First of all, I would like to acknowledge that it is Monday, and I know that. I could pretend this post got lost in the Internet, but I won’t. Besides, that only works these days with the 50 and above crowd, most of the time.
That being said, Guilt Free Saturday is more of a state of mind, anyway.
With this in mind, I would like to share this cartoon with you, which one of my friends posted on Facebook:
Whenever anyone used to ask me, “Wow, how do you do it all?” I had an answer I used for the past year or so that usually gives the complimenter pause (because in the world of working moms, looking like you are doing it all is the goal, and acknowledgement of that, a compliment): “Badly.”
Believe me, not too many people know how to respond to that one.
More than anything, it was a reflection on how I was feeling. Which, incase the answer wasn’t obvious, was, in fact, pretty bad, most of the time. I hadn’t lost my baby weight, my tiny house was in shambles most of the time, and I felt terrible for leaving my baby while I went to work-and terrible on the days I was grateful to leave her to go to work.
Eventually, something had to give. I began to realize one of what I like to call The Big Mommy Secrets; are you ready for this? When you become a mom, you don’t change. You just are you with a baby. Any changes thereafter come as a necessity and having a child you care about as a motivator.
I am a terrible homemaker. And not just when it comes to housework; I don’t decorate either. I am happy with a mattress on the floor and a few piles of books. I hate cleaning, laundry, and DIY projects. I can’t sew. I am not a weekend warrior. Cooking, in fact, is my only real homemaking skill. I like any home project that involves giving things away so I never have to wash them again. That is about it.
Yet, this voice in my head believed that once I became a mother, not only would I want to do these things, I would like to do these things. That my sweet baby would make me into a Stepford wife.
Well, here is what happened. Not only did I not become a Stepford wife, I realized that I was using my baby to have fun making by MORE MESSES. I mean, seriously. I love throwing toys everywhere. And splashing in the tub. And undoing entire rolls of toilet paper. That is how I roll!
Finally, a Wise Woman revealed the answer to this sticky issue. How does one balance misery (and, let’s be honest, somewhat selfish homemaking tendencies) with the needs of one’s family? How do you use free time as family time, and not “let’s scrub the bathroom” time?
Outsourcing, my friends. Outsourcing. There is an entire service economy out there to be had for the taking, and before you think to yourself, “that’s too expensive,” I am here to tell you that it’s not. There are people willing to clean your house, do your laundry, deliver groceries, deliver meals, walk your dog, and play with your children so you can do something else. There are professional services, teenagers looking for a few extra bucks, and individuals looking to trade and barter services.
What stops most women from taking advantage of these isn’t money. It’s guilt. The voice in your head that tells you you should be bringing home the bacon, frying it, and then washing the pan. Now, when someone says to me, “how do you do it all?” I smile and say, “Outsourcing.” There is still the same pause after this response. But these days, I don’t focus on bringing home the bacon, frying it, and washing the pan; I just enjoy myself some delicious, crispy bacon.