Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The Weekends - Part Two

Back to the two days I have to spend with my children, husband, friends and family...
The short time can wear a bit thin!

A big factor that I increasingly integrated after the birth of my daughter, is outsourcing. That’s when you delegate tasks to others, most commonly for a fee. Before I had my daughter I thought the idea of  paying for things I was completely capable of doing was ludicrous. I’d never hired anyone to clean, paint, watch my previously non-existant children, let alone buy my food or wash my clothes. Now, I can say that I’ll happily outsource every one of those tasks, lol. I’m only one person and yes, everyone has the same 24 hours. But not everyone has the same village or resources. The expense can be high for premium services, however, with some frugality and creativity, those tasks that can free up time and energy can totally be taken off my plate.

If I spent 30 minutes getting my kids ready to go to the store, or to be left while I go without them, my shopping trip has already doubled in time. If they come with, add another hour of car seats, snacks, potty stops, negotiations and extra caution, lol. That’s another hour and nothing has even hit the cart yet. Instead, Amazon Prime with the Fresh benefit is an extra $15/month for unlimited deliveries, plus a well earned tip each time. I can certainly not buy coffee in the mornings (for all time!) if in return I get 3+ hours and untold amounts of calmness restored in my life. I also use Instacart at times and in the past I’ve tried Peapod, Safeway and Prime Now Delivery. I also have a butcher box subscription for most of our meat.

I also discovered that I need a “mother’s helper” and not a baby sitter, on a regular basis. For a few hours a week, she is me, lol. She comes and watches the kids while I do stuff, or she does stuff so I can actually enjoy time with my family. Trying to cook, while keeping both kids safely away from the stove, while playing pretend, while doling out random snack bribes and not burning anything up... is not my idea of quality time. I’ve tried it every which way, and get stuck in this place several times a week. So if I can pay someone I like for a few hours a week to either fold clothes in the “clean room” lol, or take the kids out to play in the dirt while I calmly fold clothes (& listen to music or watch adult tv and catch glimpses of them out the window) - it’s almost priceless. I just wish I discovered the right term for this person 2 years ago. Womp womp.

So this outsourced work usually occurs on the weekends so that both my husband and I get a break, or at least to just enjoy our family without some of the turmoil and time pressure. I don’t outsource any of the things I do enjoy. I like to cook, once the food is here, lol. And I like to garden, and even wash clothes (it ends there, I hate folding/drawer-stuffing and I will not iron - teenage me still smells the spray starch of many hours toiled). I also like to do my hair and my daughter’s hair.  But I’m totally an advocate for outsourcing anything unpleasant or time/labor intensive so long as the budget allows. This “sanity” budget means that I’m willing to cut certain things to give myself something more important - a break. I’m only one person (Mom, wife, director, professional, artist, dreamer...) so like I tell my daughter all the time, “be nice to yourself.”

I’ll post more about budgeting in the future. I’ve been in a lot of life stages, and the one I’m in now has it’s own set of challenges!

Friday, August 23, 2019

Testing a product and a video editing app... What do you think?

Here is a video I shot, put together and edited on my iphone! As I mentioned, I don't have much time (note my son's cameo at the end of the video lol) so any tools, shortcuts or sacrifices that pan out are of high interest. I'll go ahead and post my journey back online, because we're all doing it nowadays!

Let me know what you think of the video and if you have any cheap apps you like to use.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

The Weekends, Part 1. Mommy/Daughter Time

We get a measly two days to do all the things I can’t do during the week. And I do consider doing nothing, a thing by the way. There are 3, equally weighted, priorities I have each weekend. This post is about how I start off on Saturday with part 1. In a later post/video I’ll talk about shifts in priorities and the whole work/life conundrum. 

I try to prioritize spending one on one time with my daughter. She’s a very smart and emotional 4 year old, still adjusting to being a big sister. Week nights are packed with tasks and processes for getting dinner done, preparing for the next day and then preparing for bed. I get home at 7p, or later, so we don’t get much time to just exist during the week.

She’s always done well at restaurants and surprisingly, doctor or dentist appointments (which she still thinks are fun activities lol). After that short list of options here are a few other cheap or free things we take few hours to do:

  • Leisurely strolls through Ikea and then their super affordable lunch 
  • Local water features like the one in Riverdale Park, Downtown SilverSpring or Georgetown waterfront. 
  • Neighborhood parks with snacks packed
  • The little rides at the mall lol 
  • Perusing Whole foods produce section and then their pizza is her favorite 
  • Any local events or story times, however, I like to be on our own time with no pressure so these are often ditched 
  • Gardening and looking for worms 
We just put her in ballet class and she loves it. So now I just stay out with her a bit after that. Here we were today. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

2019 Updates!

Long time. Like, long long time.
  • I have a new baby boy! 
  • I have a new job. 
  • My daughter is 4! 
  • I’m gardening for my second year at
  • Our newish house which is much bigger than my first home 
  • Which I sold :-o 
I’m focused on being a mom and wife and friend during virtually all of my free time. I still like to read, write, draw and paint, but finding ways to multi-task has been challenging. That’s not to say I haven’t found creative ways to remain creative. I get a lot done in my 24 hours and some of the ways I do so are worth sharing with my fellow busy professionals and homemakers. They say you can’t truly multi task and instead, your brain bounces back and forth between the mutual distractions. For some tasks, sure... But many mom, commuter and homemaker tasks require only physical presence. There’s also the notion that rich people don’t have the same 24 hours as the rest of us, which is trueeeeee. But becoming a working mom of two has required a re-jiggering of my relationship with my money and I’ve been able to extend my hours lol. More to come but at this moment I just wanted to type something up now that I decided to renew my domain name for another 2 years. It lapsed on the 5th :-o Agh, the pressure! TTYS. 

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