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Monday Q&A-A “nosey” question, and I’m on Twitter!

Every Monday, I answer a question or two from my readers. If you have a question you’d like me to answer(it doesn’t have to be about frugality pe se….if you wonder something about homeschooling, or about me personally, for example, ask away!), leave a comment on this post, or email me(thefrugalgirl {at} gmail {dot} com) with the “Q&A” in the subject, and I’ll answer it in a future Monday post.

Dana from Groff Stuff left this question for me on last week’s post.

Okay, Kristen, I wasn’t going to ask this question, because I didn’t want to be nosey, but you said go ahead and ask…so here it is. Do you have any “people” who help you in your day to day life? You homeschool, work with your piano and photography, bake your own bread, and shop at a couple of markets each week. That’s a lot for one Mommy. Does anyone help you clean your house, babysit your kids, groom your dog (do you have a dog?), or mow your grass?? And one more thing…do you wash your own car? I know that it is “greener” to take it to the carwash, and our State encourages that for water conservation, but it is so expensive…and I like washing my own car. I hope I didn’t ask too many questions…just curious…and kind of feel like I know you by now, since I’ve been reading your blog for such a long time!

For the record(and I said this to Dana), I’m not remotely offended by this kind of question. I said you could ask questions about stuff other than frugality, and I meant it. 🙂 I actually think it’s kind of entertaining to see what sorts of questions pop into my readers’ heads!

I think that if you all saw my typical day(and I do intent to post a typical day for you at some point), you might be not quite so impressed. I really don’t think I am that amazing in what I get done.

That said, I don’t have any regular help. My mom does occasionally babysit for me when I need it(she took my kids to the aquarium last Friday so I could go take pictures of my new nephew, and that was wonderful!), and I sometimes hire a babysitter when I need to go play the piano somewhere and my husband isn’t home. And my husband and I sometimes swap babysitting with other couples so that we can have a date by ourselves.

I don’t have any help with the cleaning except from the members of this household. Every day the kids clean up all their toys, the older two kids sweep at breakfast and lunch, and on Saturdays, the older two have some weekly cleaning chores(like cleaning their bathroom). And my husband helps with the dinner dishes.

Just so you know, my house is not perfectly clean all the time. My poor kitchen floor doesn’t get washed nearly as often as I’d like, some weeks my bathroom doesn’t get cleaned, and I continually struggle to keep my office clean. It’s ok, though…it’s clean enough to be healthy, and I don’t think it’s possible to have a perfectly clean house if you have four kids at home all day every day! I do anticipate things being easier in this department once all four kids are old enough to do a fair share of cleaning/chores, though.

My husband takes care of the yard entirely without me. I think the only thing I’ve ever done is help to plant and water grass seed. He also takes care of all the automotive work and anything technical related to our computers(which I’m really grateful for!).

We don’t have a dog, mostly because I really, really feel like I couldn’t handle it. Having more doctor appointments, more food to buy, and more mess to clean up would probably put me over the edge. All we have is one fish and one hermit crab.

I do wash my own car, but since I don’t get around to it all that often, I don’t figure it’s an enormous waste of water. My kids like helping me wash the van, so it’s kind of a fun event. The only time we really use car washes is in the wintertime when there’s been snow and the roads(and consequently our cars!) have been salted.

I’m always reluctant to pay someone to do what I could do myself…that’s why I make my own yogurt, bread, and pizza, it’s why I cook my own meals, it’s why my husband cuts the grass and does oil changes, it’s why we didn’t hire help for very many of our home improvement projects(although we are indebted to our families for helping us out with that too!), and so on. We sometimes hire help(we had our windows installed, we paid someone to do our gutters, and we pay a trusted mechanic to do big automotive projects), but whenever it’s possible, we really try to do things by ourselves.

I don’t think this is necessarily the right thing for every family...if you’re a mom who works full-time outside of the home, it might be better to hire a housekeeper so that you can have more time with your family. But for us and our budget, this is what works.


Secondly, I just wanted to mention that I’ve broken down and joined Twitter. You can see my Twitter updates over on the right side of my blog. I don’t know how often I’ll Tweet, but I thought that Twittering might give you a bit of an idea about how I spend my days.

Alternatively, you can see my Twitter page here.

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Wednesday 13th of May 2009

Tammy, it's a hard thing for me to give up on perfect cleanliness! It doesn't come naturally to me, that's for sure. I think I've sort of come to accept that I cannot keep things perfectly clean, at least at this stage of my life.

Dana, I do take some me time, I promise! On Sundays, I don't do any work except what is necessary(I do dishes but I don't scrub the floor, for example), so I have some time to relax and do what I want to do.


Tuesday 12th of May 2009

Thanks for answering all of my nosey questions. Ironically, after reading your blog on a regular basis, I could have guessed most of the answers to the questions. Remember to take time for yourself, you'll be a better Mommy and Wife.

Happy Belated Mother's Day, Dana

Tammy Brackett

Tuesday 12th of May 2009

Kristen I am so impressed you assign chores to your children and don't expect perfection in cleanliness! What a valuable lesson for you and your kids. I like twitter and I'll tweet you soon!


Tuesday 12th of May 2009

I've enjoyed reading other people's tweets on their blogs, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I read today that a lot of people sign up for Twitter, but not that many actually stick with using it. We'll see if I do!


Tuesday 12th of May 2009

Heh, I added Twitter to my blog almost a month ago because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I really haven't used it.

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