Scaling Back and Some Whining

Sounds good doesn’t it? Scaling back. Getting my life in order. Doing what really matters. Quality time.

When I first quit my job in 2003, I thought I’d freelance and earn a proper living doing it. I knew it was the right thing to do for my son, who was a little over a year old then.

I thought I’d would be able to take him to the park, have picnic lunches in the back yard, keep him on a reasonable sleep/wake schedule, have time for myself to read, work-out, be happy. I fantasized about writing–maybe knocking out that novel that’s been running around in the back of my head. I had plans to take some art classes at the junior college. I fantasized about having a clean house. Sure, it would probably still have kid clutter everywhere, but grime and dust would no longer muck up my home, I reasoned.

So, how am I doing?
Well some of what I thought would happen did happen. I did spread out the picnic blanket on the lawn a few times. I’ve been here for my son … well, way more than I would have been if I were still working 50 hours per week in Roseville. I’m (theoretically) able to put him in the kind of day care that I approve of.

The flip side: I work nearly every night, often till 11 or 12. I ignore my husband when I have a deadline. I “scale back” and sacrifice order in my home for my clients and this place starts looking like a bomb went off in here. When I’m on my computer, Lucas sometimes plays nicely and sometimes runs completely amok. Yesterday I found him with marker pen all up and down his left arm and both sides of his hand because I was on the phone doing corrections with an author and designer. The day before, he ate who knows how much play dough when I wasn’t looking.

It’s probably the time of year—or it’s partly the time of year—But I’m feeling pretty beat down. I have a project that won’t die. I have a project that’s going to be late because of the project that won’t die. I’m pretty much ignoring both Lucas and Ian. I shove my kid out the door everyday and hope for the best. (At least he’s with friends today.)

I’m just plain tired. And I’ve even turned down something like 5 projects in the last two weeks. I just can’t manage any more.

So, do I have any time for myself? No, not a drop. Not a whit. I’m doing great on days when I get to shower. I’m off my eating plan because I don’t have time to go to the grocery store. I haven’t exercised in months and months. I don’t read. I’m stealing time just to write this complaint right now.

So does anybody who (amazingly) has managed to read this far know of a housekeeper who might clean out a mucky fridge?

5 Responses to “Scaling Back and Some Whining”

  • andrewred
    October 6, 2005 at 5:15 pm

    I’ll bet there are 3 or 4 folks in your friends list who would be willing to do it without even blinking.


  • foseelovechild
    October 6, 2005 at 5:27 pm

    I would suggest online grocery shopping with delivery. It’s AWESOME, really.

    Ruby’s Housekeeping is really good and thorough. She comes in with a couple people and they each take a room or two and do a full cleaning really fast.
    One time is kinda spendy, but if it’s an every other week or every week thing there are good price breaks.


  • thaemos
    October 7, 2005 at 2:43 pm

    I have used Dana’s housekeeping. I found them to be excellent at getting things from Hell, to manageable. They are very reasonably priced. Their general operating procedure is to bring 2 people for a day and then put you on a regular schedule once a week/ other week/ whatever, which is one person for 4 hours. You make a list, and they run down the list till their out of town.
    (916) 648-9985

    Look…I know it’s kinda bourgeois and all, but if you make more than $30/hour to do something not just anyone can do. It’s just silly not to pay someone else to do the things that “anyone” can do. Especially when you can get a 3:1 deal on your time/money. You worked to hard to demand a better wage, now cash it in and get your time back. Do the stuff you want to do, or like to have done a specific way.

    I agree with suz about the online shopping. Albertson’s will let you save lists. So you can keep a comprehensive list of everything you generally buy for the house, and then just remove the items you don’t need this week and press the “bring me food, bitch” button. Two hours saved and Lucas didn’t go to the store where he can ask for every last shinny object in the store. Not that that actually happens.

    Add in laundry and yard work if you can get a good deal. Maintenance is the most expensive thing we spend our time on.


  • sarabellae
    October 7, 2005 at 7:38 pm

    Thanks for all the great suggestions. Maybe I’ll try to find time to call some of these people. We used to have a housekeeping service back when we were DINKs. I tried one again when Lucas was a baby for a while, but I felt the quality and thoroughness of cleaning dramatically reduced after a couple of months. Then I quit and became poor.


  • chilipantz
    October 9, 2005 at 1:01 pm

    Man. And here I am sitting here with nothing to do BESIDES home-making, house-buying errands, worrying about the New Orleans chapter of my family and obsessing about not having a job. Hmmmmm. Is it at all possible you have a few projects or parts of projects you could outsource? If you are this successful, perhaps it’s time to hire a few assistants. (In case you didn’t get the hint; Oooh! Pick me! Pick me!)


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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

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    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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