It's Gross! Outsource it

Parents pay to pass off dirty work

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    How much to have someone else get rid of the lice? Try $80/hour.

    Spray, spray. Comb, comb.  Repeat.  Many times. 

    Any parent who’s had to treat a child for lice knows it can be a tedious chore.  Now, two San Diego moms are helping other parents avoid having to perform the dreaded lice treatment, with a new company called Lice Masters.

    It's Gross! Outsource It

    [DGO] It's Gross! Outsource It
    Even in tough economic times, outsourcing dirty work of parenthood is becoming much more common. (Published Saturday, May 9, 2009)

    "They're at their wits end, they are still covered. So by the time we get there they are very thankful to see us,"says Kollen Dennison.

    Dennison and her partner Janet Akrin use natural products and say they can usually treat kids more effectively and quicker than other parents because they’ve dealt with it so many times before as preschool teachers.

    "It's so hard to get rid of them and if you don't know what you're looking for, you're going to have them for awhile," says Arkin, "we just decided this was something we could help with cause we know what we're looking at."

    The ladies charge $80 an hour, and say most children generally take about that long to be effectively treated.

    And the Lice Masters appear to be part of a growing industry catering to parents who are willing to pay for help. From potty training to car seat installation, outsourcing that dirty work of parenthood is becoming more common.

    "I think parents these days, particularly working parents that are trying to balance careers,” says Shelley Halpain, mother of two and a half year old twins Julian and Alex.

    “Two career families with two children, they value their time with their children, and being able to pass off some of these chores to professionals is a great help," Halpain says.

    Halpain hired Brian Mott, with Baby Home Safety to install plexi-glass along a second story balcony, to keep her boys from tumbling down.

    "We just realized this was too big of a task for us to take on ourselves," says Shelley Halpain.

    Mott also added latches on cabinets, gates near stairs and tied dressers to the walls.

    "What I can do in maybe two or three hours could possibly take the homeowners eight or ten hours to do," explains Mott.

    Another tough chore can be making sure your child's car seat is installed properly.  For forty bucks, Bessie Geilenfeldt with the Pacific Safety Council will take the headache out of the sometimes confusing, but extremely important task.

    "They're reading the instructions, it's Greek to them, they don't understand the terminology," Geilenfeldt says.

    Meanwhile,Lauren Pichard pitches herself as "Your Own Affordable Supernanny."  With a Masters degree in child psychology, the San Diego woman is a personal coach for parents.  A session runs about $60, with other packages available for longer coaching.

    "There's a huge need, I mean every family could use support," Pichard says, "it could be one session to three months, five months all depending on what they need."

    In Chicago, Wendy Sweeney offers a day-long crash course in toliet training called"Booty Camp."  After receiving national attention, she is about to release a DVD version of the course for about $90.