Time Rich or Time Poor – One Mum’s guide to getting back on track

Time is money.  Money takes time to make.  Wealth is the ability to have enough money and the time to enjoy it.  We underestimate what we can do in an hour, yet overestimate what gets done in a month.  A long time ago in a galaxy far far away (woops Star Wars reference) dad went to work during the week, mums organised the home and sorted the kids and ran them to t-ball/basketball/school.  After a long day Dad came home, congratulated the kids on their 3 pointer and plonked on the couch with his pipe, slippers and ABC News. The simple things of watching a movie, playing board games, snoozing on Saturday and having a nice meal together seems retro now, but it’s that detachment to basic living that has made life overwhelming.  Mums like me were conned into a “have it all mentality” working full time to pay huge mortgages and for stuff we don’t need, whilst paying for services that were once paid by the tax dollar.  By being contactable 24/7 by one device or another we are more stressed, pressured than ever and are feeling like we aren’t doing a good enough job.  Boy my head is spinning!

So where did this journey begin for us?  After 5 years as a social worker, I was compassion fatigued.  While sorting out others problems for a living is commendable, it often meant our family’s needs weren’t being looked after.  The forest may have trees but our backyard had been clear felled!  We were eating more fast food than ever, had outsourced cleaning, lawns, childcare and were working to pay it all!  Worse still the mental anguish at leaving a well-paying job was driving me nuts! Something had to change!

So I did the unthinkable – I resigned!  Deciding my family rather than my community needed me more at the time my partner was greatly supportive. We knew we would manage financially but by day three I was going stir crazy….I was so preconditioned to the busyness that I didn’t know how to stop!  So I did what I enjoy but didn’t do for lack of time….cook.  Opened up the pantry and gasped at crap in there… packets and packets of processed basic foods that were expired (Oooo Cheds, Ooo wine) and loads of packaging that made me feel terrible for mother earth. I resolved to cook out of the pantry for a month.  Use up the items that mums of yesteryear would have made do with.  Learn to do stock from scratch.  It felt good.  Simplify the space, organise everything, cook beautiful meals for the family.  Homecooked breakfast, lunch and dinner and six months later we have eaten out 6 times total, not six times a week!  Our pantry is full of whole food and we are healthier than ever.  It made me think there are probably mums like me out there and maybe by sharing my experience you may want to embark on this journey with me.  I am grateful for working a few days a week and blogging away and it’s made me realise it is OK to slow down, take in life around you and enjoy what you have and not what you don’t. Email me at bianca@decrapifyme.com.au or leave a comment below.  Until next time, do or do not, there is no try.

Food is Thy Medicine

We have often heard that food is thy medicine, but add two full time jobs, children, after school sports and all I can hear is myself saying yes that is one large family value pack from Macca’s! I should state that I have always loved cooking. From my childhood days of using the mortar and pestle to crush up nanna’s garlic and ginger to spending the odd Saturday afternoon cooking Moroccan for friends coming over, I have always had a connection to food. Nevertheless losing that connection for being too busy made me feel like I was losing me, my health and worse not really providing for my children the way I was provided for.

Upon chucking the soulless job , reducing to a p/t less stress position, I made a conscious effort to clean up my act and my pantry. It made me realise that by being a little organised my little family could eat better, we could save money on take out and food could return to be a centrepiece of our family day. A space where we could chat to each other, watch tv “what are we going to watch” scrolling through Netflix or just be silent enjoying the taste of the real food. It’s my favourite time of the day. To do this everything in my pantry needed a place, an order and me to know exactly how much I have without endless runs to the supermarket. Actually, I have stopped shopping at supermarkets. I now shop fortnightly and head to my local grocer, fruit and vegetable shop or eco warehouse for cleaning/hygiene refills. Each six months I call my local farmer for ethical, grassfed, organic meat that I freeze myself. No packaging, less time and less cost.

I discovered that scrambled eggs on toast takes less time to make than to drive to Subway, foods freeze great for later reheating, and that bottling, picking and freezing home grown produce (yes I have time for this) means that there is an easy meal less than 10 minutes away. Disorganisation has opened up a world of Dinner Twist, Hello Fresh and prepacked foods that are a billion dollar industry. All services trying to feed you, but that don’t leave anyone feeling nourished.

Decrapify me is all about giving us mums and dads the power back. Let’s get organised together and see how we can reconnect with our food, our homes and our lives. Decrapify me offer consultation support to get your pantry and food mojo back – one off organising, sorting and empowerment sessions aimed to get you eating healthier and feeling more whole. I recently saw the quote “we buy stuff with hours of our lives”. Imagine if that by reconnecting to your food you saved a few dollars towards that holiday you deserve, could maybe work a few less hours and spend more time with family and friends or just feel a little less stressed at the end of your day. Check out the web, but until next time, your focus determines your reality.