Moms with multiple kids and both parents working outside of home full time - how do you manage the normal stuff in the home that keeeps it going? Grocery, cooking, laundry, cleaning, regular upkeep? Can’t find the time to do a lot but also can’t afford to outsource it all especially with childcare costs. Tips please!

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Most of the time we do grocery delivery and we have a cleaner that comes every three weeks. We plan out our meals for the week (all easy stuff) and have our weekly menu on the fridge. Laundry is a team effort between my husband and I. We recently added in a lawn mowing service, which saves my husband 5 hours per week.

We were not outsourcing anything for a long time while we paid off debt and just let some things fall through the cracks (aka our shower didn’t get properly scrubbed for a year). I think it’s really difficult to do it all and you have to give yourselves a lot of grace.


Childcare cost is the only one that really moves the needle.

Home supplies + groceries:
I keep a running list on the counter that everyone (parents + caregivers) add to when anything is running low: all food items, wipes, paper towels, toilet paper etc. I shop the items every night on Amazon. I do not give a caregiver a credit card as I like to be able to decide where to cut corners, I.e., buying the cheapest paper towels but organic bananas.

We have a weekly cleaner for 3hrs, $80. Could easily go down to bi-weekly if we wanted to save. Parents, kids and caregivers all follow the mantra or “leave every room as neat or neater than you found it”. Picking up a little at a time is much faster than picking up a whole apartment every night. I love the smell of cleaning products and a freshly cleaned home, it actually brings me joy! So that’s why we stick with weekly.

Stop buying/ wearing clothes that require dry cleaning. Send out wash & fold laundry. Research the price per lb and minimum charges in your area, for those services that will pick up and deliver. As long as you’re not sending out comforters, sending out “wash and fold” laundry can be pretty cost efficient. Wash and press is the most inefficient - do your own ironing or steaming - I used to do it in bulk every Sunday for 30 mins. If it didn’t get done, I wore clothes that didn’t require being pressed.

I keep a running list as a shared note with my husband that we check off. If I spot a lightbulb gone I’ll add it with the location and we’ll check it off. Recently I noticed the fan/grill above the stove was in bad shape so added to the list with a link to the manufacturer to make actioning it faster.

Set up gmail labels to ensure I don’t miss school mails - since they’re ALL OVER THE PLACE. E.g., I’ll get an email from a person called “Friday news” and later realize it’s a very detailed list of documentation that the school requires 🤦‍♀️. I calendar everything for the school as far in advance as possible. School is the hardest to keep on top of - for me at least.

General cost saving:
Drink less
Don’t eat take out
Cut childcare hours or move daycares
Buy cheapest diapers if your kids are that age - better yet, potty train them ASAP

That’s all I’ve got 🤷‍♀️


EY2 - that’s an amazing system you have it running there.

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Short answer: lower your standards.

Food: You’re not going to get a healthy gourmet meal on the table 5 nights a week. We rotate between fast food, Pre made Trader Joe’s dinner with a TJ bagged salad, pre made entree from FreshDirect or a rotisserie takeout, and seamless delivery (pizza, pasta, Mexican, Japanese). We will cook a healthy meal from scratch only 1-2x a week. We only have 1 chubby person in our family of 4 so impact isn’t too bad

Cleaning: just clean up crumbs / food mess on a daily basis. Everything else can wait until the weekend or until the cleaning people come.

Chores: can’t get out of this one (trash, recycling, doing dishes and taking care of the dog). just do it

Laundry: we only do this on weekends. Buy enough of everything (undies, shorts, socks) so if you skip a week the kids / you have enough clothes. Also do loads per person, so after it comes out, you just put the laundry basket in their room and ask your kid to put it away. My 4 and 6 year old will fold their clothes and put them in their drawers. it’s messy but I let them manage it. I give them a reward after they finish

House and outside: this stuff takes forever so we outsource everything. And we’re more relaxed with standards (like our house isn’t winning any curb appeal awards), like we had lots of weeds almost all summer until we got the weeders to come


So many good lessons here. I have an almost 3 year old and she WANTS to help with more than we let her (like loading and unloading the dishwasher - you have to drag her out of the kitchen!), because in the moment I don’t want the task to take two or three times longer and I don’t want anything broken… but I need to get her involved more. I’m going to do it or at least make more of an effort. You’ve inspired me. Thank you, ladies!

