Consider Hiring Professional Help

Even with the entire family pitching in around the house, if finances allow, bringing in an occasional cleaning service or a periodic housekeeper can free up a lot of time and energy. The housekeeper can do the heavy or complicated jobs kids aren't able to do and you don't have time to do. I highly recommend it.

Ask your acquaintances if they know of a housekeeper who's trustworthy and thorough. If you have to resort to the phone book or an advertisement in your neighborhood, be sure to check the references.

I have a friend who lived far from family when she had her first child. She returned to work full-time but refused to hire a housekeeper even though there was enough money in the family budget. She said that every time she brought someone in, that person didn't do as good a job as she could do herself. She figured, why pay someone to do a worse job than she could do?

She tried to keep her demanding job, an immaculate house, and nurture a new baby and her relationship with her husband, but it was simply exhausting. Everything began to unravel within a few months.

She and her husband ended up quitting their jobs and moving closer to family. They are both doing well now, but when I think of all the needless stress they went through because she was unwilling to accept "mediocre" help, it makes me consider how different things could have been.

Excerpted from Moms on the Job by Sabrina O'Malone, a Focus on the Family book published by Tyndale House Publishers. Copyright © 2006, Sabrina O'Malone. All rights reserved.

Next in this Series: Delegating on the Job