Saturday, August 27, 2011

Where does one buy time?

Read on for your chance to win Lucky (old issues of the magazine, which are better than Star, the magazine).
This semester brings more work responsibilities, and more pay, than I had planned for (I had planned for few of the former and none of the latter, as was the case when Dianthus was Aster's age). Except for the one evening class I am teaching, most of the work can be done at home (except for the greenhouse management, herbarium management, advising, committee meetings and creation of a plant collection, all of which I tend to ignore when making plans), but home is where I need to be available to feed, change and walk cranky baby on a moment's notice, where I'd really like to take a nap, where I need to spend time with Dianthus in the evenings and where I have a regular home life (laundry, garden, house, bills and husband) to attend to.
So, like working mothers everywhere (and, quite frankly, most anyone else I know), I need more time. They say that time equals money. I have more income than I expected. I'm willing to use some to buy time; I just don't know how to shop for it.
Win old issues of Lucky, the Magazine of Shopping and Style, by recommending reasonable time savers for my life. Keep in mind that I live in a small town in Western Oklahoma; local services do not good options for take-out Thai food, babysitting pools or diaper services. The best suggestions will not be too costly on the environment or the pocket book.
Some ideas I've considered so far:
Hire someone to clean: Good idea, but the time gained is near zero-- it's not like I'm scrubbing the tub when I could be developing curricula.
Quit clipping coupons: time saved 5 min./week. Money spent- probably nothing. It's not like I use most of the coupons I clip.
Sub-contract my work: fortunately, my work responsibilities are not

Aaaah. I've been trying to post this for two weeks. I'm just going to give up adding anything and post it now. Easy dinner ideas count as good ideas.

Also, if you are underemployed or have vacation or a weekend and would like to spend some time in Western Oklahoma, are willing to spend some of that time walking a baby and/or playing with a toddler, talk to me to find out if I can buy you a plane ticket and get you here.


Anonymous said...

Great idea!

janet said...

I think hiring someone to clean could still be worthwhile. It's not just about the's about the mental energy a cluttered house can consume. Maybe you could hire someone to do some cooking/grocery shopping and baby walking. They wouldn't have to do ALL the cooking, but they could do some chopping, etc. I worked for a woman for a few months who had Epstein Barr (sp) and I hauled her kids around to school or activities, did a little laundry, went to the grocery store, and chopped up veggies ("light" cooking).

Erin said...

Mother's helper is a good idea (cooking, laundry, grocery shopping, light baby watching). Could be a college student or younger if you will be around. I wish I had one!

Anonymous said...

This isn't what you're asking for, exactly, but the theme is similar. A nice, thought-provoking piece:

janet said...

What about a ghost writer for your blog? ;)

Marieke said...

For myself, I would say that hiring someone to buy and deliver groceries, plan meals and take out the recycling would probably save us the most time. Imagine opening your fridge and it's always full of the things you want! :)

Sorry I'm not really close enough to stop by for a weekend. It would be fun, and I garden too.

Beth said...

We hired someone to clean and to fold our laundry which is an awesome time saver. It allows me more time to stay organized when at home rather than cleaning and gives us more time to cook. Admittedly, our house is rather large and our dog makes cleaning and vacuuming a necessity. However, I wish we could afford someone to take care of the mowing too so I could just focus on the garden. I'd love to come out for a weekend once I can fly again. :-)

Sparkling Squirrel said...

Keep the suggestions coming.
Part of the problem, of course, is actually finding people to hire to do these things (I'm phone-phobic and won't hire current students, who are the only people with whom I am in regular contact). We will get cleaning help, it just won't help with giving me additional time to work or exercise or sleep.
Dianthus usually enjoys grocery shopping, so we're likely to keep doing it (another time issue is when I do small chores like unloading the dishwasher. Fastest when Aster is asleep and Dianthus is at daycare, but that's my most precious time. Possible while Aster is awake, but takes twice as long. Dianthus enjoys doing it, but takes 4 times as long.)
I have started thinking more directly about time wastes and stressors and did just order another nursing bra identical to two I already own. I hadn't done so because I have multiple other nursing bras and this one is $60+, but the model is the only one that I can wear with anything, doesn't itch or prod and just plain fits well. Having three of them will allow me to be less stressed about when I do the laundry.
Beth- when you fly again you'll have a baby and you're not likely coming out to help me.

Beth said...

which nursing bra is your favorite?

coderprof said...

Beth- Anita 5035. Supportive, fits well, easy to un-hook and wears like a properly fitting underwire. As you're probably not a 40F, it might not be as difficult for you.

Sparkling Squirrel said...

That last comment was me. I'm using a different computer.