Three Ways to Buy Yourself Time Around the Holidays

It’s the most wonderful (and hectic) time of the year! As moms, we know that the holidays are one of the busiest times of the year (in a close tie with summertime shenanigans). Our to-do lists get longer, the frequency in which we interact with relatives often increases, and our capacity quickly diminishes as we try to keep spirits high, decorate to our heart’s content, and do all the things that come along with the holidays. But this year will be different. This year, I’m giving you permission to say “NO!” to those things that do not spark joy for you personally and to say “YES!” to giving yourself the gift of time.

As a full-time working mama of multiples who also runs a small business, I know that time is of the utmost importance, especially since it’s not something we can buy more of. This season, take a load off your plate and buy yourself some time with my top three outsourcing ideas for the holidays!

1) Try Hampr!

I had just given birth to my second baby when the universe brought me Hampr. They’re a laundry service that picks up and drops off your laundry directly to your doorstep! The annual subscription comes with four laundry baskets that you’ll use to send off your laundry and the app is VERY user-friendly. You can send off a single basket or up to four. Pro-tip: Have one for you, one for the towels/sheets, and one to two for your smaller kids who aren’t quite ready to do their own.

In case you aren’t convinced, here are three reasons to outsource your laundry.

2) Order your holiday meals from H-E-B!

Y,all. When I say that this was LIFE CHANGING, I mean it. Last year while perusing the H-E-B app, I saw something that said you can order holiday meals. My mind was blown! Cooking doesn’t bring me joy, and cleaning up the mess afterward is just a headache. We opted for the “feeds 6-8 people” option and had plenty of leftovers, even with eight people.

The best part? I picked this up Thanksgiving week with my normal grocery order and all I had to do was pop the various dishes in the microwave or oven and we were good to go. No dishes to clean, no hassle of trying to store all the food. It was a dream to have everything done so quickly AND to have a quality-tasting meal ready in such a short amount of time.

Do yourself a favor this year and opt in for a holiday meal from your closest participating H-E-B.


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3) Outsource house cleaning!

One of my least favorite parts about the holidays, other than cooking, is the cleaning. We have three kids and three pups, so our house is far from Pinterest perfect and is most often reflective of a tsunami hitting the downstairs areas (i.e., living room, dining room, kitchen—all the areas people congregate during a holiday gathering). I try to maintain what I can, but sometimes it feels unrealistic to set the expectation that I can truly clean it all on my own. Does that resonate with you?

That’s why you should save yourself the time and energy, and outsource house cleaning around the holidays. It’s a one-to-two times a year occurrence that will leave you with more time for what matters most during the holidays: spending time with your family and making memories (not losing your mind because it’s an hour until everyone’s supposed to be at your house and you still haven’t even picked up).

Before you start to wonder if these are even doable for you on your budget, I’d like to help put this into perspective. If you purchase a specialty coffee three times a week, that’s about $15 a week, which would be $60 for the month (four weeks). That right there could cover the cost for you to let that laundry pile up and outsource it one time.

If you eat a meal out twice a week for lunch, that might run you about $20–$30. In a month (four weeks), that would be about $80–$120, which would cover that Christmas meal that you weren’t looking forward to cooking.

On a super tight budget? Ask a mama friend or family member if they’d be interested in swapping a task with you! I’d rather pick up a friend’s house than do my laundry or cook a full meal, and I know I’m not the only one (or am I?!).

Whether you decide to splurge on all of these or choose one that would spark some joy for you this holiday season, I encourage you to reclaim some of your time that goes into tending to family needs and making the holidays special. Turn that time into a moment for you to breathe in between the hustle and bustle or a moment for you to fully enjoy the presence of your family (stress-free and worry-free).

Jeri-Ashley (she/her/ella) is a proud San Antonio native and mama to multiples (Charlie-2021, Ofilia-2019, Mia-2010). She holds her B.A. in Sociology from St. Mary's University and an M.S. in Education from Johns Hopkins University. Jeri-Ashley is a parent coach, small business owner, full-time educator, and community advocate. She has worked with school-aged children, parents, and educators for over 10 years, focusing on providing each with the tools to be more mindful in creating strong, healthy relationships, while also maximizing each individual's strengths. Her love and passion for serving others goes beyond creating change in education and into service in the San Antonio community where she has served on the board for New Leaders Council SA, works on community-driven initiatives through Latinx Noise, and provides workshops on mindful parenting through her small business The Mindfulness Co. You can catch her on the daily over on her IG @JeriTheMindfulMama sharing parenting tips, mindfulness practices, and raw motherhood experiences. Favorite Restaurant: Panchitos (Zarzamora location) Favorite Landmark: Woodlawn Lake Favorite San Antonio Tradition: Dia de los Muertos weekend