Week of Money: Where I urge you to take some bloody responsibility for your actions
??:?? — I wake up tired. It’s been raining a lot lately, climate change of course is to blame, and humans are the ones behind it. What irks me the most is inaction or deliberate ignorance, pretending they can’t really do anything about it “what can one person do?“… well. Maybe you need a refresher.
ONE PERSON started a war*. ONE PERSON started a revolution*. ONE PERSON has a very big impact if they choose to, and even if you publicly do not want to be this ONE PERSON you can at least give a damn and cut back on the things we all know we can help control and COLLECTIVELY we could make a small change such as:
*Who are these “ONE PERSON” examples? Just look back into your history books, or read about recent history. There are a ton of examples.
**Note: Not all of this is attainable depending on where you are (e.g. food deserts), or given your time (e.g. single parent), but I daresay most of you reading this page are in a comfortable enough position to do something and to care.
- Eating less meat – Yes, you are just ONE PERSON but meat demand = meat supply = deforestation = CO2 emissions from extra cows = razed forests and the lungs of the earth to give oxygen. Even saves money.
- Reducing or eliminating one-use plastic – takeout containers, styrofoam, plastic covered everything; we obviously cannot get away from it, but we can make smart choices and not buy for instance, pre-cut fruit in plastic containers, but buy the orange itself and peel it. We can choose bulk foods, alternate packaging… all of this is within our reach. Also saves money.
- Reducing water usage – Turn off the taps. Don’t use water unnecessarily.
- Buying secondhand – Way cheaper, doesn’t contribute to extra items. No one is perfect in this regard, but we can bloody try.
- Driving less – Getting organized to go to the shops once a week instead of 3X is an example. You may not be able to afford an electric car (hint: think about a secondhand Leaf for instance), but you can at least drive less.
- Think twice before buying it – Whatever it is – think twice before you do it. Do you really need that dollar store trinket? Do you really need another set of duplicates for what you already own?
- Choose greener items – Given the choice between X and Y, with Y being slightly more expensive but perhaps, made more sustainably, choose Y. For instance, soap berries are cheaper than detergent and do the same thing without the added water and fragrance. Don’t like that option? Try concentrate bars instead; you chop them up, pour boiling water on them to reconstitute and ta-dah! full sized products of shampoo, lotion, conditioner, bodywash etc.
- Disposables are not the default option – This is tough because of convenience, but we successfully cloth diapered and sent him to daycare with cloth diapers. Even wipes at home were reusable (we reuse them now as toilet wipes). We really REALLY try with the reusable option over disposable. I even take a wipe and use it to remove my nail polish rather than using cotton balls, etc.
- Refusing to give money to corporations that are the worst offenders – Vote with your dollars. Why do we have so many gluten-free, vegan and fake meat options today? Because they saw the trend, and we are voting with our dollars. IT ACTUALLY WORKS. Companies want your money and will do what YOU WANT to get that money.
Sorry, this turned into a rant. I could say a lot more on this subject but the last two points I will make are…
In the paraphrased words of David Attenborough:
1. WASTE LESS. Live your life carefully and just WASTE LESS.
…and take responsibility for your bloody Earth and environment. Sure, YOU didn’t start all of this, but why pretend it isn’t within our control and just give up? You’re leaving a devastated Earth for future generations and/or basically screwing yourself. Just look at all of the “weird” weather phenomenons happening right now. This whole world is going to crap but we STILL HAVE A CHANCE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
2. SO DO SOMETHING. ANYTHING.
6:35 a.m. — Mini soapbox rant over, I log in to work.
6:55 a.m. — I manage to get a page done – doing it in both French and English is tedious work.
8:45 a.m. — Meeting ends. Another will start.
12:08 p.m. — Lunch! Today is pizza day, and we are adding our basil from our herb pots. VERY EXCITING. We actually over planted the herbs because I went a bit heavy handed on the seeds and they all germinated wonderfully, so we are removing some and using them as micro greens to eat.
Here we go!
We will eat the weaker / smaller basil plants that didn’t grow as fast like the big tall, strong straight ones, and give them more soil / room to grow. I grew two types of basil – the regular Italian style, and the Genovese style that looks like its slimmer with thinner leaves – the flavour isn’t as pronounced as the Italian one, so I am not sure it’s worth the trouble.
1:28 p.m. — Down for his nap, I promise him we will organize the closet later.
2:46 p.m. — Working through emails. I need this quiet time to think.
7:40 p.m. — Time for bed after dishes.
??:?? — I wake up .. not so tired.
6:00 a.m. — Little Bun starts right on his books like a superstar.
8:34 a.m. — Little Bun is super cute and says his favourite recipe is a Pear Smoothie (one his father makes). He runs back and forth asking his father for the ingredients and steps, and then translates them into English.
9:20 a.m. — Finished his books, my partner kiboshes the iPad until after noon, no iPad in the morning, so we try an experiment to make a rainbow. He gets over his upset behaviour pretty quickly because he really wanted to make a rainbow.
