Cost vs. Benefit

Since becoming a mom, I have much higher motivation to make all-natural, organic, non-toxic and price-conscious choices in all aspects of my life. However, like most other moms, I’m also constantly racking my brain to best manage the balancing act between the number of hours in the day and my lengthy to-do list.

Upon the arrival of baby number two in January and the ensuing weeks of operating in survival mode, I have come to accept the reality that I no longer have the luxury of researching every topic extensively. I no longer always make the “greenest” choice even when I know what that is. And, at least temporarily, I can no longer guilt myself over every penny spent that wasn’t absolutely necessary.

There was a time I would read countless reviews, articles and blogs to compare products. Now, I post questions on Facebook or my favorite mommy social networking message boards to access the knowledge of friends who have already done that research.

There was a time when I would never run the dishwasher unless it was completely full. Now, I run it at the end of the night regardless of contents unless I consciously decide I’m okay with dirty dishes cascading off the counter tops the next day.

I used to judge moms that would hire any sort of help in their home when they weren’t working full time. (Ha! Shows how much I knew!) I now recognize the value in identifying the best use of my time rather than anxiously scurrying around trying to do it all – there truly are some things that just aren’t worth doing yourself at certain times in your life, and you have to decide what those are within the context of your own finances. Since baby #2, I have a housecleaning service come biweekly and pay the equivalent of a car payment for a local health club membership because it includes three hours of child care per day. If money gets tight, cable TV will go long before either of those.

For me, these types of changes help relieve some of the sense of chaos that can invade any home with small children. That absolutely affects an increase in patience level with my children. And if there’s one thing a parent of a 3 year old needs, it’s patience.

What major or unthinkable changes did you find yourself making after becoming a parent (especially for the second and consecutive times)?

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3 Responses to Cost vs. Benefit

  1. mpm says:

    Amen to that!

  2. Oh, yes! I related to everything you wrote. When Danielle was two I finally broke down and hired house cleaning help. I never thought I’d do that since I always thought why pay someone to do a job they won’t do half as well as I do? Took me having three kids to realize “hey, at least its clean enough now.”
    I used to never run my dishwasher…now I use it sometimes twice a day with NO REGRETS.
    I love how motherhood changes us to more compassionate people. I so remember judging moms who had their obviously sleepy kids out in Target past their children’s bedtimes…now I so get it! Sometimes a mom just doesn’t have a choice.
    Great blog post, Michelle!

  3. Maritza Kizzar says:

    Totally agree! With my 3 little ones I definitely need patience so if hiring a cleaning service will help with that then I’m not going to feel guilty about doing it! I used to think I could do it all, but I can’t! And I’m okay with that.

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