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Melbourne parents, Jessi and Ben, discover the magic of mtime

Jessi and Ben are new parents trying to balance Ben’s long working hours with Jessi’s role as full-time carer to six-month-old Eddy. All in the midst of COVID lockdowns in Melbourne. Life hasn’t been easy… but with the help of mtime and our wonderful Moncierge, Chantal, they are striking a balance in their week and discovering the real value of household help.

The time crunch is real

Even if you haven’t heard the term ‘the time crunch’, it’s something you are guaranteed to have experienced. Especially if you are a working mother with young children.

You know that feeling when you’re constantly being pulled from work... to home... to the kids’ school... to caring for ageing parents… All. At. The. Same. Time. 

Call it the time crunch, or the mental load, or just the juggle of life, but it’s causing significant work-family conflict for Australian families. 

What’s the solution? Does one partner in the family put the brakes on work to have more time for the family and household? She could - and it is mostly women who do it - but that comes with its own challenges, not the least her financial position both in earnings as well as superannuation and the trajectory of her career. And what of single parents? Or families where one partner can’t work due to a disability?

This isn’t hearsay. It’s well documented in the 2019 Australian Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey and elsewhere in academic and government research.

Forging a path forward

The sad reality is that outsourcing all of the things can only add to the burden. A nanny won’t clean your house, a cleaner won’t look after the kids and who is going to cook dinner? 

But there is a solution. It’s a solution that, to date, has given busy families more 20,000 hours of time back in their day through the outsourcing of domestic tasks.

It’s us. We’re the solution. 

In fact, we’re more than a solution. We’re a for purpose business committed to supporting busy families and giving back to the Australian community. 

At mtime we offer a unique, one-of-a-kind Moncierge service that wraps the role of a nanny, cook, cleaner and household manager all into one single person. Moncierges support busy families with child care, meal preparation and cooking, light housekeeping, grocery shopping, look after pets and so much more.

Every hour you spend doing something that someone else can do is an hour you can’t spend on something only you can do. Our Moncierges are that someone else - an extra set of hands - so you can get precious hours back to do what you need and want to do. At mtime we have a goal to create one million hours of quality time to relieve the work-family conflict experienced by Australian families. 

The mtime experience

The actual experience of welcoming a Moncierge into your home is something that is even more incredible in practice than it looks on paper. 

Just ask mtime clients, Jessi and Ben. They are parents to six-month-old Eddy, an adorable little guy who loves reading, rolling on the floor and making a mess with a meal of pureed carrots. Barry the dog is the furry member of their family.

Ben works long hours in his job at a tech company in Melbourne. Due to COVID he is currently working remotely at home and putting in about 60-70 hours a week. 

Jessi is on maternity leave from her senior role in executive recruitment in the insurance industry. She is Eddy’s primary carer...and as anyone who has been the primary carer of an infant knows, it’s a 24/7 job. 

Jessi first heard about mtime through a friend and was immediately interested. She’ll be returning to a senior corporate role in a few months so getting help to manage the juggle was at the front of her mind.

“I hadn’t heard of something like that before and I was interested in the idea of someone coming to help with cooking, cleaning, general housekeeping, running errands and general childcare,” recalls Jessi. 

The family signed up to mtime and were ultimately matched with Chantal, a Moncierge who has worked with us for more than three years. Prior to taking time out of the workforce to have her own children - two active boys - Chantal worked as a nanny for 10 years.

Jessi and Ben have two three-hour Moncierge sessions with Chantal every week. The couple decided the days and times that suited them best and this was a consideration in choosing the right Moncierge for their family. 

“My role is to assist busy families with household tasks,” explains Chantal. “Being a Moncierge for Jessi and Ben has been great. I might do some meal prep, grocery shopping, cleaning or walking Barry the dog.” 

Feeding time made easier with the support of Chantal, the Carroll family's Moncierge

Crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s

For both Ben and Jessi, knowing who was coming into their home was really important. As it is for any parent who is thinking of entrusting their precious children into the hands of a carer.

