I’m afraid at times I’ve given the impression that I “do it all”. If you don’t have that impression, GOOD! But, a few people have recently said something along those lines, and well, it’s not near the truth!
I do some things but there is certainly a long list of things I don’t do at all, or if I must, not well.
If you’ll give me a few hundred words, I’ll share just a few.
Balance our checkbook
I haven’t balanced a checkbook in at least 5 years. I don’t even HAVE a check register. We have all but 1 bill automated, never have cash and monitor all activity through our online banking and mint.com account. Several years ago, I would balance the checkbook religiously but it got to the point I got so frustrated that I just threw my hands up and said life is too short to balance a checkbook.
We tried all cash a few years ago but after I lost $100 and Scott got frustrated at having to remember it, we both agreed it wasn’t for us.
We do keep a budget in mint.com and I monitor it closely so hopefully Dave Ramsey is not crying too hard somewhere.
Clean Our House
As a trade-off for working full-time we have someone clean our house biweekly. I know I can do it, and did for a time, but I choose to spend my limited time doing other things. I feel exactly zero guilt about getting help and I love my house every other Wednesday about noon.
Do The Dishes
I’ve mentioned this before but let’s be clear–I rarely wash dishes. I empty the dishwasher and do the dishes if Scott is too busy with a project but the general rule is that I cook and he cleans.
I haven’t filed a piece of paper in years. I keep super important papers in a pile inside of our file cabinet but I haven’t filed anything. The papers in-process I need are in stacks in my desk and in the kitchen and wherever else a piece of paper happens to land. I’m really, really bad at paperwork. It’s still on my list to read 10 Steps to Organized Paper.
OK, let’s just be clear–I am horrible at organizing anything. My bookshelves are a wreck, my shoes are piled in my shoe rack, the Tupperware cabinet looks like there was an earthquake, my pantry is stuffed and my linen closet is disheveled. Sure, my house is picked up most of the time but don’t go looking too hard or you’ll find my messes.
Get My Hair Cut
When my hair was short, I would get a hair cut every 6 weeks but I’m too cheap and too busy to do that now. So I grew my hair out and last time I got it professionally cut was last summer. I cut it myself two months ago. I actually need to break down and get a good cut soon but just adding this to say I don’t spend hours at a salon every 6 weeks.
Get My Eyebrows Plucked
I’m a home-plucker. Again, too cheap and busy.
Get Regular Pedicures
I’m a home-pedicurist (is that a word–probably not). I might get one once a year at the start of summer but that’s usually it.
Go Shopping – Even at Target
It is rare that I go shopping anymore. Rare. Now, when I do go out, I might spend a chunk of change but that’s only because I usually only do it twice a year and most of it is on the kids. Those darn kids keep growing. My friend Dani feels mercy on me every once in a while and gives me bags of her hand-me-downs.
More specifically, I only go to Target if I absolutely must. I learned in the past few years that it’s just a downfall for me. I want every other thing there and I spend too much money so I deliberately don’t go. I get most of our toiletries free or almost free at CVS and get other absolute necessities at WalMart. And even then, I try to send Scott.
I’ll add a caveat here and say I do grocery shop on my own religiously on Saturday mornings. It’s rare we go any other day.
Unless I put an appointment or event in my calendar I rarely remember it. I’m so bad at this. If you are expecting me at a party of some sort and I’m a no-show, please text me and help me save face. The invitation is drowning in some sort of paper pile in the house. It’s not you, party-planner, it’s me.
Remember Birthdays, Special Occasions, etc
And more to the point, I’m really, really bad at remembering people’s birthdays or anniversaries. Facebook is a lifesaver most of the time. But still, please don’t expect cards. I’m so bad at this and wish I was better. It’s not that I don’t care. In my head, I’m throwing confetti but I can just never get myself to a store to get a card or organize my paper enough to put something in the mail. Remember, I don’t even mail my bills?
When the kids have something special at school, I’m the mom running to Walmart the morning the t-shirt is due and dropping it off in the office. Again, the reminder is buried in a paper pile somewhere.
It is a rare day that I attempt a DIY project. You’ve seen a few projects on here but that’s because it’s rare and it needs documented.
OK, so this one goes back and forth. Sometimes I get on a kick and exercise regularly but other times, like now, I’m not doing anything. We did the P90X for 60 days but then Spring happened. I seemed to trade time with the garden and pool in the summer for exercising in the winter.
I probably need a whole post on this but at the current time, I’m not regularly watching any TV. Yep, I gave it up. I watched The Office finale last week and one or two season finales after skipping the back half of the season. I quit a few months ago and I LOVE the extra time.
After trying Tae Kwon Do, guitar, gymnastics, art and horseback riding lessons, my girls have spent the past year not doing any extracurricular activities other than school-related clubs. I don’t spend evenings or weekends at practices, games, concerts, recitals or otherwise. Both girls are showing interest starting back up in the fall so we’ll see if this lasts.
Get Up Early
There was a season where I was getting up about an hour early and I loved it. I saw a lot of benefits and wish I could get back in the habit. But right now, I get up when I absolutely have to and usually it means stumbling to the kids room after hitting snooze 4 times. I don’t get to bed super late. I try to be asleep by 10 but I still find myself needing at least 8 hours of sleep.
I could add a ton more here…sew, can food, scrapbook, volunteer at charities regularly, travel often, go to the movies, attend sporting events…oh my word, what DO I do??
I hope you get the drift–there’s a lot I don’t do or don’t do well and I’m nowhere near a super mom.
I don’t list this to shame myself. I just realize I have budget limitations, time limitations, organizational impairments, and personality weaknesses. And I want to be sure you see them too. Please, please don’t ever think I do it all. It’s hard to know these kinds of things when we live screen to screen where you’re often reading my highlight reel.
The truth is no person anywhere is doing their best in every area at the same time.
In the past few years, it’s helped to see we go through different seasons with different roles. When the kids were little I was horrible at cooking dinner and grocery shopping but I exercised regularly and watched a lot of TV because that’s how I stayed sane. Then there are other things, like organizing, that I just don’t think will ever be strong suit for me.
So, let’s just do what we can always do—for ourselves and others: celebrate the things we’re doing well and paint some grace into the gaps.
So fess up, what do you NOT do?