12:08 p.m. — For lunch, we had salad and I ate roasted cauliflower just as-is. We straight up enjoy vegetables and show it. Little Bun’s watches our genuine reactions, and just eats the roasted brussel sprouts or cauliflower as they are. Zero complaints. Some of kids being picky about eating MAY (NOT ALWAYS) be a fear of YOU showing to them that you’re scared they may not like vegetables, which they pick up on like hawks.
Me: You ate all the brussel sprouts?
Little Bun: Why wouldn’t I?
Me: Good point. They’re so yummy.
Little Bun: I like to peel the leaves off and eat them one by one.
3:00 p.m. — Up from his nap, I am still working, so he watches Dr. Binocs until I can play with him.
8:40 p.m. — Time for bed after reading books again.
6:00 a.m. — I am watching these Honest Accounts (of money) and they are all so good. I love seeing what they do and how they save. This anesthesiologist making $1.3M with $75K a month NET in her pocket, and she has over $6M saved. THIS IS AMAZING. She is financially smart and I love hearing what she did. Loved this account.
7:59 a.m. — I log in and start working. I am being booked for extra projects on the side, and I am sort of just.. frustrated. I am already overloaded and now we shall give her MORE WORK, shall we? Oh well, I guess it is all overtime.
10:25 a.m. — My afternoon meeting cancels because… I manage to catch them sooner during the morning – after 1 p.m. my brain is usually drained for meetings, and I’d rather work on documents.
12:00 p.m. — Break for lunch. Little Hoover hovers around me and gets bites of my lunch.
5:28 p.m. — Done for work, I log off and play with Little Bun. On a whim I pretend to fold up the Stuffies into each other, and read the “Stuffie Book” an interactive book where Babiest Stuffie is the star, and jumps out and up from the book, interacts with the reader (Little Bun), and the story changes each time we read the Stuffie Book.
Here is the book in action, we have to tap on the Biggest Stuffie’s bum to open it:
6:23 p.m. — Finally, I need a break and I want to read my book so I ask him: What can you do alone? .. He looks back at me blankly. I give him and idea: Why don’t you read? … He perks up and says: OH! I LOVE READING WITH YOU!…
And of course, how can you say no to such a cute little eager face. I spend the next hour reading a book and acting out the pieces in them.
8:50 p.m. — Getting ready for bed. We talk about our great and not so good great for today (none that were not great!), and snuggle to sleep.
6:30 a.m. — I wake up before Little Bun which means I feel quite rested and it must be 6:30 in the morning. I watch him sleep, his face just like when he was a tiny baby, fully slack and calm, just a bigger version of the baseball ball-size head he was before.
6:44 a.m. — I log in and start responding to emails.
8:04 a.m. — My partner heads out for errands, I guess he is going quite far today.
9:58 a.m. — Little Bun gets on my NERVES. I am in a middle of a presentation, and he starts whining in the corner, and it turns out he just finished his pages and wanted me to check them. He wasn’t even done ALL of his pages, just a few of them. I am irked. He gets a lecture about urgency and priorities, and I tell him the Mommy Gerbil (versus Work Gerbil), was really hurt today because she was in a presentation, and she was stressed out 100% because of him acting up in the corner, frustrated, etc. I told him the priorities the Mommy Gerbil checks are:
- Is he dying/dead?
- Is he bleeding?
- Is he missing a limb?
- Did he fall into the toilet?
- Is the house on fire/flooded/falling down?
- Is someone trying to break in?
…and if all of these answers are NO, then it is not MORE important than Mommy doing her presentation, and in 15 – 30 minutes, talking to him afterwards to see what he needs / help. I am not available 24/7 and I bloody won’t stand for it as he is now 7 and not a little baby any more.
10:24 a.m. — He apologizes, and we both calm down, but I was really effing ticked off. I really lost it because HE ALREADY KNOWS BETTER. This is not the first time. I never really have these many me-only presentations, and it was an important one that was only about 30 minutes. I don’t do these daily, and he needs to be respectful of what I have to get done, the same way I am respectful of what he needs on a regular basis. I told him it is okay to make mistakes, but what he did, shouldn’t be repeated again, and this was not the first time.
I also told him I don’t accept any of his reasons (“I wanted to check my DONE page off!” .. “I wanted you to check all my answers so I can go onto the next page”), were good enough reasons to act he way he did and I was disappointed in his behaviour. Do NOT come at me the comments saying I am prioritizing my work over my child as well – for sure some of you are thinking this – but frankly, this is the work from home life, and he is old enough to know better than to do this. Time for him to step up and do better, can’t always give in to them nor let them run the show thinking they are going to always be prioritized over everything because you’re Mommy first and no one else – that is how you raise selfish children, in my opinion.
10:46 a.m. — I do all the dishes to calm down and he wipes the pot and all the cutlery.
