When I started this blog nearly 1 year ago, there were two words I was certain I’d never utter on these hallowed pages — lactation consultant. Yes, this is a very dark day for the dough roller. Indeed, this is a very dark day for parenting. Need a lactation consultant? That will be $85 per hour. Need to know what a lactation consultant actually is or does? Well, you’ll have to turn to a different blog for that answer, because I have absolutely no idea (ok, maybe I have some idea). But apparently, lactation consultants are just one of many ways parents are finding to outsource the job of parenting, according to a recent Washington Post article written by Annys Shin.
It turns out that parents can outsource quite a lot. Having trouble potty training your child? Potty training consultants can help you for $250 for the initial consultation, and $175 for each follow-up visit. If we had used this service for our daughter, it would have cost us about $10,000. Your children having trouble sleeping? No worries, a sleep trainer can come to your rescue for $250-$500 per consultation. At that cost, your child may be able to sleep, but I would be lying awake at night in a cold sweat worried about all the money I just spent.
Need a night nurse? $20-$30 per hour. Need a nanny tax accountant? $475-$800 annually. Want a personal shopper (and who doesn’t)? $30 for a single item, and $15 per additional item. Don’t want to get up in the middle of the night when your child is crying? Here’s what the Washington Post article had to offer:
Staying up with your baby “used to be a rite of passage,” said Barbara Kline, president of White House Nannies in Bethesda. “Now you outsource it.” Her company places night nurses at a cost of about $400 for 24 hours.
And here’s my personal favorite. You can hire a professional to baby-proof your home for $150 per consultation plus $500 per 1000 square feet for products and installation. Now what I was growing up, there was no such thing as baby proofing a home. Instead, we home-proofed the kid. Here’s how it typically worked in my parents’ home.
Little boy Dough comes flying into the kitchen and whacks his head on the corner of the counter. He goes down in a screaming fit and a pool of blood.
Mom: Alright, alright. You’re going to be fine. It’s just a little blood.
Stepdad: What’s all the racket?
Mom: Oh it’s nothing, he just hit his head on the kitchen counter.
Stepdad: He didn’t damage the countertop, did he?
Mom: I sure hope not. [She examines the countertop closely] No, it looks like the countertop is just fine, although the blood may be a little difficult to get out of the lines in the linoleum.
Stepdad: Well that will teach him to watch where he’s going the next time he comes flying into the kitchen.
And sure enough it did.
Today, we cover every surface in a house with a least 3 inches of foam. And now, to top it off, some of us are actually going to pay $500 per thousand square feet. Maybe I’m just showing my age, but I’m really starting to miss the 1970s.
Published or updated October 28, 2012.