Look, I know it's pretty #firstworldproblem of me to complain about visiting stores with piles and piles of food to choose from. I get that. But, I also get that it's not my favorite way to spend my time. And because one of my 2014 goals is to simplify, I'm always open to minimizing my task list and maximizing my flexible time. So when a friend posted about Instacart recently on Facebook (not sure if it's available outside the Bay Area yet), I needed to try it. And let me tell you....game.changer.
I'm not here to write a full review on the service, but I'll just say that there is a lot of joy in my heart associated with choosing my groceries on an app or computer and having them show up on my porch a couple hours later. And the delivery fee is minimal, so...if I don't drive to get the groceries, then...the gas money and time I save...you get where I'm going with this. (I'm also a big believer in Google Express for things like "I just need toothpaste or Nyquil, must I really run an entire errand to the store." I've used it for awhile but probably now prefer Instacart for more general grocery shopping, produce, etc.)
What I mostly want to post about is the shame we sometimes associate with giving ourselves a break, and about the pride associated with being able to do it all ourselves.
I had a brief moment, when I was about to submit my first online grocery order, where I paused and thought, "Is this lazy? Oh my gosh. Am I spoiled? Other people go out and get their own groceries. Maybe I should just suck it up." It reminds me of an article I once read about an American mother, living in Dubai, who loved the culture in that country of nannies and household help. She commented on how she was reluctant to go back to the U.S., where that help was a) less affordable, and b) has a stigma associated with it. Because one unfortunate aspect of our culture is an admiration for the "do everything and do it yourself" attitude.
To me, it's a form of extremity: this idea that we could/should do everything ourselves. We think we need to be raise-8-children-on-your-own-with-only-Pinterest-there-to-help super moms, work-60-hours-a-week-and-still-run-your-own-dang-errands super career women, study-til-5-in-the-morning-and-still-train-for-a-marathon-and-never-watch-TV-ever super students.
What we're getting as a result isn't perfect people who actually CAN do it all -- we're getting people who are emotionally/mentally/physically crumbling because they think they should be able to and are afraid to admit to their neighbors/friends/family that they can't or don't want to.
Well let me go first: I can't (and don't want to) do it all myself.
I've thought about this topic for awhile, and I say it's time to end the shame associated with making life a little easier, with not doing everything yourself, with letting yourself slow down. In my dream world, someday I'll be able to afford a nanny and household help. Would that make me less of a mom? Less capable and involved? Actually...I actually think it would make me a better mother. Because I'd be more sane, and can admit where I have weakness. And I have weakness in entertaining small children for hours, cleaning the house, and making meals every day. There, I said it. And the idea of having someone to share that load in whichever area I can't handle that day, sounds amazing. And makes me feel like I'd do a better job with whatever level I can handle on a given day. Again, it'll depend on money. But I just think it's not something to be ashamed of or that makes you less of a mom, etc. Besides, therapy's also expensive so maybe the nanny bills will even out if my sanity is intact, in the end.
For now, it starts with having my groceries delivered. Because the service is available and affordable, and it makes my life just a little easier and happier. And I don't think we should be ashamed of that kind of thing.
And hot dog, it's the best thing to happen to me since roasted red pepper hummus. (Which will be showing up on my porch in about 45 minutes. mmmmboy #getinmybelly)