Prior to becoming a single mom, I frequently wondered how single mom’s do it all. I also used to wonder how stay at home moms do it all. I was working full time, full time school load studying Applied Mathematics, and I still wondered how other women do it all. Now, I am the single mom. I work full time plus. I am able to get my kids on the bus on time every day. I pick them up after work every day. I go grocery shopping. I [occasionally] cook home-made dinners. I pay my bills. I file my taxes, or at LEAST, I have a great tax person who helps me every year to file my taxes. The kids are in after-school activities. I am in a healthy relationship. I am now the woman who “does it all”. I thought it was time to share my secret.
Here it is.
I DON’T DO IT ALL!
I can’t do it all. I have stopped pretending that there is anybody on this Earth who is capable of “doing it all”. There is always more to do. Some days the dishes pile up in my sink until they smell a little. While I normally get all of our clothes washed, I don’t always get them folded and rarely get them put away myself. At this very moment, there is a huge pile of laundry waiting for me to fold sitting on my bed. Some days blog ideas go unwritten. Some days messages go unanswered. Books go unread. Some days my friends are sure I’m ignoring them, when in fact, I am simply getting to things on my to-do list one at a time, and the list is so long that yes, it may take me weeks to respond. I have learned the art of living in the world of “I will get to it when I get to it.” Some days I don’t get to it. I have also learned the art of asking for help when I need it, which is hard when you’re a proud single mom trying to make your way in the world yourself. I had to get over that thought process and learn that I simply cannot do it all!
Yesterday, we ran out of milk and several other groceries and it was time for me to bring the kids shopping for more groceries. No matter how I thought about it, I couldn’t fathom the idea of getting the kids and myself in the car to go grocery shopping.
I. Just. Couldn’t. Do It.
Desperate to find a way to get groceries without actually shopping, I decided to try something different. This is part of the way I “do it all”. I try new things that make my life easier and see how it goes. I let other people do pieces of “it all”.
I’m an avid Target shopper. I use the Target app. I look for discounts. I try to pay the least amount possible for my groceries at Target. Since I am there so frequently, of course I noticed when they added the drive-up lanes. So I thought to myself, I’m so clever! I’m going to order my groceries online and use the new Target Drive Up lane so all I have to do is drive there and I won’t have to go into the store.
I hit a snag. Apparently my store doesn’t offer items like milk, chicken, beef, or frozen items through Target Drive Up.
I guess that won’t work. What do I try next?
Well, my mom was just telling me about Amazon Prime Now. So I look it up. First I had to download the prime now app on the app store. No big deal – although I’m sure the space on my phone is filling up quickly.
So I start “browsing” options on the app.
Ooh! They have organic food! Looks like they even have food from Whole Foods! That’s great! I’ve wanted to try switching to Soy or Almond milk. They had a decent variety of that available.
Chicken. They have chicken. It is not cheap, but they have it. Organic is insanely priced. So I go with regular chicken breast.
I can get vegetables, maybe not all of the variety I would like, but I can get lettuce and tomatoes. I ordered salad dressing. Taco seasoning. Bananas. I ordered a variety of things. The meal plan for this week is Spaghetti and Burritos. I am excited to try zoodles with alfredo, myself!
I finished ordering. The total is a little over $100. Not too bad. I guess that’s about what I normally expect to pay for a weeks worth of groceries. Take a look for yourself, do you think this is $100 worth of groceries, including delivery?
So I picked a window of time for delivery. I went with the 2 hour window to save $5. Then I got my food and the fresh/cold stuff came in cooler packs. Very cool!
So I started to go through my groceries. I was a little hesitant about ordering fresh food online, unseen, and having it delivered. Unfortunately, my lettuce and bananas came a little more brown than I would have picked out myself. It may be hard to see, but the tomatoes are a little over-ripe, too.
That said, none of the fresh food is completely inedible. I will either have my kids eat the bananas soon, or turn them into some delicious baked item this coming weekend. We’ll probably want to have our salad within a day or two. But overall, the online shopping experience was a win through Amazon Prime Now. I saved myself all of the time, stress and anxiety of going to the store. I literally shopped at home in my pajamas, which for ME is MEGA WIN – which I know some of my fellow Minnesotans need after the brutal loss they witnessed/experienced yesterday. (Notice: I said they witnessed because I do not watch sports.)
Today I worked from home in anticipation of a snow day. While the kids still had school, their after-school daycare closed. Which meant I had the pleasure of picking up the kids off the bus earlier than I normally finish work. Thankfully the bus stop is only about half a mile away from home, so the drive there and back was not horrible. Because of the early pickup, though, I still had a couple hours left of my work day to finish up. So when we got home the kids job was to pick up the toys that have been taking up room in our living room for 2 days and to pick up their bedrooms. My job was to finish my work for the day.
Unfortunately, as what happens when I am focused, my work didn’t end until about an hour before bedtime. Even though I have fresh food from my Amazon Prime Now delivery yesterday, I didn’t have time to cook a good dinner. I still had to do dishes and wash more laundry, too, because there is ALWAYS more to do. I couldn’t spend the hour it would take me to make spaghetti or burritos. So I pushed the EASY button. (Which, by the way, you can literally buy.)
I made mac and cheese. Actually Velveeta Shells and Cheese, which if anybody knows mac and cheese, they will know that the Velveeta Shells and Cheese is the easy version of Mac and Cheese.
I’m finally sitting down, for the first time in a while, to write. Kids are in bed. So while dishes aren’t quite done, and laundry is still going, I am doing it all. A little at a time. Not all today. Probably not all tomorrow, either. It all eventually gets done. By someone. And that is OK.