When Working Moms Should Hire A Cleaning Service

Hire a Cleaning Service: When Working Moms Should Hire A Maid, Housekeeper, or Other Cleaning ProfessionalLadies, let’s just discuss: have you hired a cleaning service or cleaning professional to help clean your home? Did you hire a cleaning service BEFORE kids, or was it only something you investigated once you became a parent? (Or, did you ramp up from, say, a quarterly cleaning to a biweekly cleaning?) When would you advise other working moms to hire a cleaning service? On the flip side, is the cost of daycare (or nanny or other childcare) so great that you can’t get behind the idea of hiring a cleaning service — and then have you gotten into the Flylady system or some other cleaning schedule for yourself (even if it’s just a last-minute cleaning system when company’s coming)? 

I still remember when I realized it was time for my family to use a cleaning service — it happened when my older son had just upgraded from the baby tub to the regular tub. For some reason, when I took my own showers I never noticed all the mold and soap scum on the tub, but sitting on the floor next to my son who was happily licking the walls and toys and drinking the dirty bathwater (WHY?), I was horrified. Up until then, my routine for keeping a “clean house” involved 15 minutes every day when I wiped down counters, scrubbed toilets, dusted something, or organized something — but I realized that with a small, crawling, growing little man (who was licking weird stuff) that I needed to raise my game. I had no particular interest in spending more than 15 minutes a day cleaning — or even to scrub the tub on a regular basis! — so this kind of depressed me. 

Around the same time, as luck would have it, we went out for a date night with another married couple, and they started talking about how AMAZING their cleaning professional was. “She’s like the housekeeper I had when I was in London,” the husband, A,  gushed. The wife, my friend N, piped up: “Yes! She asked if she could organize A’s closet and then did a great job!” 

We expressed interest, and so they asked, and soon their cleaning professional, O, was cleaning our home once every two weeks. My home quickly became WAY cleaner than with my own cleaning method — not just cleaner, but more organized. There was at least ONE DAY every two weeks where I felt a sense of peace and calm coming from a 100% clean home. There is no way I could go back to the way things were before!

Some tips from someone who’s had a cleaning professional for a while:

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4 Free Apps for Privately Sharing Photos

apps for privately sharing photos Many, many articles and essays have been written about the potential dangers of posting photos of your kids on Facebook and other social media. Whether or not you agree (that’s a topic for a whole other post!), there are some great alternatives out there for sharing photos of your children with family and friends. (Psst: We recently did a post on apps that help working moms stay connected to school/daycare, and we’ve also talked about how to organize family photos and make photo projects.) Sure, you can safely use platforms like Instagram, Flickr, and Google Photos to show off pictures of your kids (as long as you adjust the privacy settings carefully), but there are some great apps for privately sharing photos on the market right now — and all of them have a “free” tier for pricing.

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The Best Online Backup Services for Backing Up Family Photos, Unfinished Novels, and More

online backup services for momsThese days, everyone has precious things on our computers: those family photos, that old voicemail from Nana you saved on your computer, the half-finished draft of your novel. Some of it you can save casually in the cloud, sure — but some of it, for sheer size alone, kind of has to live on a hard drive. How do you back up those hard drives? We looked into the best online backup services that keep your stuff safe — and don’t require a ton of effort or money on your part.

If it hasn’t happened to you personally, it’s definitely happened to a friend or family member: Your computer crashes and you lose everything … because you haven’t backed up your files. Backing up data is usually pretty tedious and time-consuming — and it’s so easy to forget to do — but online backup services make the process much easier and hands-off. Today we’re rounding up the 3 best online services for backing up files.

Pictured: The normal time everyone thinks about backing up their computer: when they see the blue screen of death. Credit: Flickr / Blondinrikard Fröberg

By the way, over at Corporette we’ve talked about Evernote and other note-keeping apps, the Morphine plugin for Chrome for limiting distractions, and apps for working women, and here at CorporetteMoms we’ve talked about how to organize family photos and make photo projects.

Here, we compare the popular and highly-rated online backup services Crashplan, Backblaze, and IDrive: 

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How to Level Up Your Childcare/Personal Help (When Money is No Object)

how to level up your childcare | extended options for very busy momsIf you’re a busy working mom, good childcare is a must — but what happens when a nanny doesn’t even begin to cut it? How can you level up your childcare and household management? (Warning: this post is not terribly budget-friendly.)

I’ve wanted to talk about this ever since I read this post from Penelope Trunk (written in 2008 but I first read it more recently than that) about hiring a house manager — an entire position I never knew existed but would love to have if money and time allowed. So if you need more than a nanny, let’s review the “additional childcare options for very busy moms” that I know of (beyond, obviously, getting your husband to be an equal partner and sharing parenting duties)…

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Seasonal Decor — and Working Moms

Seasonal Decor and Working Moms | CorporetteMomsLadies, how much do you get into seasonal decor around the house? Do you feel like seasonal decor is harder in some ways for working moms? I’m starting to get into it — when we visited relatives in Texas, my husband’s cousin had the entire house decorated for Halloween, and my older son really liked it. I’m just starting to collect stuff, and it feels like this IS the season — you’ve got Halloween decor, followed by fall harvest/Thanksgiving decor — and, if you celebrate, Christmas decor. (Pictured.)

I like the idea of making our home look nice for the various holidays, and I like the tradition aspect of things, but I will admit, it does seem kind of onerous from a few different angles:

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Getting Your Accounts in Order… Before You Go Into Labor

accounts-in-order-for-laborDid you feel the need to get your accounts in order before you gave birth? For example, if you’re the primary money manager in your relationship, did you do anything special before labor to prepare your partner should he or she need to take over the money management? (Sorry for your dark thought for the day! Of course death or incapacitation related to pregnancy is still really rare, but pregnancy is certainly a big deal, healthwise. Although Scientific American did just look into why U.S. maternal mortality rates have doubled, and quoted a CDC official who classified it as “almost certainly not a real increase,” just a result of better data.) I pondered this a lot while I was pregnant, and didn’t see too much else on this topic, so I thought it might be interesting to discuss.

(Pictured: Kate Spade New York ‘Cedar Street – Floral Lacey’ Zip Around Wallet, was $178, now $120 as part of the big Nordstrom Clearance sale.)

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