How are you sisters & misters? I am in the middle of one of those ‘busy periods’ in life, – you know the ones – when you desperately try to maintain swan-like grace, while your legs frantically try to keep you afloat beneath the surface.
The thing is, I like being busy, I am good at it, I even have one of those corporate education profile thingy’s to say that when stressed I go green. No, not like the hulk, but into an uber state of organised and I just get sh*t done. Helps I guess when I am holding down a 9-5 project manager role and trying to be mum-preneur style editor and wardrobe sorter by night. And that’s where the out-sourcing comes in, it’s becoming crucial to my well-being and everyone’s around me.
As I said, I thrive on being busy, but there’s busy and then there’s just bat-sh*t crazy. When I had kids, I prided myself on doing EVERYTHING for their birthday parties, ensuring the styling and the fun was HULK size. But as they get older and we get busier, I have started to loosen the reigns a little, I have started to outsource.
It started with letting my hubby buy the pressies (we have boys, he’s capable, why not?), I’ve let mum do some baking for the party. Then it turned in to having parties off-site, outside of home. Seems extravagant, but actually can reduce a whole world of hurt, drama and sticky floors.
But then there was the cake. The last bastion of mine that I would never outsource. Never. But then, what do they say about never saying never?
My girlfriend and I had our eldest kids, 3 weeks apart (an unexpected gap as they were supposed to be 2 months apart, but that’s another story). She and I have always praised each others birthday cakes at each others parties – “Great cake” we’d shout, “wow, look at all that effort” we’d nudge someone else to say. We literally stood side by side, telling each other how awesome we were, after staying up into the small hours making EPIC cakes, fondant hating mothers who made sprinkles and icing works of art. And yet, wasn’t it the cake and the baking and the making and the drama of the fondant falling off the cake (that one time I tried to make a rugby ball for my half Kiwi, half Welsh kid, during the 2011 World Cup) that was making my already busy life, busier, crazier ? Still the idea of out-sourcing the cake never occurred to me. Until this week.
It was our youngest’s birthday, I was knee-deep in work, in sisterhood planning and then I had an epic tramp planned with my tribe of girlfriends – just the hardest day walk in New Zealand apparently. Things, just may, just may, have started to get on top of me and conviently, in my green state of mind, I had a brain wave. Are you ready? “Buy a cake” my brain whispered, “buy a cake”. Over the course of Tuesday at work, the noise grew louder, I didn’t ignore it and finally at knock-off time, I sprinted across the road to the mini metro supermarket and sauntered over to the bakery aisle and ogled the ready-made cakes. I did take a detour past the sponges, which I thought for a second I would ice myself, to make me feel better. But I slapped myself in the face and moved on.
Cakes, there were a few, some expensive, too elaborate and too adulty. Then I saw it, a cute little carrot cake with cream cheese icing (look it had pumpkin seeds and apricot around the outside, but nothing that a few lollies and donuts wouldn’t fix) and I said, you little cake, are mine.
I stuffed it in the fridge overnight and yesterday, we came home from school and decorated his cake together. We attempted to make a donut-embouche, cause I couldn’t help trying to style it, but the little one said he wanted it his way (and who am I to argue). He waited patiently for the famdam to arrive and light the candles, slipping the odd donut or two while he waited. We sang happy birthday and he was happy, and that is all that really matters.
So you see, the wonderful rewarding thing about outsourcing our busy lives is that it still gives us pleasure of doing things, of making things of giving things, but it gives us one important ‘thing’ back – time.
Who cares that when he’d eaten his way through the lollies and donuts, got to the cake, tasted it and said “no, that’s not for me mummy, so sorry, so sorry, I know you made it with love” and I didn’t correct him, he can be none the wiser, until he reads this blog one day. Hi darling, I love you! Note to self: don’t outsource your cake and make it carrot, kids are never fooled.
But it doesn’t stop at just kids birthday parties, no outsourcing can work for other parts of your life too – hiring a cleaner a couple of times a month, using meal delivery companies or the supermarket online shopping to drop your groceries to your door are both services I use and swear by. Plus, you could think about out-sourcing your clothese shopping and style needs to me, I can come edit your wardrobe, offer style advice, editing and even do your fashion shopping for you! Outsourcing is the new black and I LOVE IT. Embracing it with gusto. You can hold me to that.
Go on, give one outsourcing option a try – you won’t regret it. I promise.
mmmmmwah for now sisters of style,