The Story Of A Dinner Nanny

women who ask

Recently, I worked with a client who had a very full, busy life. She had a demanding full-time job plus a couple of kids—and like many working moms, she felt a lot of pressure to be “everywhere at once.” She wanted to be an exceptional employee, an attentive mom, a thoughtful wife, a supportive friend, and of course, a gourmet cook and domestic goddess.

After trying to “do it all” for several years, my client felt burnt out and discouraged. Basically, she needed a “mom-clone.” If she had two or three replicas of herself, then maybe she’d have enough time and energy to get everything done! 

One day, she decided to make a list of everything she wished she could delegate to somebody else. Things like: 1) Pick up the kids from school and bring them home. 2) Go grocery shopping. 3) Make a nice, healthy dinner. 

Then it occurred to her, “I wonder if I could hire someone to do those 3 things for me every weekday?”

At first, she felt semi-guilty and ridiculous. Critical voices came into her head. “What type of mom hires someone to do those kinds of things? Who do I think I am—some kind of super-wealthy celebrity?!” 

But then she crunched the numbers. She realized that hiring someone to run a couple errands and make dinner wouldn’t really be that expensive. She knew she could find someone who’d be happy to help out for $15 an hour.

For a relatively small investment, her quality of life would get a major upgrade. Without all of those chores on her plate, she’d be able to spend more quality time with her kids, relax at home with her husband, even (gasp) see her girlfriends, go to a movie, catch a late-night yoga class, enjoy a quiet bubble bath… so many possibilities!

She decided to give it a try. She hired someone—whom she affectionately called her “Dinner Nanny”—and put the new system into place. Immediately, she knew she’d made a GREAT decision. Her afternoons and evenings became so much easier, and she felt like she could breathe again.

“Hiring a Dinner Nanny made such a difference for me,” she told me on the phone. “It seriously changed my life. I’m so glad I decided to do it!” 

Her story inspired me to write this article, and to ask you… 

What’s one relatively small change that would make a big difference for you? 

Would hiring a Dinner Nanny change your entire life? Even if your DN only came over one or two nights a week? Or maybe hiring someone to help you declutter your office would take a huge emotional load off your shoulders. Or maybe asking your boss for an extra 5 days of vacation time would make a big difference in your life, and allow you to take a long-overdue trip with your family, or visit your mom and dad, or sign up for that watercolor painting retreat in New Mexico that you’ve always longed to do...

Whatever would make a big difference for you, I urge you to go after it. Ask for it. Pursue it. Or hire the helper that you need.

You might hear those ugly voices inside your head that say, “What makes you think you can have something like that? Who do you think you are??!” but you’ve got to ignore those voices. That’s just fear and insecurity talking.

Who do you think you are? You’re a woman who wants to enjoy her one, precious life! That’s who! 

If you want a Dinner Nanny—or your personal equivalent of a Dinner Nanny—then you can find a creative way to add that into your life. It’s not ridiculous. It’s totally doable. As a smart woman once said, “If you crave it, then you can create it.”