Groceries get delivered. Meal planning and cooking is my responsibility. Laundry is my husband’s. We have a cleaner come every other week. Picking up the house and calling for house fixes is split between husband and I. We outsource the lawn care and pool maintenance.

I stress about spending money on outsourcing things that we could do ourselves, but I was more stressed trying to get everything done when we didn’t outsource. It felt like nothing was ever done and the house was always a disaster. I recognize we’re very privileged to be able to do this; it was definitely tight on the wallet in the beginning. Husband convinced me that we were paying others to help us so we could spend more time as a family


Something has to give….But my parents cooked very easy meals - think rotisserie chicken/baked salmon filet , rice, frozen veggies during the week (we couldn’t afford to eat out). My sister and I learned to cook and clean at a very young age. I did my own laundry in elementary school and packed my own lunches. I started mowing the lawn at age 12 (As soon as we were old enough, we pitched in) Our house was not always as clean and tidy as my friends with SAHMs but it was clean enough and we’d deep deep clean every once in a while. It will never be perfect but it’ll be enough!


I also am starting to delegate these things to my kids.

They pack their own snacks and lunches for school
Teaching them how to cook (My goal is they cook 1 meal a week).
Making them responsible for their own messes.

Mine are 8 & 10 and I feel like this is the year it will all come together


Following! We have intense full time jobs and 4 kids, soon to be 5.


Why holy cow that’s impressive - I bow down!

Have one and am seriously considering being one and done which I never thought I’d do.


Cheaper options:
- shop at cheaper stores for most groceries but have it delivered. We shop at aldi and have it delivered and it’s like $65 a week for a bunch of healthy food
- meal prep. It takes a few hours on Sunday but then you can just heat stuff up during the week. Can make simple chicken, rice and veggies or sheet Pan meals
- early morning at home workouts or walk baby to double as exercise and family time

More expensive time savers :
- order things on Amazon
- target pick up so you don’t have to go in store
- outsource lawn care
- outsource cleaning (we do every 3 weeks)
- we hired a nanny for 12 hours a week on top of daycare to help out (get him from daycare. Help clean bottles and his laundry etc)


Yes aldi delivers at least in my area! It’s through instacart.

Re: nanny, I found her on a Facebook moms and sitters group (which I love and also have found date night sitters through). She works 5-9 three nights a week (we usually let her go early but I wanted her those hours in case I was traveling). She has a full time day job but just graduated from college last year so it’s some nice extra money for her

It's hard. Try to get help as most have said.
I eat out on weekends and used to have a cleaner before the pandemic, and just restarted this month.

I tried to meal prep, but always failed to be consistent with it. I want my weekends to relax so I grind all week. Kids ages are 3, 7, and 9

Sometimes during lunch I prep, or just make fast meals
Meal examples
Cheeseburgers (kids love this and very fast)
Boiled chicken and just shred it and make rice and prepackaged salad
Shrimp tacos
Couple days we just grill some steaks or lamb chops with either fries as a side or salad
Chicken Tikka masala from Costco and I just make basmati rice
Ground beef with peas and rice or just ground beef in pita bread with some sauteed veggies

kitchen and dining: daily after dinner
Bathrooms: almost daily (check toilets) and for my bathroom my mom told me to clean the bathroom right before I shower so it usually just takes 5 min
Bedrooms: kids responsible for their rooms (put toys away and make beds)
Living room: kids clean up their toys at the end of the day and my husband or myself vacuum (the kids like to vacuum also, but our vacuum kind of broke so an adult has to hold it correctly)

Each child has their own small hamper. I then tell them when I will do laundry and they empty their hamper in the main ones (they sort darks and whites)
I do the laundry and when it's dry, it becomes a family activity. I sort all the clothes by each person on my bed and everyone comes and folds them and puts them away. I only do my 3 year olds laundry, and sometimes my husband if he's slammed at work (I hate how he folds so don't let him do mine) I check the kids drawers every couple months or so to make sure it's tidy.

My kids take one online class after school that way I can focus on work more when they are back
I do all sports activities after work during the week (again to clear my weekends) and I try to put them all in the same activity at the same time. They also have to finish all their homework before we leave

My husband didn't help at first, and I had to fight a lot to get him to help, but now we make a great team. I prep, he grills, I drop off the kids, he picks up, I get the toddler ready for bed, he cleans the kitchen (or vice versa). I make the grocery list, he does the shopping.
Having your partner help you is really, really important and takes a load off of you.

