Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Changing circumstances and simplicity

I was thinking this morning about some of the stuff I do--and that I've recently been able to do more of--and how it could all change if my life circumstances change.

Most people, if they get married or partnered up or if they have kids, figure their lives will change.  The late nights out, the impromptu trips, the impulse purchases all tend to diminish.  (With me, that stuff diminished a while ago sans partner or kids, but you know what I mean.)

I'm not married or partnered, and I don't have kids.  But I can see even the unglamorous stuff I do getting shunted aside if I was to get married or have kids, depending on the situation.  Right now, the laundry I hang is my own.  I have time to work in the garden because I don't have to take kids to sports or activities.  I can eat whatever I want because I only have to take myself into consideration, not a spouse or partner.  (I know some people who will. not. eat leftovers, no matter what you do with them.)  I could see myself turning my TV back on if I had kids because frankly, SOMETIMES MOMMY HAS TO PEE AND YOU KIDS NEED TO SIT STILL FOR FIVE MINUTES SO I CAN DO SO.  (I'm not a mother.  But I have babysat and lemme tell you, the TV was a godsend when I needed to use the facilities.)  As TB pointed out in the comments here, they use the dryer and don't line-dry.  He likes the idea, but he's not the one who's doing the laundry.  As Nicoleandmaggie pointed out, sometimes growing up with things a certain way turns you off to it.  Growing up with line dried clothes doesn't always mean you want to continue that.  Sometimes it means you love the convenience of the electric dryer.

You and your partner can start off with the best of intentions, but then reality hits you full in the face.  People get tired.  Sometimes you just want to get takeout because you do not have the spoons to even make a simple dinner.  You use the dryer.  Maybe you don't garden (as much) because you're pooped on the weekends or your taking the kids to games or activities. 

I guess you can push certain things, but it can be exhausting if you are the only one willing to do them.  Or if you're the one tasked with doing them.  Or if continuing to eschew something just makes things a little too hard.

So, I'll put it to my readers who are or who have been coupled up, and who have kids: what changed when your circumstances changed? How did they change? What stayed the same? Were there things you wanted to do that your family was opposed to--and were you able to have them come around?  For me, I'm just speculating, as it's just me and the cat.  What changed for you?


  1. I don't know. I am kind've on autopilot these days. I work a 40 plus hour job and have 2 kids plus an an entire household to take care of. It's hard to keep everything balanced and taken care sometimes things just don't get done. I always do my best and hope that it is good enough!

  2. We ate out frequently before children and now we rarely eat out. It was just too much hassle when the kids were little, and then after I lost a lotta weight with Weight Watchers, I had an epiphany and discovered that it was easier to eat healthfully (is that a word?) if we cooked at home AND that we saved a lot of money by doing so.

    It's really hard to come up with other changes because, for us at least, some things have just evolved over the years. I used to miss my quiet, uncluttered single lifestyle, but I've come to appreciate that messiness and noise are sounds of a happy house.

  3. Sorry if you have child, you pee with them either being in the bathroom with you or pounding on the door the whole time screaming for you even if you distract with a TV LOL! At least 2 out of my 4 did! I can not tell you what changed because my life never changed. I went from having an adult role as a child ( taking care of a very ill mother with a tremendous amount of chores and responsabilities) to being 17 with a child, married at 18, second child by 19.

    I later divorces and was a single mom and then remarried with a large generational gap of 12 and 15 years with my last 2 children. I am now 44, married with youngest child at 11 and oldest at 26.

    I have always been the foundation and rock of the family where all homemaking, finances, frugal pursuits, decision making, homeschooling is all on me.

    The one thing that changed is I don't make sweet meals for my hubby as he hates sweet meats so hawaiian porkchops or sweet and sour things are not made. If I have extreme ideas, it may take a few months but the family gets on board quick because we have very little money in which to work with.

    I discuss and offer information lectures however on a frequent basis which helps keep everyone on board.

    Things like gardening and animal care like chickens. I have the kids and hubby help in as a learning experience for them.

  4. Well, I don't have kids. I have only lived with the boyfriend since the start of September so I probably am not one to comment.

    Since we've moved in, we're back to not earning and living on student budgets, so we have definitely cut back on impulse purchases and meals out! I try to cook something healthy most nights, but if I get back too late we just sling something frozen in the mini oven!

    I like to bake things at the weekend, but if I had kids I definitely wouldn't have time for that! 20 minute recipes seem to take me an hour usually! :)

    We tend to see eye to eye on most things because we divided up jobs before we moved in! He's not really opposed to anything, although apparently if I buy any more plants then he's throwing them out the window. :(

  5. You're right, making the change from "me" to "we" can be huge.

    While I'm not a huge shopper, I used to occasionally go out to shop for clothes just for myself. Now, I'm an after thought. If I'm out searching for clothing items for family members, and I happen to find something that works for me, I may take the time to try it on, or I may not and just wait for another day.

    Cooking -- I used to love coming home from work and making a skillet of veggies to which I'd add pasta. That would be dinner. Now, my family would polish that off in two seconds and ask "what's next?"

    Laundry, as you said is a cinch for one person. Doing a week's laundry for 5 is a huge chore. I have to dedicate an entire day to wash everyone's clothing, sheets and towels for the week.

    However, on the upside, when I'm sick with the stomach flu, there is someone who will go out and buy me 7-Up.

    Christmas morning is way more fun with a bunch of kids in the house.

    I plan fun outings, like our quick trip to a nearby island for the day a week ago, because there are places I want my kids to see.

    I watch animated movies with my kids and love them -- whereas, the "adult thing to do" movie-wise would be to watch some dark, thought-provoking film.

    And when I'm old and in my rocker, I'll have kids to come and visit me.

    So it's a toss up. Some things are lost and some things are gained.