Hire the housekeeper: 6 reasons moms shouldn’t feel guilty about hiring help

The cleanliness of our homes affects everything from our health to our moods and even our relationships. And yet I have never heard a single person utter the phrase “I just loved cleaning that toilet today.”

So consider this: Does it have to be done by you?

For many, parenthood makes it essential to guard your time, prioritize and consider outsourcing when you can. It’s always going to be a matter of picking and choosing based on finances, needs and more. But, if there is some room in the budget, hiring a regular (or even occasional) housekeeper can create the time in your life for more meaningful pursuits.


Here are six reasons to consider hiring a cleaning service:

1. It leaves more time for other things on your to-do list

It’s true that sometimes cleaning can be cathartic. (You should see the way I furiously scrub the floorboards after a fight with my husband.) The rest of the time, though? It’s not what I would call a hobby.

Psychologist Stacey Rosenfeld, PhD, CGP, CEDS, notes that the monotony of cleaning has both pros and cons—but if you’re short on time, like most parents, you may want to spend it otherwise occupied. “Engaging in activities that are more engaging and creative can help us stay more mindful or present,” she says.

2. It’s good for your physical health

I like my home deep cleaned by someone regularly because I feel secure knowing that our surroundings won’t make us sick. Vacuuming, dusting, and sweeping thoroughly remove germs, allergens, and dust mites (which leave behind enzymes that can potentially be harmful to humans). Deep cleaning under and behind furniture also ensures that no food crumbs are lingering to attract vermin like mice, rats and cockroaches, which also carry disease.

3. It’s good for your relationship

I remember so clearly the last time I got after my husband for not rinsing his toothpaste in the sink. Unfortunately, that’s because it was just this morning. But when I’m not the one who has to scrub the hardened toothpaste from the rim of the sink every week, suddenly my attitude toward my husband changes.

Caleb Backe, a health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics agrees. He and his wife hired a weekly cleaning service years ago and saw a marked improvement in their relationship. “The cleanliness of the home had been a thorn in our side for years. We’d gotten into fights about it, allegations, lists and agreements which were never properly upheld. Finally, I said we will hire someone. And we did. Best decision ever.”

4. Because your time is worth the money

As the old saying goes, “Time is money.” So how much is your time worth? When finances get tight, it’s tempting to avoid extras—like cleaning services. But that could cause other issues.

Kathleen Harper, author and certified life coach, says she and her husband once decided to cut their cleaning service to save money.

“The bulk of the housekeeping then fell to me,” she says. Over the next couple of years, I became resentful of the chores because they took time away from what I wanted to be doing, like playing with my children, spending time with friends and working on hobbies.”

Harper says she realized the resentment wasn’t worth the money they were saving, so she called up the cleaning service again. “Even before she started coming every two weeks, my attitude improved, the tension in my marriage eased and my happiness grew tenfold.”

5. It’s good for your mental health

There’s nothing like the feeling of walking into a newly cleaned house. The smell, the lack of clutter—it’s intoxicating. Even studies say that a lack of clutter is good for mental health.

Also good for mental health? Not putting so much pressure on yourself to do it all.

“At a time when most households now need two earners, many women find themselves overwhelmed due to increased demands,” explains clinical psychologist Dr. Jennifer Sweeton. “Not only are they working long hours outside the home, but research has shown that women's work ‘inside’ the home has not decreased as expected. This means that women ‘having it all’ has turned into women ‘doing it all.’”

6. You can finally make time for self-care

Usually at the bottom of my list: time for myself. (Sad but true. ?)

That’s easier to amend if you have a cleaning service. Rosenfeld agrees: “Taking care of your home can interfere with taking care of yourself. The several hours that you'd spend mopping and scrubbing could be more therapeutically spent reading a book, calling an old friend, journaling, going on a walk, enjoying a satisfying meal, etc.”

Convinced? Now, just to play the mom role: Remember to hire from a company that does background checks or get a reliable referral from a friend.

Then start enjoying less stress and a clean home—you deserve it.

These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.

Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin

Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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