I have a friend who worked part-time when her kids were growing up (which would be ideal….oh, how I’d kill to work part time) and she’s forever telling me, “I don’t know how you do it all, Heather. Working full time, doing all that stuff with the kids, writing, running marathons…I couldn’t have done all that when my kids were young.”
She means it as a compliment, of course, but the truth is that I don’t do it all. There are lots of things I let slide because there are only so many hours in the day and at some point, you just have to let some sh@# go.
There are always trade offs. Here are a few of mine:
I don’t cook family dinners. In fact, we rarely eat dinner together more than once or twice a week. And I totally count standing around the breakfast bar noshing on hot dogs, sliced apples, and veggies-and-dip as a family dinner.
I’ve given up on my carpets and living room furniture. Wear your shoes. Sit on side of the couch and squish the cushions down. I don’t care. I’d rather buy new furniture every five years than spend hours of my life yelling at kids to “sit right,” fluff pillows, and vacuum pet hair off the cushions. And, I’m totally tearing that carpet out when we finish the kitchen.
I don’t nag about home projects. Been there, done that. It sucks for everyone. If it takes 4 years to finish the kitchen renovation, well…whatever. Just one more good reason not to cook, right?
I don’t remove stains or repairs clothes. If it’s stained or ripped, it’s an underlayer, or it’s trash. If I truly care about it, I’ll take it to my mother, the stain wizard.
I rarely bring a dish. I never offer to bring a dish. If asked to do so, it’s likely I will. A.) Ask Dan to make something. B). Stop at the store on the way to your house and buy something. C.) Feign ignorance (oh, were we supposed to bring something?)
I don’t iron. I won’t even buy clothes that need to be ironed. Ditto for those that need dry cleaned…because you know I’m never going to make it there to drop it off, right?
I don’t answer the phone. I hate talking on the phone. The only person I talk to is my mother…and sometimes a sibling. Text or email me.
I don’t plant annuals. Why bother? Perennials do the job just fine and they come back every year.
I don’t host parties. I know people who love throwing parties. I’m not one of them. It’s a shame because Dan loves to host parties and we have an amazing yard/pool, but I find the whole ordeal to be exhausting and mentally draining.
I don’t go to funeral homes. If I show up at a funeral home, you know I really love you or I am totally socially obligated to be there because I hate those place. And you know I have a problem with the entire death industry anyway.
I don’t check homework or go through backpacks. The girls are 10 and 12, old enough to learn some personal responsibility. I ask “Got any homework tonight?” and “Anything your bag I need to see?” Sure, this has led to more than a few D’s, missed info from the school, and an occasional detention for the kids, but whatevs. Welcome to the real world, girls.
I don’t do any lawn or snow-removal work. I have no idea how to use the lawnmower and no intentions of learning. Ditto for the snowblower. I have four-wheel drive and a lead foot and that’s all a girl really needs in the winter.
I don’t fold underwear. I dump it all into a drawer in a big jumbled heap and, you know what? It works just fine.
I don’t do whites. Ask my husband, he’s the poor guy gets stuck dealing with two baskets of socks, t-shirts, dishtowels and underwear. I have dozens of running socks so I can hold out longer than he can.
I don’t clean every week. I gave that shit up after the 2nd kid was born. The house is usually picked up, but I wouldn’t go eating things off the floor or running a white glove over anything.
I totally gave up on scrapbooking. The roughly 345,987 digital photos I’ve taken in the last 10 years are in digital purgatory.