It may not be perfect, but it's currently working for us. Hope this helps.


Two kids (3 and 1,5), one on the way.

I told my husband when we started dating that raising kids would be a 50/50 job and he absolutely agreed (thank god coz otherwise I would have never married him). I only enjoy my kids so much because he actually owns up to it.


- we order groceries online (basics) and go to Costco once a month (diapers, wipes, cleaning and household supplies, protein (which we freeze)
- he cooks dinner twice a week and I cook dinner twice a week, one other night is take out
- he drops off I pick up the kids from daycare
- we have a cleaning lady once a week who also does our laundry. Kids need to help clean up toys. We clean up table and food.
- toddler does also love to help with vacuum cleaning and wiping things down and it is actually nice bonding time

And for their daycare (we recently moved) their food is included which easily saves us 1,5 hour of food prep and clean up a day.

We also want to spend as much time as we have actually with the kids and outsourcing cleaning and having a sitter every now and then to help (she cooks and cleans too if we ask her) has made our mental health, relationship and career progression easier to navigate.

We can barely save because everything goes to our mortgage, paying for their daycare, outsourcing, but I keep telling myself it is temporary and for everyone’s sanity.

I need all the advice I can get as well, and I only have one.


There is a grocery near me (Marianos) that does online order and curbside pickup. So not as expensive as delivery but cuts the shopping time down just as well.

My husband cooks after his demanding day job and then I clean. We’re not willing to outsource our food, though we did use Blue Apron for a bit.

Cleaning lady twice a month and our laundry pile is always huge 🤷🏻‍♀️ the cleaning lady is 10000% worth it if you can only outsource one thing.


We have a nanny and she also does light housekeeping in the common areas and keeps the kids rooms clean and does their laundry. So it's like childcare and half a housekeeper.


Your nanny sounds like a dream. How much do you pay her?

The biggest unlock for us is we use a meal delivery service. It’s healthy food, gets delivered weekly. We do a cleaner every other week and laundry on Saturday mornings. Tidying the house every day takes about 45 mins and we swap on and off so that’s done while other parent is putting the toddler to bed, baby goes down earlier. We outsource everything we can- goal is that any minute not spent working is spent with our kids. we both have crazy jobs.


What type of service do you use and how did you find it?

Cleaning ladies every other week. Used to do a meal delivery service (hello fresh) and nanny would do the prep. Got bored and stopped. Grocery delivery or a big family trip to grocery store or Costco on the weekend. Takeout as needed. Finally maybe it’s obvious but we both are religious about protecting about 530-830 pm to cook dinner, eat as a family, clean, bath time, bedtime, etc. usually one of us does bath time with the kids while the other cleans up. Except right now when I’m seven months pregnant and I just whale in the couch while my husband does both. Oh and the nanny does the kids laundry


OP here - these are awesome tips thanks so much for the input!


We had to begin senior care and it broke our system - but it was manageable for 2 under 6
Primarily process tweaks; that really helped with just the kids.

We lived in the city and drove
Ate lunch at 4 - critical to successfully transitioning them into evening and not being hangry

Crockpot creativity for batch cooking; especially mashed potatoes & rice - this saved my budget - days that might have been $40 on takeout went to $10 rotisserie chicken, bagged salad & crockpot rice or chicken & potatoes

As the adults we still eat on a circuit- My husband won’t meal plan- it’s a whole thing 🙄- so we came up with this: a limited well balanced menu: 2 breakfast options 3 non breakfast options saves us brain space, planning and budget


We just don't clean 😆


I do a lot of meal prep on the weekends. I'm currently putting a list of go to recipes, etc. to share. I make a lot of crockpot/freezer meals. Laundry day happens one day a week. There is a site called that has some good house cleaning tips. I also take advantage of Kroger Clicklist or comparable service.

You got this!




Grill as many meals as you can while weather allows -- saves a ton of time on dinner dishes. We grill both our protein and veggie probably three nights a week until it's well below freezing.

Proteins are some combo of fish, chicken, steak and veggies on the grill tend to be broccoli, asparagus, corn.

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