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It looked like garlic was going to finally be my undoing yesterday. It was a day when everything was running late, and I was standing in the kitchen, trying to smash a clove so I could peel it, chop it and throw it into the dressing. It was not going well, and I was beginning to rue my culinary ambition. It also reminded me of an old Wall Street Journal piece that suggested -- from an economic point of view -- people who chopped their own garlic were total suckers.

According to the Journal's math -- which assumed that time spent on household tasks was time spent not making money -- anyone who pulls in more than $10,000 a year would be better off leaving the garlic chopping to the Food Network chefs and just buying a huge jar of the pre-chopped stuff. Ditto oil changes: Why block off valuable time Saturday morning to change your oil when a quick-lube place can do it for about the cost that you'd pay to buy the supplies. And is a tag sale really worth it? Is a hundred-dollar haul worth a morning sitting on the stoop haggling (and an evening of tagging)?

On the flip side, they argue that it's silly to hire someone to do your tax returns: paying someone else to do your return (using something very similar to the off-the-shelf software) saves barely any time. And you ought to be organizing your own desk. Only those pulling down more than $500,000 a year to make it worthwhile to hire an organization pro, according to the piece.

Still, I have experimented at various points with putting the "economics" back in "home economics." I went through a couple months as a freelance writer where I paid a lawn guy to cut the grass for a few weeks so I could jam on a couple of big-payday stories, but I felt terrible when I heard someone else mowing in my backyard. And I've gone through "Let's Dish" phases, where I vastly overpay for pre-prepared dinners in the interest of getting dinner to the table before Jay Leno comes on TV, but I felt like a terrible spendthrift.

And that was a few years ago, and the Journal piece dates to 2003. I'm even more wary now, with the economy still looking shaky. A few extra bucks in the savings account is well worth spending a little extra time around the house. Even if it's chopping garlic.

How about you all? Do you ever outsource household chores -- from cleaning house to cooking dinner to trimming the hedges -- because it makes sense economically? And if you've cut back, I'd love to hear about that, too. These are uncertain times, after all.

By Brian Reid |  September 22, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
Previous: Five Toys That Need a Rebirth | Next: When It's Parents That Lie

Comments


"trying to smash a clove so I could peel it, chop it and throw it into the dressing"

Don't smash it. Grab it; give it a quick strong twist and the skin will crack. Then peeling it's a snap.

Outsource? Depends on the fun factor and what else I'd be doing with the time. Cooking's fun; ain't no way I'm letting go of that.

Posted by: ArmyBrat1 | September 23, 2009 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday's topice: I was glancing through the toys r us christmas flyer and the smurfs were in it. So I think they must be making a come back.

I love those big jars of prechopped garlic. I only use fresh garlic for roasts.

Some of those conviences just make life easier and more pleasant. I think you got to pick and choose. We still send out my husband's shirts and have a lawn service. The one thing I would love one day is a cleaning service. I think it will have to wait till the kids are out of the house. I am hoping to train my kids to do a little. Right now my daughter has learned to set the table. But I hope to teach both my kids to clean bathrooms, vacum, and kitchen detail. That should help a lot. But we got a long way to go. Both kids are still scared of the vacum cleaner.

Posted by: foamgnome | September 23, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

"Still, in figuring out how to maximize your time, salary is a logical jumping-off point. Economists suggest you begin by calculating what an hour of your time is worth, based on your salary after taxes. Using that figure, you can then compare the cost of doing the job yourself vs. outsourcing it. If you do it yourself, you have to add in the price of any materials; if you hire someone else, of course, you have to factor in the time it takes to hire and manage them."

Works for me.

Posted by: jezebel3 | September 23, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: jezebel3 | September 23, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

I think people overestimate how much money they could save doing more for themselves-if you are outsourcing a ton of stuff the amount could be significant-but I think it depends if you make a straight salary or if are incentive based and could make more money with the extra time.

Not telling my family yet (I think) but want to tell someone-my hubby and I found out I am 6 weeks pregnant yesterday!

Posted by: sunflower571 | September 23, 2009 7:44 AM | Report abuse

I meant underestimate above. Having trouble focusing!

Posted by: sunflower571 | September 23, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations, Sunflower! Best wishes for a healthy and easy pregnancy. I forget -- how many kids do you have?

The only thing we outsource is the lawn. DH used to spend an hour mowing, then 3 hours doing all of the yard stuff he'd noticed while mowing. For $25/week, I get almost all of that time back. It's totally worth it.

I can't quite bring myself to hire a cleaning person. It just feels too decadent to me. Besides, the actual cleaning part isn't a problem. I keep up with that quite well. It's the clutter that's kicking my rear, and I'd have to deal with that regardless of who was doing the cleaning.

Posted by: newsahm | September 23, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

This is my first!

Posted by: sunflower571 | September 23, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

And thank you, Newsahm!

Posted by: sunflower571 | September 23, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Congrats sunflower.

