9 Household Chores to Delegate in Parenthood

7 min read

Executive Summary

Delegation is one of my superpowers. These are the 9 household chores I’ve delegated to our nanny.  Click each bullet point to skip to that section and learn more.

Total Investment: $70/day* 
Time Reclaimed: ~ 2 hours/day 
Worth it? Yes, if you make $35/hr
*based on $35/hour wage for a nanny in California

I learned the magic of delegation out of necessity. In my professional life, I was exhausted trying to run and grow my business while maintaining a quality product. I needed to do less of the day-to-day so I could focus on the overall vision. Similarly, we parents often become overwhelmed with the minutiae of daily tasks and lose sight of the rewarding plans we have for our family.

Today, delegation is my superpower. Outsourcing larger tasks is more obvious to some, but I take pride in delegating the smallest of tasks to free up chunks of my time. It may be 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there, but it all adds up! When I find myself with extra time to read or get a massage, I know it’s because I collected that time by delegating tasks that didn’t need my personal touch.

The real win of not executing the task yourself isn’t just the physical time saved, it’s also the mental space you free up by not being obliged to notice, remember, and plan to do the task. Emily Oster’s The Family Firm and Eve Rodsky’s Fair Play both do a fantastic job of addressing this issue if you want to dive deeper into the conversation.

9 Household Chores To Delegate To Your Nanny or Family Assistant

1. Emptying the dishwasher

Unloading the dishwasher is an easy, repeatable household chore for the nanny. Every night, we run the dishwasher. Then, in the morning, our nanny unloads it so us parents can focus entirely on connecting with the kids, not kitchen tasks. The first time you delegate a household chore, like unloading the dishwasher, it will take more time while you give instructions and walk them through how it needs to be done. But trust me, that initial time investment will pay off.

2. Crockpot meals

Prepping crockpot meals is another part of our gloriously productive morning routine with our nanny. It looks like this:

  • I make breakfast; the nanny empties the dishwasher.
  • I eat with the kids; the nanny starts the crockpot.
  • I get the kids ready; the nanny cleans up breakfast.

3. Transferring dry cleaning hangers

My least favorite chore is transferring dry-cleaning clothes from wire to non-slip hangers. It’s not a typical household chore, but it’s either you putting clothes away while the nanny spends time with your child or the other way around. I’d rather spend the time with my kids!

4. Watering plants

Taking care of your houseplants is another easy, repeatable household chore that brings a little life to your home. Your nanny can water the plants with the kids as an activity or do it while they nap. Simply print a picture of each plant around the house with instructions for your nanny or housekeeper to follow. This chore is often done while I’m at work, so it becomes one less thing for me to think about when I come home to spend time with my family.

5. Emptying the diaper genie

This household chore does not bring me, or my partner, joy in parenthood, so we delegate this chore to our nanny. This saves us time, yes, but mostly it saves us from getting irritated and depleting our mental energy. The more “depleting” tasks that we can outsource to our support team, the more mental energy we have for our kids, our careers, and our relationships — including the relationship we have with ourselves.

6. Cleaning car seats

Crumbs and potty training accidents ensure car seats need to be cleaned regularly. This is a fantastic household chore to delegate to your nanny or housekeeper. This task can take 30-60 minutes and really deplete your energy.

7. Flipping diffusers

Reed diffusers are my secret weapon for making a room feel inviting. Flipping the reeds is not complicated or terribly time-consuming, but assigning out that household chore saves me a little thought equity. One less thing to keep track of is extremely valuable.

8. Changing light bulbs

Of course, my partner and I are capable of changing a lightbulb, but this household chore usually involves a ladder and time searching the garage for the right bulb…it’s a whole ordeal we happily delegate to save us time and mental space.

9. Wrapping gifts

I LOVE selecting unique gifts for friends and family, but the physical act of wrapping a gift feels like another household chore. It’s a great 10-minute activity for the nanny to sneak in between the children’s naps, or while you’re with the kids.

The Benefits Of Delegating Household Chores

Just delegating those nine household chores can save you almost two hours a day. Those are two hours you can use to spend time with your family, meet professional deadlines, or get some much-needed rest and relaxation. Do you feel a little guilty delegating household chores? The lovely Leah Clinton, the co-founder of In Kind Magazine (the ultimate modern parenthood read), pointed out that “a good litmus test to avoid guilt is to think about whether your kids even know who was involved in the task. Do they have any idea who cleaned the car seat? 99.9% no.”

Don’t stop at these 9 household chores. To discover 99 more ways to delegate household chores and reclaim time, download our free parenting guide: 99 Ways to Do it All (Without Doing it All). My parenting guide goes into how to decide which tasks are best for you to delegate, how to approach asking your housekeeper or nanny to take on extra tasks, and how to appropriately compensate them for the extra work. And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to receive our latest articles in your inbox.

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