I’m an old fashioned mom. I like to make things from scratch and do other things that aren’t the norm these days. My family doesn’t own an xBox or any kind of video games (a couple games on my ipod excluded). My kids go outside to play (a novel concept) and jump rope, hula hoop, explore and do other things that you don’t see a lot of kids doing these days. We aren’t in any organized sports or anything like that. Our family dynamics are a lot like they were 50 or 60 years ago. This is actually something that I am quite proud of and something I will probably get on my soap box about another day.
That being said, there are a few things that are totally worth the time saved and money spent because they make my life easier. And these are certainly things that they did not have 50 or 60 years ago.
Some of these things are:
Bagged Salad. I know that it is so much more expensive than making it myself. But it’s not nearly as expensive as buying all of the ingredients and then letting them go rancid in my fridge because I haven’t gotten around to making a salad. This is SO much easier. And my family and I actually eat salad this way.
Purex 3 in 1 Laundry Detergent Sheets. Ok, I know this is WAY more expensive than the alternative. But Lucy is in charge of washing the Laundry and it’s nice not to have to worry that I’ll find a truckload of slippery detergent on the floor. Plus, it comes in a version without perfumes and dyes. Something I have discovered is necessary to keep my husband and eldest daughter from scratching all day or breaking out in hives.
Play-Doh. Within three minutes of opening the containers, the different colors will be mixed to the point where the only distinguishable color is mucky brown, play-doh crumbs are all over the floor and I will walk in to find that all of our plastic animals have suspiciously play-doh like coats, dresses etc. But at 80 cents a can and the hours (I’m serious… HOURS) of fun that my kids are quiet, content and contained… I frankly don’t care how much mess it makes. It takes 5 minutes to clean up. I buy ten cans or so, give them the plastic cookie cutters and they are all happy. After about a month, the little crumbs that get swept up add up to the point that we are down to one can. At that point it’s so full of dry bits of play-doh that it’s basically worthless anyway.
Legos. See play-doh for explanation.
Is the sauce I make better? Heck yeah, is it 45 minutes better? Heck no!
And something that is so good that I’ll never go back to the homemade stuff. Ghiradelli, you are the love of my life. And Matt doesn’t even mind. You are the love of his life too.
Other things that have made my life easier? Not folding laundry. We sort it and put it all in the right drawers, but I don’t fold it. If they want it folded, they do it themselves (actually I fold much more often these days now that my washer and dryer are downstairs again, but in general, I just sort).
Waxing my legs. Believe it or not, I would rather spend 30 minutes in a fair amount of pain (though it hurts less and less the more often I do it) and have no hair on my legs for up to two months, than shave a couple times a week. I’m pretty annoyed now that I’m so pregnant that shaving is easier on my belly than waxing.
Chores. I have two girlies and a boy who are at that wonderful age where they like to help me with chores. The words “can you be my helper” still brings a big smile to their faces. In an attempt to keep them smiling at those words, we pay them 7 cents per chore that they complete a day. They can earn up to $5 a week if they do everything on their chore charts. Since they usually only finish about half of that (Emma, less than Lucy), We all get to enjoy a tidy house for less than $5 a week. So worth it. And lest you fear that I am breaking child labor laws, their chores are things like, cleaning their rooms, scrubbing the toothpaste on the bathroom counter, picking up toys that they have gotten out, that kind of thing. Never Fear, we don’t have a Cinderella situation going on.
Yes it’s true that it would be much cleaner and it would take much less time to do it myself. But I’m more concerned with teaching my children about having a good work ethic and working to earn for things that they want than I am with having a pristine, museum of a home.