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How Much Is Your Time Worth?

Being there for the first day of school is priceless

I grew up with the impression that I could have it all – a career, kids, marriage and a smoothly running household.  It was the 80s and women were still fighting for equality, especially in the workplace.  It’s a battle we continue to struggle with today.  Back then, we were trying to prove that we could have those high powered corporate jobs and that having a family wouldn’t “hold us back”.  I remember watching “Designing Women” and seeing the amazing Dixie Carter play Julia Sugarbaker.  She was a tough, no nonsense, educated businesswoman with immense shoulder pads and equally large framed glasses.  She exhibited very little weakness and was portrayed to have it all without notable sacrifices or struggles.  This was an impossible standard.  So I’m going to admit the thing we aren’t supposed to say.  It is not realistic to expect a woman to work full time, raise great kids, have a healthy marriage and run a household smoothly without any help.  This isn’t an anti-feminist statement, it’s just the truth.

As I’ve matured, I have tried to figure out how to balance everything and where compromises need to be made.  I don’t know why, but I am still embarrassed to admit that I can’t do it all by myself.  I need to constantly remind myself that time has value and I need to determine what my time is worth.  The value of time is not only monetary; emotional value also needs to come into consideration.  Time with my children is highly valuable to me.  I am willing to admit that I will sacrifice some of my career goals to spend more time with my kids.  I don’t spend money on frivolous items and sometimes paying someone to help me seems like too much.  But, without that help, I can’t be there for my kids.

So here’s the deal.  I have a lot of different people/services that make my life run.  I choose to work out of the home 3 days a week so I have 4 days at home.  My husband works more days to make this arrangement possible.  I have a nanny pick up the kids and take them to their various activities on my working days.  On the other 4 days, I figured I could cook, clean, take care of the house and get the kids to all their various activities.  It was only a short time before I realized I was wrong.  I still needed help.  I hired a cleaning service to thoroughly clean the house every other week (saves me 4 days per month).  I was having a hard time planning meals for the family.  So, I subscribed to a service that planned out easy weekly meals and provided me with a grocery list.  It was inexpensive and I was still doing the cooking (saves me 3 hours per week).  Six months later, my oldest daughter’s swimming schedule changed and there was no one at home to cook those meals.  I recently found a service that delivers freshly cooked dinners to your door every morning.  I signed up for a few nights a week (saves me 10 hours per week).  I see the savings, but I still question myself.  Why can I not do this?  Is this a sign of weakness or inadequacy?  The answer is simple.  I’m not inadequate, I’m just a different type of mom.  I use that saved time wisely.  I’m at almost every swim practice.  I help them all with piano.  I discuss literature with Grace and help challenge Cate with her stellar math skills.  I’ll spend 20 minutes cuddling on the couch watching “Dora the Explorer” with my son.  I take time to work out and keep myself healthy.  I have figured out what my time is worth and what is important.  I know people will judge me because of the amount of help I have to run my life, but I shouldn’t care.  My kids are happy, healthy, well adjusted and are thriving socially and academically.  My marriage is strong and my house is clean enough.  We aren’t perfect and that isn’t our goal.  Nobody should expect us to do it alone – it’s just a different definition of having it all.

5 Responses to “How Much Is Your Time Worth?”

  1. Cindy says:

    Could I please have the names of the meal planning service and the food deliver service? No, we can’t do it all and that is ok! You are doing an amazing job!

    • Courtney says:

      The meal planning service is called emeals and it is $5 per month. I would suggest subscribing to their “Clean Living” meal plan. I feel it has the healthiest and best recipies. Sunfare is the meal delivery service. It’s pretty pricey, but the food is fresh, good, and they have generous portions. We only order meals for 3 to feed our family and there are usually leftovers for lunch.

  2. Love this Courtney! I think asking for help is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. I do not work outside of the home right now, but I still ask my parents for help to take the kids every now and again so I can workout or just grocery shop ALONE! I am saving up for a maid now lol!

  3. Jen says:

    I have used the Six O’Clock Scramble for years for meal planning. They have some great recipes too!

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