Theresa Catharina de Góes Campos


I have noticed this problem for decades and, unfortunately, nothing much has changed, despite the growing number of women now holding two fuII time jobs (at home and outside).

Many who would not spend a single dollar without first doing lots of thinking, just give precious time away without considering, not even for one minute, that they are using something which is not refunded, exchangeable or re-usable: a very expensive item in great, permanent demand and in limited supply, a resource which is capable of earning high interests and dividends, completely safe from devaluation--the greatest asset of all. Men are much more careful with their time, frequently reminding its value to others, whenever there is any threat of waste. To any human being, the need to earn respect from society must begin with self-appreciation. One of the most basic need--the goal of full (potential) accomplishment has to be the first personal priority, placing money in its due position as a tool for better living.

Recently, one of my acquaintances, who owns a house and two cars, and is comfortable enough with her budget to have an active social life, was faced with a very common problem: her dishwasher broke down. The company which supplies the necessary part didn't have it in the store and had to order it. But the manager did explain that the customer would find the item they were looking for in a kit, available right away. In order to save money, the lady decided to wait for the part individually packed, which will be installed by her husband, whenever it will arrive.

Three full weeks have already passed and they are still waiting. Though she complained to me that the delay is bothering her, the attitude is still "not to pay for a kit she does not need (!)."
With a husband and two children, anybody will guess how busy her days are. Then, why is she so inconsiderate about herself? What is creative about washing dishes, when there is so much to be done and enjoyed? Isn't it amazing that so many homemakers do not realize time also carries a high price tag? Personally, my policy would be to get the dishwasher fixed as soon as possible, for whatever price.
Such line of thinking -- to place money as more important than ourselves – is the main cause why males sometimes will expect too much from feminine energy. We are to blame ourselves when we don't keep reminding others about "the more important things we have to do."

If you are the kind who gets upset because the pile of clothes in need of mending keeps growing higher and you have been unable to sit down and go about the task, my best tip is to get your babysitter to do this, as a separate assignment. Treat too much ironing (if you still have "needs-ironing" clothes...) the same way and you will be surprised to see that you have, at last, time to go to your local libraries or along with the kids to the skating rink. Another alternative is to use the time on your hands to earn more money than you are paying for the hired help. How about freelance writing? bookkeeping? tutoring? preparing income tax forms?

A time-saving practice I repeat every week is to order cooked meals from good priced restaurant lists, getting them delivered. Don't try to tell me about you cooking them home much cheaper, after all the trouble (and waste of time) you went through to get a few of the ingredients advertised as great bargains from a far away supermarket. I remind you about the gas price and the other items for which you probably paid more than usually… or were you "smart" enough to rush and drive to your usual store, in the neighbourhood? Ah, ah! I forgot to mention that when others do the cooking, you save in high priced electricity. You also get some free time to write a birthday message, instead of feeling bad because you didn't do it for the third time around and then resort to a long distance call. Now, since you got some nice leftovers for tomorrow dinner, you also realized you will be able to do some browsing before buying that formal dress you need for a friend's wedding in less than two weeks.

I agree that some homemakers will encounter a mental reaction that may range from mild to severe, warning “her” that "this costs too much." Speak up for your rights. Point out to the other members of your family the fact of having to struggle daily with longer hours and a heavier workload than anybody else. An acute shortage of time spells disaster, sooner or later. Patiently but with determination, train your husband and children to save YOUR energy, your time, to reduce the list of your chores. YOU ARE PRICELESS.

I used to make the children's bed early in the morning and, before noon, both looked as if no one had touched them since the kids got up. After asking the children a few times without success to stop playing and jumping in the bed, I told them they were to be responsible for arranging their own bed. They started making their beds. Since they do the work, they also appreciate the effort… and don't jump on the beds anymore. It seems that all the other beds in our home lost the attraction power for the children. So, I don't mind the fact the beds don't look "professional". I am glad they are done and kept that way all day long. Discipline and imagination do help you to stretch your limited time.
If you find yourself exhausted because the household tasks are not properly shared, choose a course of action with no delay: ask your spouse and/or children to help you regularly or to hire outside help. Remember: tranquilizers and sleeping pills are not free either. Nor any other medical treatment, at home or in a hospital. TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOURSELF. Train your loved ones in the same line of thinking. You will be doing them all a big favour. You'll have more time to show how much you love and appreciate them. No wealth can buy time, remember?
Don't ever feel shy to sit down and read the newspaper, magazine or book... or just to relax or chat.

To save on your own time, you may use several services, even if you belong to the low average income category . Try a step at a time and your regular budget won't suddenly collapse. By examining your usual shopping lists, you will find dozens of items you can easily order by phone from well established department stores and having them delivered at your door in less than forty eight hours in some cases: tissue boxes, toilet paper, body and hand creams, deodorants, shaving lotions, soaps and detergents, perfumes and cosmetics in general, assorted gifts, games and toys, garbage bags, candy, chocolate in all kinds of packages, nuts, sanitary napkins, disposable diapers, stationery, etc. etc. Why waste time when it is so convenient to order and the price is the same you would pay, had you carried home a bulk of these things yourself? Fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as groceries of all brands may be brought to your house, after just a phone call to the independent corner store.

In case you are the family courier and private chauffeur, give at least some thought to, once in a while, if you don't feel well or your daily schedule seems to be for more than twenty four hours, hire the services of a company.

If you are leaving for a visit to a friend, see what else can you do in the same area you are going or on your way... It will save an extra trip, gas, money, TIME.

Line the wastebaskets in your home with one paper or plastic bag, using two each time for the small garbage container in the kitchen. This habit will completely eliminate the need for frequent washing or cleaning up the baskets and garbage containers. Another good practice consists in putting one or two bags, side by side, inside the hampers, which will then be free of dampness and the mess caused by slightly wet and/or soiled pieces of clothes.

The examples may vary with different situations, but the main thing is to keep in mind that time is your most valuable possession, using it to your best interest. Consider an insult to your intelligence any attempt to prove you are expected to stretch to the maximum limit a household allowance, despite all the evidence it will work against your personal well being. From now on, treat money as an ally, not a foe. Don't expect any miracle of multiplication, unless it means to provide many opportunities for worthwhile projects long overdue. The respect for your time does not mean you will be always spending more money than you were use to. In many cases, all you need is a good planning, a better route or a very organized schedule so you won't be overpowered by the evil illusion the Bible has been warning us all for centuries: not money… but the love of money. Do not save money at the cost of your time.

Theresa Catharina de Góes Campos
Ottawa - Ontario, Canada - 1980

From: Elizabeth Barros
Date: 2014-08-06 16:21

Querida Tia Therezita, eu estou lendo com calma este texto e estou gostando muito. Parabéns pelos conselhos. Um beijo, de sua sobrinha, ELizabeth.



Jornalismo com ética e solidariedade.