Working from home as a parent is not all unicorns and rainbows. You have to keep up with pets, kids, household chores, school drop offs and pickups, homework, shorter working days, longer working nights, do the food shopping and squeeze in the time to prepare healthy nutritious lunchboxes each day and cook a delicious home cooked meal every night. Phew!
Whether it’s the stress of life as a busy work-at-home parent or the stress of my business itself, I regularly struggle with overwhelm as a work-at-home mum. It’s no wonder. There’s always so much to do and the desire to feed my family healthy plant-based vegan meals every day without resorting to oven food or microwave meals. We do have the odd vegan oven pizza and chippy chips once per week on ‘chippy Monday’ when we all finish late, heck we’re not perfect, but otherwise I somehow manage to squeeze in cooking home made food between kids’ reading me their school books, answering work emails, working on business projects and loading up the washing machine with the never-ending laundry pile! The work-life balance struggle is real!
I work for myself from home which has its own positives and negatives, but I’ve read lots about many workplaces increasing flexible working opportunities including the option for staff to work from home. Research by the United Nations International Labour Organisation indicates that people who work from home tend to be more productive than their counterparts who work from a conventional office. If you’re self-motivated and can work to your own schedule at the hours you are most productive then I can see why. We weren’t all made for the 9-5 office life and it doesn’t suit a lot of people. However the research also showed those who work from home are vulnerable to poor eating habits, interference, long working hours, and intense work pace.
Working at home means minimal walking and tasty snacks surrounding you. While working late at night, you will be more tempted to grab unhealthy snacks just to keep you going. Well, the good news is that you could choose to hire a personal chef who will help you with healthy meal preparations for your entire week for you and your family.
Isn’t that the dream? Cooking is definitely something I find a chore rather than an enjoyment. I’d rather spend that time with my children, but I also don’t underestimate the power of a home cooked plant-based meal each evening, so it’s something I think has value for my time, but I’d rather not do it if I didn’t have to! Hiring a personal plant-based chef would be ideal.
I imagine this is a service that will get more and more popular. Just like people hire gardeners or cleaners regularly to do the jobs they dislike or to get more time back to spend with the family, I think in-home chefs or meal preppers will become more popular in the coming years.
The benefits of a private chef include:
- Eliminating the stress of cooking
- Customised food
- More time to work on projects at home
- More time to spend working at home
- More time to spend with the children
- It could be affordable even when working on a tight budget (see tips below)
- A home chef gives you companionship if you’re alone most of the day
- The chef can handle grocery shopping and meal planning
It really does sound a dream and like so much time could be saved. No more food shopping, no more meal prepping and no more slaving away at the cooker!
If you are lucky enough to be seriously considering hiring a personal chef then here are some things to take into account:
Not just for the rich
Personal chefs are no longer just for the rich. You may be able to afford one since they offer a wide range of services that could suit your budget. Some chefs offer shopping, cooking, prepping ingredients, assisting in dinner parties, planning menus, and cleaning up. Just choose the services you need. Some of them offer hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly services with varying rates.
It might be that you only need a chef to meal prep for you for a couple of hours a week and nothing more. Find one that suits your dietary needs and service requirements so you’re not wasting money and only pay for what you need. Some companies offer an at-home meal prep chef which is very appealing and suitable for our busy lives.
A qualified chef could cost more
A certified chef has met the required standards, and it means they have undergone the necessary training in handling and preparing food. A professionally affiliated chef has access to the latest industry research and trends. However, not all chefs are associated with professional chef organisations, but that doesn't mean they cannot handle the culinary tasks professionally.
You also need to understand that affiliated or certified chefs are expensive to hire. You, therefore, need to keep your budget in check and realise this option might not be for you.
If you want to save money, consider hiring an amateur cook or someone in training who would be happy for the paid work and experience. More so, think of family members or friends with exceptional cooking skills that you could hire to help you in preparing meals and they will get paid at the same time.
Work within your budget limit
Hiring a personal chef can take a toll on you financially, so you should only do it if you can afford to and the benefits outweigh the negatives. For example, if the time saved meal prepping and cooking could be spent working instead and you earn more money working then it could be a worthwhile investment.
Prices also vary significantly depending on your need, the area you’re in, any dietary restrictions, and health conditions. You can hire a half-day chef or opt to get a chef who will prepare your meals for the whole week and freeze them. This way you could be getting the best value for your money. Rather than having a chef cook a meal every single day and charge each day, they could batch cook for you in a few hours and prepare a whole week’s worth of food for you. This is much more cost-effective.
Working from home and preparing healthy home cooked meals can definitely feel all time consuming, but maybe one day you will be able to afford the luxury of an at-home chef to meal prep nutritious meals customised to your taste each week. Yum!
What to read next
- 5 tried and tested ways to make money as a UK stay at home mum
- How to survive the half term when you work from home
- 5 ways to manage your time effectively when working from home
- Managing life as a full time working parent
- 3 easy and effective ways to take time out and relax as a busy mumpreneur