on outsourcing domestic tasks a week (or even a month). But should that stop us from DREAMING? I say no.

Which got me thinking about what, in an ideal world where money was in abundant supply, what I would happily outsource. It was delicious to contemplate.

First. Laundry.

This is my living room and illustrates just how bad the laundry situation can get.

If I ever win the lottery or receive a ginormous inheritance from a long lost relative in Africa, like those spam emails keep promising me, the first thing I will do is hire a full-time laundry consultant. I would happily hand over that role and I would never look back.

The washing, the soaking, the hanging out to dry, the folding, the putting away. The dealing with another load of washing that has turned blue or grey or pink AGAIN. I’d be delighted to part company with those tasks.

I’d like to say I’d outsource the ironing too, but that would imply it’s something I currently do. I don’t. BUT! If I had a laundry service everything would be ironed! It would open up a whole new part of my wardrobe….

It would be bliss. I can assure you that my life enjoyment would surge as fast as my laundry work decreased.

Second. Sorting.

Do you ever wander into Kikki-K just to envisage bringing all of that glorious organised bliss into your own home?  I do. Because it’s heaven to think about.

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I fantasise about tidy drawers and perfectly ordered bills, warranties, insurance policies filed away. I dream about all of our photos being stored beautifully and a having functioning family calendar hanging that ensures no commitment or appointment is ever missed or narrowly avoided.

The truth is, in the real world, I have neither the time, the money or the requisite skill set to bring this sort of system into life. But in this wondrous dream land where I could outsource anything and everything I would! I would hire a crack team of Kikki-K specialists and let them loose. They could sort EVERYTHING.

Third. Cleaning.

Enough said, right? I know this isn’t for everyone. I have friends who legitimately enjoy the art of cleaning to the extend they actually find it therapeutic. I am not one of them.

I would outsource all household cleaning in a heartbeat. (This might surprise my husband, who might accurately argue that I have outsourced the cleaning some time ago. To him).

Four. Night-time tantrum wrangling.

Just last night actually my husband and I found ourselves wrangling a very-nearly 3 year old at 3am. Initially she just wanted to be tucked back in which is reasonable enough. Except then she wanted a ‘lolly’ and was extremely vocal in expressing her displeasure at receiving a ‘no’ to that request. Same thing happened when she wanted the lights all turned on. And same again when she asked for breakfast. IT WAS 3AM!

This half-hour interlude was several postcodes away from “Quality time”. She was screaming as we were rummaging through our woefully deficient ‘parenting kit’ for the right strategy for our defiant daughter. After too long tag-teaming, eventually she closed her eyes and whispered good night.

Now judge me if you will, but if there was a way to outsource that particular parenting duty I would. Happily.

Five. All telephone dealings with major organisations.  

Have you ever had a breezy conversation with a telecommunications provider? Needed the internet fixed or a child’s immunisation statement, or a new user put on your car insurance, and had it happen simply? If so please name them below and coat them in glory because in my experience that’s rare.

My interactions with large organisations often end in tears – of frustration initially and then of joy when someone FINALLY understands and can help.  I have never got off the phone and thought ‘that was a productive and nurturing three hours of my life’. So these types of calls will forever sit in the ‘ideally-outsourced’ category.

What would you outsource in a world where money was no object?

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