Something that has bothered me for sometime now is the change in the type of person I am now compared to 10 years ago. Ok I admit 10 years ago I was a young fresh 18 year old with no children, but I did things differently then that make me kind of jealous of that 18 y.o I used to be.
I used to walk, ride, or public transport it everywhere. This was for practical (no car/licence), financial (no money for car) and environmental reasons. I used to be vegetarian (environmental and financial). I used to fanatically recycle, reuse and reduce in terms of consumerism. Nothing was wasted. Life was simple, and happy.
And although I am happy for different reasons now, more and more I find myself frustrated and unsatisfied. With an increase in income and life changes I seem to have become more busy, more materialistic, more consumerist. And I don't like this part of me.
I realise all mothers are busy, but life seems so fast with guides, scouts, dancing, school, playgroup, storytime, swimming lessons etc etc. I spend so much time driving from one event to another, buying the latest gizmo, buying clothing in 'acceptable' brands and the like, and I wonder is this what I want for my children. Do I want them to watch their mother compete with the other mums, yet never quite getting there because her heart really is not in it.
Yesterday my son and daughter did not want to do there after school activities, and being pregnant and tired and emotional, I gave in and said we are staying at home. You know what they did instead? Built a cubby and then taught there 2 year old sister to play hide and seek. The tv was off, they ate most of there dinner, they showered and then fell into bed. It was normal, happy, family centred evening.
Making a cubby!
I have been reading more and more blogs that express theses thoughts too. And as I am a doing person, I've decided that it is time to downsize and simplify some. I've started to put into place simple measures to do this.
The first is looking at how we spend our money. To much money is being wasted on over priced, over packaged goods that do nothing for my family anyway. I've cut out buying baby wipes, I'm going back to the simple reusable homemade wipes and water for my daughters bottom. I've investigated some homemade washing powder recipes, and this weekend we will be making up our own laundry liquid. I've looked at going back to cloth nappies, and although I will be using mostly disposables, I have got some PUL fabric ordered so I can start making my own nappies (the goal is to have the new baby in all cloth). I've cut the take-away to once a fortnight and that is going to be cut further to once a month then down to only on special occasions. I've stopped buying limited use washing up sponges and when we run out, I will be making reusable ones. I've cut buying the crap I was putting in the kids lunch boxes (like over packaged cheese dips, individual chipscrackers ect) in favour of fruit, home made cake, fresh cheese and a couple of crackers.
What I estimate I'll save from just this:
Cost (what it was costing) Yearly Saving
Baby wipes $6.50 p/w $338
Laundry liquid $20 p/m $240
Cloth nappies $ 15 p/w $780
Take-away $30 p/w $1200
Wash-up sponges $5 p/m $60
Crap school lunch $15 p/w $400
Total saving $3018
Just from those limited changes, we'll be saving $3018. That is massive!