Y'all know that I'm yaya-less (nanny-less) right? This is something I have been adamant about - not hiring a fulltime, round the clock help for the whole family -, eversince my firstborn's yaya left us to care for her grandchild instead - that was about 6 years ago. My daughter was 4 or 5 years old at that time and to be honest, if I had a choice then, I would not hire a nanny to begin with. It's just that I was too young to care for a child (read: ZERO patience) and my working hours were so stiff and demanding, I accepted help. Good thing she was good with kids so I didn't really regret that I hired her.
Anyway, my not hiring a nanny all boils down to principles. I believe that a nanny or help, would only encourage my kids not to help at home thus hindering their growth as a person. This, I also believe, doesn't encourage independence in kids and their natural instinct and simple know-how to do things on their own. I certainly would not like to grow needy kids, needing help in everything they do. I want well-rounded individuals for kids, thank you very much.
However, as a mom, I must admit, things are a little tougher when it comes to accomplishing errands especially if one has to work almost fulltime from a computer. You just have to send someone out there to do things for you while you take care of the homefront or have someone look over the home while you run errands that can't be done by anyone else but you. It's a tough job, if you ask me. Finding a good errand runner takes time, it's more like finding yourself a good personal assistant. Your errand runner should be efficient and reliable. You should be able to trust this person fully since he or she will have to act on your behalf when situation calls for it. While I remain nanny-less, I have a group of people whom I consider as my errand runners to help me get out of sticky situations - and fast!
So how to put together your own team/errand runners? Start with your own family members. Since my daughter is already 11 years old, I can easily ask her to look after her baby brother when I'm away or simply busy with work and household chores. Your friends can also act as your errand runners once in a while so as your neighbors if they are up for it. Some of my errand runners were found online, both local and overseas. For example, I need to check something in San Francisco, say, a company or some important documents, but it's physically impossible to do it myself right away. My next move would be to consult ads sites like Zaarly, type in keywords "errand services san francisco" then browse through ads to see if something fits my needs. You can also post ads, if you want, then just wait for service providers to contact you. This can also be done using your mobile phone - a big plus especially when you're on the move.
Going nanny-less is hard, but it is indeed doable. You just need reliable people around you.