All working mothers need a wife -- even the New York Times says so. In her article "What a Working Woman Needs: A Wife ," writer Lisa Belkin defines wife as “the person who keeps the family functioning, who holds the mental lists of who needs new shoes and where the extra laundry detergent is stored, and the timing of the middle school dance . . . Wife means the person who raises the scaffolding and secures the ladder rungs, so that everyone in the family can climb.”
Defined this way, wives play such a critical role in the smooth running of a household that a foundation in Germany is now granting the equivalent of $500 a month for working women to hire someone to help with these tasks. The idea is outsourcing – everything from laundry, house cleaning and bill paying to meal planning, errand-running and dog walking. That leaves the real wife – also known as the mom – better able to focus on more important stuff like reading stories, playing chase at the park, maybe reading the newspaper once in a blue moon and, oh yes, her career.
So consider hiring a personal assistant to schedule appointments, arrange home maintenance work, pick up dry cleaning, grocery shop, wrap birthday presents, make travel arrangements, sort mail, pack school lunches and do a little light cooking. Search Craig's List (www.craigslist.com ) for personal assistant and we bet you'll find a few potential matches right away. If that doesn't work, placement agencies can help you find personal assistants or you can put out feelers on your own.
It’s great that the German foundation is granting a $500 "wife" stipend to working moms, but it won’t cost you anywhere near that much. Even an hour or two a week will truly ease the burden on working moms and someone hired hourly shouldn’t cost much more than a babysitter. And like babysitters, personal assistants are worth every penny.
Once you’ve experienced your own personal assistant, you’ll wonder why you didn’t propose to your “wife” sooner.