Sunday, July 25, 2010

In which I muse on ALL THE THINGS

There's a bit of an "ALL THE THINGS" meme going around the Over the Fence Ravelry and twitter groups thanks to Zephyrama sharing a blog post from Hyperbole and a Half: "This is why I'll never be an adult". In it Allie describes the cycle of enthusiasm, burnout and avoidance associated with the burden of adult responsibilities. It's hilarious and I highly recommend you read it.

It particularly resonated with me at the moment. We are thinking and planning for a baby (no this is not a formal announcement of any kind: thinking and planning does not imply pregnancy!) and this just seems to double that burden of "adult" responsibility.

On top of working full time and managing our little household we must now consider a whole raft of additional concerns, from redoing our health care cover to considering a new car, where to live, trying to work out new budgets so we can save more, and wondering and how we will ever manage to maintain a semblance of our current lifestyle with an extra mouth and less income.

Even trying to work out how we can reduce the grocery and electricity bill implies an upfront investment of time and money (menu plans! and fancy switch-off powerboards etc) along with lifestyle changes. I've been reading about making savings on these and the recommendations others are at once inspiring and depressing. Usually because the trade off for saving money is spending extra time to do so. Shopping at multiple stores just takes more time than the Woolies dash. It's hard to cook from scratch nightly when one partner arrives home at 5.30 and the other at 6.30. Without menu plans (or even with them!) it's easy to fall prey to the quick pre-packaged dinner or takeaway - but making them eats into precious weekend time.

It's very easy to get super enthusiastic about changing your lifestyle for a week, or even a weekend. But to attempt ALL THE THINGS at once, to try change it all overnight, is definitely not the answer. Burnout sets in rapidly, expectations of improvements in finances etc take too long to appear (at least a month on our pay cycle, generally more), disappointment grows and the towel is thrown in.

So DH and I need to work out a sustainable timetable of incremental change and set some realistic expectations (god I sound like a project manager). One thing at a time. This weekend I tackled menu planning for the week. Today as well as a bit of cleaning and cooking I MIGHT update our finances and compare expenditure against the budget. Maybe I'll leave looking at cars and electricity savings until next week.

There's no need for me to feel guilty about not doing ALL THE THINGS, as long as I do some of them.


Sharre said...

Being a grown up sucks. No helpful comments just an observation from someone else who is finding herself in the damn I need to be an organised grown up type person situation.

celia said...

It's scary, isn't it? you know what? i have a 3.5yr old, and I still don't feel grown up. Is that shameful to admit? :p When we decided to get married, try for a baby (this trying was somewhat shorter than we thought it would be) and buy a house a few years ago, we had to work on our savings and figure out all those things you're talking about. Not sure we got all of it right (in fact we probably didn't) but if you want to know what we did, we can have a chat on Wednesday :)

knitabulous said...

I often hear people say they're waiting for the 'right time' to have a baby - to sort out their financial sitch, to work on their home, etc etc, but the right time never seems to come.

I beleive that's because there's never the wrong time to have a baby. Half the things 'they' say you need you don't need anyway. The thing that was the shock for us was the sudden loss of the second income - but you cope.

Musing and planning is good though, and I wish you great luck!

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