We’re partnering with The Second Shift, a company that connects businesses with a network of women experts-for-hire, for a new column called “The Juggle.” Here, we’re asking successful mothers to spill on who does what in their homes, in an effort to shed some light on the concept of “invisible labor.” After all, somebody’s gotta do that laundry…
The Juggler: Eden Grinshpan, chef, cookbook author and host of Top Chef Canada
Her job: It really depends on the day. Right now, she’s working on her first cookbook (it comes out in fall 2020), so she’s focused on tag-teaming ingredient lists with her assistants, then shopping and recipe testing. But she also travels a lot for work—especially when Top Chef Canada is shooting.
Married for: 6 years
Number of kids: One, Age 2
Hired help: Her daughter is in day care, but she also has a nanny to handle mid-afternoon pickups (day care lets out at 3:30 p.m.) and on-demand babysitters to cover evening events and nights out.
Unhired help: “Unfortunately, we don’t live in the same country as our parents, but we do have a group of incredible friends and they’ve been a great resource for me. Like, last month, I had an event that I was contractually obligated to go to. My husband was out of town and my babysitter couldn’t come in. It was one of those moments where you’re like, ‘What the fu**?’ So, I just called one of my closest friends and she and her husband brought their newborn to my house and watched my daughter for me. I feel very lucky to have such amazing people around me here.”
Who handles the bills: “My husband.”
Who handles the day care drop-offs and pickups: “We both wake up every morning and get the baby ready together. My husband drops her off at daycare on his way to work. She gets out at 3:30 p.m. If I’m available, I go and get her, but I also have a nanny who picks her up when I’m not, and then she is with her until the end of the day. I am usually home at around 7 or so, so that I can be there to put her down for bed and carve out a bit of family time.”
Who does the laundry and cleaning: “Me. At least, I cover the majority of it. But honest to God, if my husband was home and I was out, he would take on the household roles, too. We really split things up where we can.”
Who does the grocery shopping and meal planning: “I do—unless I’m traveling for work. In that case, my husband steps in. But since I’m working from home right now, I tend to have more flexibility. I’m also grocery shopping for the book, so it makes sense that I do both at once.”
Who does the cooking: “Mostly me, but when I’m tired of the kitchen, my husband steps in. He’s an amazing cook.”
Who schedules the doctor’s appointments: “Me.”
Who does the scheduling: “Both of us. My husband would love for us to be way more organized. He’s way more organized than I am. I am a scatterbrain and leave everything to the last minute. Poor guy. We communicate a lot through text because we're both really busy throughout the day. And, on say a Sunday night, we’ll sit in bed and go through our week together, and make sure that if we need babysitters, we book the babysitters and any other extra help we need, and we just try to prioritize and plan so that everything is as seamless as possible.”
On asking for help: “It took me a while to ask for help when my daughter was first born. I made it more difficult for myself and it doesn’t make you a better mom if you do everything yourself. All it does is make you more stressed out.”