11:15 a.m. — I also really like the REAL ending of these quotes: like “the early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese“, and someone messaged me saying this one which is my favourite of all:
1:10 p.m. — We have lunch, he goes down for his nap and I lie down to take a book break during lunch time.
3:00 p.m. — Up from his nap, I am still working to finish things before the weekend.
4:15 p.m. — We try the Rainbow experiment with a mirror, light and water, but fail miserably. It is only until later that I realize my phone has a very strong flashlight and we can redo the experiment with it, instead of the small light he has!
8:56 p.m. — Time for bed. We are watching the Olympics skateboarding, and I fall down a rabbit hole excitedly talking about Sky Brown, the 12-year old skater from Britain, who is incredible. Here she is jumping the Mega ramp at Elliot’s place which has a gap, with the guidance of Tony Hawk, greatest pro skateboarder of all time.
??:?? — I wake up a little dizzy. It’s raining pretty hard and I have a massive headache.
7:00 a.m. — I steel myself and we go out for the morning to play soccer and then take a long nature walk at some park we pick in the city.
10:29 a.m. — When we are back, we all take turns showering, and we have lunch.
11:18 a.m. — We check on our herbs and I wonder why the chives are struggling to grow. By now, I should have seen a lot more growth than before, considering it is past the 60-day mark. I wonder if being inside, or not having the right conditions is wreaking havoc on its growth.
12:25 p.m. — Time for lunch, it’s fries, and Little Bun and I gobble them up. I especially like them with hot siracha sauce.
1:00 p.m. — Down for his nap, I make a tea. I feel kind of dizzy so I lie down.
7:20 p.m. — Time for bed. He hauls out this book again – How to be a math genius because it has very cool puzzles he wants to solve on paper, and he likes being quizzed.
??:?? — I wake up and know I have to go get my vaccine (second shot).
7:17 a.m. — I log in and start working.
7:49 a.m. — I am answering emails, and trying to juggle everything to be done.
8:30 a.m. — I prep my work, my emails, and then I get ready to go have a second vaccine.
12:10 p.m. — All done, I head home. It was a little harder than I thought because I kept getting lost (not this building, this one!)
12:28 p.m. — At home, I rest. I lie down and nap off the fatigue.
2:20 p.m. — Up from my nap, I feel a bit better but everything I am eating and drinking tastes metallic, which is a side effect of vaccines, though it is the first one I’ve experienced thus far (my friend confirmed a vaccine she got before, not the Covid one, also made her have a metallic taste).
4:27 p.m. — I do dishes, clean a little, then lie down again and do math with Little Bun with the book that gives puzzles and ideas.
6:50 p.m. — He asks me if I have any questions he can answer. I ask him what kind of questions and he says: Anything you’d like! Math? Science?…
So I ask him to tell me about the moon. He starts off explaining about the moon, how the sun shines on it to give it a glow, and then tells me about the phases. I stop him and tell him I cannot see it, I am getting so confused with waning and waxing gibbous, and he says: Let me draw you a chart! and he spends the next 45 minutes creating this masterpiece to explain to me how it works:
7:20 p.m. — Time for bed. I head to bed early and we just lie there and chat in the dark. He asks me if I have any more questions, and I quiz him on the planets.
??:?? — I wake up and still feel a bit tired.
6:00 a.m. — I log in and work. My brain is still able to think and work, but I just need to lie down periodically.
7:59 a.m. — I seem to have more energy than from the first vaccine shot anyway.
8:25 a.m. — Little Bun tells me he is learning about mummies, but seeing my face, he says: No but not the SNUGGLING kind. The other kind with the wrapped bandages.
Good to know I am the “snuggling kind”… haha!
11:30 a.m. — I take an early lunch to hang out with Little Bun, who told me: I don’t like playing my iPad alone without you!
1:10 p.m. — Down for his nap (we played a few rounds of MOMMY NINJA and LITTLE BUN NINJA) where we hide out in the hallway, and then the other person sits facing the wall, not knowing when the other person will run in, and they have to reach the pillow and hit the alarm before the Ninja reaches them.
It’s seriously a lot of fun and I do it unexpectedly to Little Bun when I see him alone in the bedroom with a book or just playing, and he squeals with delight when I do it but admonishes me: “I didn’t know you were going to do it!“… which is .. the whole point of Mommy Ninja. Little Bun does it too but he isn’t as quick, so I always hear him.
2:08 p.m. — Isn’t this true.
4:28 p.m. — I log off for the day after getting ensnared in a message to help figure something out. Finally, I tell him to wait until the person comes back from vacation because we are stuck.
6:30 p.m. — My partner starts up the BBQ and makes sausages, with salad and chicken. We dig in with gusto. The metallic taste in my mouth from the vaccine is pretty much gone, and my friend informed me that it usually goes away in a few days, and happens with ALL the vaccines she takes. This is the first time I’ve gotten it.
8:20 p.m. — After some Olympics watching, time for bed.
Want more? Read all of my previous Week of Money Diaries.