What do we outsource?

Car maintenance. First, I don't know what I am doing and second, can you do it in the parking lot?

Swimming: I can't swim very well at all so I can't imagine how I would teach my kids.

I buy the cut up garlic but most other things I am starting to make.... like taco seasoning or bread. Not only are these cheaper but I feel the homemade kind has healthier ingredients.

When the economy was great, we were broke. The shaky economy might have screwed lots of people up but we are actually in a better position than we were before. Despite that... we haven't outsourced anything additional. We might be in a better position but we still aren't that far from financial ruin should something tragic happen.

Posted by: Billie_R | September 23, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

First of all, (and most importantly) - congrats to sunflower! Another blog baby! I Love it! Keep us updated. One thing I've noticed from the dozen or so mothers that gave birth here is that they disappear for several months after the baby is born. I wonder why? LOL!

On topic - One of my justifications for having a garden is that it puts food on the table. But I know as well as my wife that for all the expenses, - shovels, hoes, tomato cages, stakes, twine, bean fences, soil additives, leaf mulcher, seeds..., pound per pound of produce, I can't beat the commercial growers by the dollar. (Well, zucchinis maybe since I pull out a few 3 and 4 pounders every year.) What it really comes down to though is the theraputic value I get from the activity. Even then, gardening in and of itself, getting filthy dirty, swatting flies and gnats, getting all prickly from weeding, then suffering the disappointment from my plants dying for some unknown reason isn't very satisfying either. Sometimes I think it's a big waste of time.

So why do I garden? I dunno. Perhaps its to satisfy some instinctive urge to wallow around in dirt, you know, keeping in touch with mother earth. One thing I do know for sure though, is that taking a shovel and diggin the dirt in the hot sun, and working up a sweat so thick that the gnats drown from landing on my back is a lot cheaper per hour than talking with a head shrink. Besides, what else is there to do with time other than to waste it? It's what we do with our time that defines us as the unique individuals that we are.

Posted by: WhackyWeasel | September 23, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

We have a cleaning lady come every other week. We tried going without one to save the money and it just wasn't worth it.

We have a small yard so I can mow and edge in less than a half hour, no reason to pay someone $25 to do that. We do usually hire someone to do yard cleanup once a year - weeding, trimming, etc. We just really hate doing it.

The problem I have with this cost/benefit analysis based on your salary is that doing these things isn't taking away from your income. I make about $35 an hour, so that would mean I should hire someone to mow the lawn if they would do it for $17.50 or less, since that's the value of a half hour of my time. But mowing the lawn doesn't come out of my work time, it comes out of my free time. And usually I fit it in when we're just hanging out at home anyway, so it's not what I consider to be valuable time.

Posted by: dennis5 | September 23, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

we have someone do the heavy cleaning every two weeks.

and that's about it.

if i was paid hourly and could make a few $100 working saturday morning instead of mowing the lawn i'd outsource that too, but that's now how my job works.

Posted by: interestingidea1234 | September 23, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Congrats Sunflower!

As for outsourcing, I think it all depends on how much you enjoy the task, for example I know men that like changing the oil. "Spending time in the garage" needs justification sometimes. Chopping garlic? Lots of women love to cook, including all the chopping and peeling.

Household chores are a bit different, although I know people (women and men) that love cleaning and organizing. I am not one of them - but I admire them all. We used to have a housecleaner every 2 weeks for years but stopped last Spring when we had some rather large expenses (multiple car repairs, HVAC replacement, cat surgeries) and needed to bulk up the savings again. All I can say is - I miss the cleaners. Spending hours on the weekend cleaning never happens, so it is a hodge-podge. The result is the house is never entirely clean. We can live with it, but free time is what I crave and that is what the cleaners really provided.

Posted by: cheekymonkey | September 23, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

My family started outsourcing more of the household chores after we had our first child. Our philosophy is that with two working parents, we would much rather spend time on the weekend parenting and enjoying family time than doing yard work. So first we started with lawn service. Six months later we added cleaning service a couple times a month. This is on top of having someone service our cars (something we are not qualified to do) and have someone clean our gutters (afraid of heights).

Posted by: dragonfly1 | September 23, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

The problem with this anaylsis is that if I spend the time working it can't be translated into more money as I am on salary, so even if I worked those hours I wouldn't bring in more money. So the question is do I do the chore, get a second job to pay for it or give up something else. Quite often doing it is the best option, especially for things I enjoy like cooking and gardening.

Posted by: mom_of_1 | September 23, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for all the congrats! Sorry to get off topic but how soon did the rest of you tell your families? I think we went over this months ago but more relevant to me now!

Posted by: sunflower571 | September 23, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

how did we tell our families? we picked up the phone and called everyone "guess what? wife is pregnant!"

as it should be, there was a wide range of reactions:

parents = thrilled for us
siblings = really happy for us
extended family = fairly happy for us
female friends = thrilled for us
male friends = generally happy for us

please temper expectations. not everyone will see this as a monumental experience.

