Thursday, 14 January 2016

Two things for you

I didn't find the adjustment to being a mum too difficult but the adjustment to being a housewife was a struggle for me. Apart from anything else, you get next to no feedback at home. I remember Ed coming home and me being all like, "Hey, did you notice that I tidied that shelf? Is this food ok? Do you like it? Did you see that I swept outside? I alphabetised the spices. Are you sure this food is ok?" Ed was of course all, "Yes, you're amazing, I love you, thank you, blah, blah, blah". I'm pretty sure he was probably thinking something more upon the lines of "hmmm, I wonder how long this is going to last? Do I need to get my head around the idea of being a stay at home Dad. Is she going insane?"

In my defence, our situation was a bit weird because I was starting from a very low base. Ed had been off work or working from home for years leading up to Miss J's arrival so he'd been in charge of most of the house stuff. I knew nothing. I remember when we first got a notification in the mail saying we had to go and get a parcel from the post office, honestly having no idea where the post office was. I remember getting frustrated that the plastic bags I was getting at the shops didn't fit in our bin and Ed calmly telling me it was because if you go in the 15 items or less aisle they give you smaller bags. I remember thinking I was never going to just know things like that. Never.

Three years later, I'm confident to say I'm nailing this housewife thing. There's always room for improvement but I'm super organised and with organisation comes extra time and with extra time comes improvement. So I'm feeling pretty good about it all. I still can't say I'm an awesome cook but I am very proficient at following a recipe and I know where to find lots of good recipes. I've even become an occasional recipe tester for my favourite recipe app, 4 Blades (nobody is paying me to say that. I just really like it and use it a lot).

The other obvious difference between now and when I first went on maternity leave, is that we have now have three small children so things are a lot more difficult. Also, I don't feel like I need feedback as much. I have my plans and schedules and I know that if I'm meeting those plus keeping the children alive, than I am achieving. It's that whole thing about if you have a list and get to tick things off, you simply feel good. Even if you made the list up yourself. Or perhaps especially if you made the list up yourself.

I'm planning to write and share more about organisation in the coming months but for now I thought I'd share two things for you which I thoroughly recommend. These are for you. They will improve your life immensely.

1. Get a cleaner. If you can afford it, get a cleaner. Even if you only keep it up while you're receiving maternity pay, it is so worth it. We have two ladies, mother and daughter, who come fortnightly for an hour and a half. It's great. One person for three hours would be a bit annoying but to get out of their way for an hour and a half is easy. I am extremely happy to spend the $85 each fortnight.

It doesn't mean I don't have to clean at all but I don't have to do the big stuff. When that line of scum shows up on the bath, I don't think, "oh dear, I really need to clean that," I think, "Oh well, the cleaners will be here in a few days." It wasn't the actual cleaning that was getting me down, it was the constant feeling that I should be cleaning. I was finding it impossible to relax when there was always something to be cleaned. I no longer have that feeling and I love it. 

2. Embrace on-demand television. So now that I don't have to feel guilty about cleaning, when the boys are napping and Miss 3 is having quiet play in her room, I really do get to watch tv if I want to. However, there is nothing more soul destroying than mid afternoon tv. 

You don't have to put up with that. I've only used iview and tenplay but I'm pretty sure every channel now has some kind of on-demand facility. You can watch whatever you want, whenever you want. I watched the Bachelorette through Tenplay and I'm now enjoying Please Like Me on iview. We've also got Netflix now and I love it. It costs $12 per month and there are literally hundreds and hundreds of shows, documentaries and movies. You can binge watch to your hearts content. I've enjoyed Orange is the New Black, Jessica Jones, Suits, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Jane the Virgin and currently loving Master of None. 

It's not just the choice that makes this way of watching tv so much better than the old way. There are no ads and you can pause, stop and start as much as you want. Netflix has a 30 second rewind button so when Miss 3 comes out to ask me some terribly important questions, I simply pause, answer the question, rewind for 30 seconds and start again. It's so easy and so much more enjoyable than watching some rubbish you're not particularly interested in which is filled with ads. 

When you're down time is special, you need to make the most of it! Don't ruin it by having to worry about cleaning and don't waste it by watching ads. 

Get a cleaner and watch Netflix. 

You deserve it.

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