Saturday, June 29, 2019

When Hustling Doesn't Cut It

You wake up in the morning, tripping over the toys, laundry, and pillows left out from the day before as you make your way to the fridge to fill up your daughter's sippy cup with milk, her version of a morning cup of coffee, just to discover you're all out of the golden cow juice. An early morning tantrum ensues, which you really just don't have the energy for after a late night of trying to catch up on work. After kissing your family goodbye, you make it to work, without a packed lunch but clothed, and face the stack of to-dos you also just don't have the energy for. You head home for dinner, baths, and bed for the kiddos, then fall onto your bed in no better shape than you started the day. Rinse & repeat. Rinse & repeat. Rinse & repeat.

Maybe you can relate to this. Maybe not. Either way, stick with me here.

Many households, especially in Southern California, require two incomes. My husband and I are no different. We each work full-time and run our household to the best of our ability. If you do the math, that's two grown adults for three full-time jobs. It doesn't add up. The beginning scenario is a result of this deficit.

Society says we need to HUSTLE. If we just work harder, sleep less, manage our time better, prioritize, stay up late and wake up early, eat certain foods, drink coffee, write a todo list in a specific format then we'll get it all done. We'll be superhuman.

But at the expense of who? at the expense of what?

We're jeopardizing the health of ourselves and our families every time we choose to hustle without thinking about whether it's the best option. Don't get me wrong! Working hard is admirable and super important to living a fulfilled life, but we also need rest.

We need to know when to ask for help, or in some cases, hire help.

There was a time I'd be embarrassed to admit we indulge in the following services, but not anymore. We need more human power to get all the things done. We also need to know when it's a good idea to say no and stop adding to our ever-growing list, but that's a topic for another day.

Without further ado, here are the 3 things we do to make life more manageable (not to be read as perfect):

1. We have our house cleaned twice a month
We actually stopped doing this in order to pay off debt but my husband and I have both come to the conclusion that it's just not worth it. Getting our house cleaned doesn't mean we have a super put together house all the time, but what it does mean is that I don't stress about the last time the toilets were cleaned or when we're going to have time to scrub the floors. It definitely makes for a happier mama. I also find it easier to keep up on the cleaning than trying to catch up. We get a clean slate every two weeks!

2. We use Amazon Subscribe & Save 
This is a lifesaver! I love logging into our Subscribe & Save Amazon account and just clicking the things we need- deodorant, vitamins, dish soap, cat litter, protein powder. This saves us time and money. It's easy to make sure we stay within our health & household budget before clicking submit order. It also ensures we don't run out of essentials like shampoo & cat food. Plus, it shows up on our doorstep.

3. We order our groceries through Instacart
Oh, my holy guacamole! I want to shower whoever invented Instacart with so much praise. I can shop sales at stores I usually wouldn't drive to, save my normal orders, and again, make sure I stay within budget before hitting submit order. And the best part is that they just show up at our door. I find that the money we save shopping the sales usually is about the amount we spend on the delivery, so we're comfortable calling it a wash.

All of these things cost extra money but they greatly improve our quality of life. By quality of life, I mean we're less stressed and have more time together as a family. Choosing these things does mean we'll be in debt longer, however, we continue to budget and make progress, which is enough for us right now. We only get one life and we're trying to be present as much as possible. 

These things may not be the things that you need help with, but I hope you at least stop to think about whether hustling is the answer or if you can ask for help in a particular area that will make life better. Our lives are a gift, not something to constantly hope gets better. We get to make choices about how we live this very precious life. Will we be grateful or barely hanging on? Will we yell about the water our kiddos splashed on the bathroom floor or will we splash them back while genuinely giggling?

We all need to be at peace with our choices, and I'm here to tell you that if you need to seek help in some way, it's ok. Order your groceries and take a nap until they arrive. Breathe.

Most importantly, please share how you make your life more manageable in the comments below! I'm only sharing 3 ideas and I'm sure there are thousands because your life looks different from mine.


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