scorecardI outsource my chores to give myself more time for work and family. We should all treat ourselves to these types of breaks when possible.
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I outsource my chores to give myself more time for work and family. We should all treat ourselves to these types of breaks when possible.

Kiara Byrd   

I outsource my chores to give myself more time for work and family. We should all treat ourselves to these types of breaks when possible.
Careers4 min read
Gabrielle Gambrell outsources housekeeping, wardrobe styling, and childcare to alleviate stress.    Courtesy of Gabrielle Gambrell
  • Gabrielle Gambrell balances roles at Amazon, NYU, Columbia, and her consultancy by outsourcing chores.
  • She spends $1,600 monthly on housekeeping, $1,000 on childcare, and up to $6,000 yearly on styling.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Gabrielle Gambrell, a senior communications lead at Amazon, professor at NYU and Columbia, and business founder based in New York City. The following has been edited for length and clarity.

I work a lot, and I work hard. I've been a senior communications lead at Amazon and head of communications for three years. I also teach marketing and public relations at Columbia University and NYU, and I founded my own consultancy, Gift of Gabrielle, in 2017.

I spend about $1,600 on cleaning services and childcare monthly and around $1,000 each quarter on a stylist.

Paying for things like a housekeeper, childcare, and a stylist allows me to put more time into making more money. Even though I work a lot, I still get a lot of time back to care for myself and spend time with my family.

Hiring a housekeeper gives me more time for work and family

I'm originally from Los Angeles. My parents divorced when I was younger, so my father, who was a senior executive in banking, raised my brother and me as a single parent. He had a busy schedule, so he got a housekeeper to help around the house. That was how I became introduced to housekeeping.

I purchased my six-bedroom home at 27 in Westchester, New York. I've always had a housekeeper as an adult, so I knew I wanted that when I started a family.

Before becoming a mother, the housekeeper visited every other week, which was upgraded to weekly once my son and daughter were born. Cleaning the house would take hours for me, and doing laundry for four people can easily take four to five hours a week. With the housekeeper, I can get those hours back.

Since I don't have to do the things that the housekeeper does, I have more time to work and more time to be with my family.

Childcare costs about $1,000 a month and comes in very handy

When I met my husband, we went on dates all the time. I didn't want to give that up when we had kids. This time for us is absolutely non-negotiable and must occur.

My husband and I have been married for six years and I had my first child at 32. That's when we started getting a nanny a few hours a week, twice a week. Childcare and babysitting costs us about $1,000 a month.

We have date night every week, at least once a week. When we go on dates, someone has to watch the kids. When my son was a year and a half old, we put someone on the rotation schedule. Now, that person comes three times a week for a few hours for my 4-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter.

Business trips also pop up, and a nanny comes in handy. If I'm away for a week and my husband is at home working, the nanny comes daily. I don't want him to be alone with two kids for a week.

Having a nanny watch the kids allows me to focus on work. It also provides security that I know the children are in good hands, being cared for, and still following their schedules.

Styling cost me between $4,000 and $6,000 last year

Some of my business trips involve high-profile events, including red carpets such as The Grammys and Super Bowl, business and industry conferences, and on-air broadcast appearances. This prompted me to enlist expertise and styling support.

Appearance is really important in the world of business, marketing, and public relations. I love to shop and enjoy buying clothes, but working so much prohibits me from doing it. So, I've been working with my stylist for the last three years.

I work with my stylist by giving them my schedule of upcoming events, and we go from there. With the stylist, I pay for her time, the clothes, and each look. If additional things pop up, I pay her a rush fee. Last year, I spent between $4,000 and $6,000 on styling.

Appearance indeed impacts perception. Looking my best showcases that I can support my marketing and branding clients in doing the same. Working with a stylist is the norm for many of my peers and the senior executive corporate community.

Paying for these things helps to alleviate stress

It requires me to make a certain amount of money to maintain this lifestyle and these luxuries, but I get hours back every day.

Since I have more time, I can go to the spa once a month, which is non-negotiable. I also love the fact that I can go to my son's karate class three times a week with the extra help.

My husband also appreciates my attention to ensuring that good people surround our children and that I have something fun and adventurous planned for us once a week while our children are well taken care of.

The stress we put on ourselves to provide and be excellent can come at a cost. So if I can alleviate some stress and make life a little bit easier, that's why I work hard, and I'm grateful for that. I believe we should all try to give ourselves breaks when possible.

If you have a personal tactic for achieving a better work-life balance and want to share your story, email Manseen Logan at