“One of the things I definitely wanted to check out before Chantal joined us was what certifications and accreditations she did have,” explains Ben. “All of that was checked out with mtime so that put a little bit of peace of mind there.”

While Ben was initially worried that the first session with Chantal would be awkward, he actually found it to be a very easy and relaxed experience. Ben admits that “the whole process, the whole experience from day dot was seamless.”

Jessi felt a similar connection to Chantal, easing very quickly into the new relationship with an extra set of hands to help around the house.

“We got along from the beginning,” she recalls. “Eddy took to her straight away. She’s got such a lovely nature and you can tell that she’s worked with children before. 

There was quite a lot of rigour that went into the selection process and finding the right person based on what I was looking for.

The support from the mtime Concierges has also been great. It feels very high touch. I get a text message at the end of every session just to ask for my feedback and I get a text message ahead of every session to remind me of the session coming up. There are people available to me if I have any feedback or things I need to work through. It’s been amazing.”

Solving the time crunch

Jessi admits that she didn’t realise just how good the Moncierge service would be until she actually experienced it. 

“It’s the time that you get back that is the value. As a first time parent there’s this thing I’m going through now and it’s a constant balance of trying to ensure that I’m spending quality time with my son, the house is being run, I’m getting everything done that needs to be done and also getting time for myself. 

I’m a big believer in self-care and I think that’s one of the first things that gets deprioritised when you start caring for others. Having a Moncierge here has helped me get that balance back.

At first it was a bit of a process of letting go and letting someone else do things for me. I didn’t know how I would go with it but it’s been easier than I thought. Once I realised what I could do with that time to be more present with Eddy and not be thinking about what I should be doing in the house, in the background it was easy.

What I like most is Chantal’s ability to come in and insert herself into the home. It literally feels like a second pair of hands for wherever you need to be on the day.”

Ben agrees that the value Chantal brings is the time they get back for their family.

“I know it’s been great for Jessi to get out of the house and go to the gym or have lunch with a girlfriend.”

As family cook, Chantal has also made that job easier for Ben by helping with the groceries and preparing the meal in advance. 

For Chantal, this is all part of her job and what she loves to do. 

“It’s so rewarding to see families so relaxed with my support,” she explains. “I feel like I’ve done my job as a carer. I love caring for other people and building that relationship. I enjoy caring for children and I have experience running a household so it’s the perfect job for me.”

Chantal taking care of Eddy during one of her weekly visits

Streamlined support

A Moncierge isn’t a nanny. And they aren’t a cleaner or a chef or a household manager. They are all of these things in one.

Rather than multiple outlays for different services, you pay a single hourly rate and have a flexible Moncierge service to use as you need during each session. For both Jessi and Ben, this made choosing mtime a no brainer.

“The flexibility that we’ve got with Chantal as opposed to having to go through different service providers made things very simple,” explains Ben. “From my perspective I saw it as good value.”

“The flexibility of the model and the continuity of care is so valuable,” adds Jessi. “We’re building rapport with Chantal and equally she’s getting to know us and how we like to do things. We ran through our preferences at the first session and at the second session it just happened.

If I think about mtime being a holistic service and how we’ve previously outsourced individual services, it’s a no brainer to be honest. The value you are getting completely outweighs having to outsource five or six different services where you’ve then got different people, different relationships and different arrangements. mtime is definitely a much easier option for us.”

Find your balance

By hiring a Moncierge, Jessi and Ben have both found more balance in their week. In Chantal they have a flexible extra set of hands to step in wherever they need it. Whether it’s taking  Barry for a walk, making baby food for Eddy, picking up the groceries or folding the laundry, it’s all in the job description.

Jessi herself admitted that she didn’t realise how amazing a Moncierge would be until she experienced it for herself. It’s the type of feedback we regularly receive from our clients. After their first trial session they have a sudden “aha” moment where they realise how different their week could be, even with just a few hours of household help.

Through our rigorous matching process we will find your perfect Moncierge - your person. Sign up to mtime to take the first step towards finding more balance and time in your life.

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