Posted by: interestingidea1234 | September 23, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

The problem with this anaylsis is that if I spend the time working it can't be translated into more money as I am on salary, so even if I worked those hours I wouldn't bring in more money. So the question is do I do the chore, get a second job to pay for it or give up something else. Quite often doing it is the best option, especially for things I enjoy like cooking and gardening.

Posted by: mom_of_1 | September 23, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse


Interesting viewpoint. I look at my "market" value per hour and then do the
cost/benefit analysis. I will ALWAYS find the money for rodent control/removal. This is one of the first signs of status in my culture. LOL! If a chore can be done while I'm watching Cary Grant on TV, or yakking on the phone, it becomes far less burdensome, boring, and mundane.

As always, to each his own.

Posted by: jezebel3 | September 23, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Sunflower:
We waited until 7-8 weeks to tell our parents (and they were sworn to secrecy)
12-13 weeks for everyone else.

Posted by: dragonfly1 | September 23, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

For us, the outsourcing of "deep" house cleaning (once every 3 weeks) isn't about the economics, it's about getting it done on a regular basis.
Having our neighbor's teenager cut the lawn when it needs it means that my husband can spend weekend time on other home repair/renovation projects that save us lots.

Posted by: library2 | September 23, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

We told our closest friends and the people we saw every day as soon as we knew, probably 6 weeks. We told our families maybe a couple of weeks later. The "traditional" delay of waiting until 12 weeks, is intended to relieve you of having to tell everyone if you have a miscarriage. If we had experienced a miscarriage early on or any time in the pregancny, we'd have put the word out to a couple of trusted friends and family with instructions to clue everyone in. Neither of us could have kept our joy, or my utter inability to keep a meal down, a secret. To each, his own. You and your spouse write the rules on this based on what you know of yourselves and your families and friends. We told our respective employers at approximately 15 - 17 weeks.

Posted by: bgraphite | September 23, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

sunflower - congratulations! I would suggest that you can tell folks to whom you are very close right now, and all others anytime after 12 weeks. This way, you get to share your excitement right now with the people who matter and in the event something happens with your pregnancy, your close friends and family will be there for needed support. (Not to Debbie Downer, but this is nearly verbatim what my OB told me...)

Can anyone give details about what you mean by "deep cleaning?" Are you saying that your toilet only gets cleaned every three weeks, or what?

Posted by: VaLGaL | September 23, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I am hoping to train my kids to do a little. Right now my daughter has learned to set the table. But I hope to teach both my kids to clean bathrooms, vacum, and kitchen detail. That should help a lot. But we got a long way to go. Both kids are still scared of the vacum cleaner.

Posted by: foamgnome |

___________________________________________

I don't know about anyone else, but my parents never needed to hire a cleaning service because they had some very capable in-house cleaning - me and my siblings. When my sister and I were old enough to stand on a stool and do the dishes, my older brothers decided it was time for them to stop - nice, huh? Anyway, we all had chores -and guess what - it didn't scar us for life. Because my brothers are considerably older, they were out of the house quickly. So that meant my sis and I had the bulk of the duties. We were to have the kitchen clean, all beds made and living room straightened by the time my Mom walked in the door after work. We took turns washing the after-dinner dishes, as well as mowing the lawn, picking up sticks before our mom mowed, laundry, and other random chores. It may have not been fun work, but it taught us how to be responsible. In fact, it surprised us after our father remarried when we discovered that our younger step brothers had never washed a dish in their lives. It didn't last long - that's what big sister's are for.
Point is - don't be afraid to give your kids chores. Cheapest way to get things done around the house and teach your kids how to be successful adults some day.

Posted by: sighnyc | September 23, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations, Sunflower. It's great to hear your good news.

As Jezebel noted yesterday, I've started a new blog called MoCoMoms.com . I hope, over time, to build it into a full blown site for parents in Montgomery County. All of you are welcome to stop by whenever. Today's topic: Homework.

Posted by: StaceyGarfinkle | September 23, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

We tried outsourcing the house and yard chores but it just never seemed worth it. The lawn never looked better in spite of "scientific " analysis and treatment. The house cleaners went after breaking several vases and knick-knacks but wouldn't admit fault (i.e. not adhering to the written contract IMO). Maybe someday, we'll try again but I'd rather save the money for vacation.

Congratulations sunshine! We sent flowers to the new grandparents/aunts/uncles with a message of "can't wait to meet you in the spring" from "your grandchild". Big fun getting those return phone calls!!!! My sibling said "wow" for about 10 minutes straight. Everyone else we called or emailed after 12 weeks.

Posted by: ishgebibble | September 23, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

congrats, sunflower! I'm pregnant with my first as well - due in six weeks!

We didn't tell anyone until 12 weeks... even though I knew we wouldn't keep it a secret from our families or close friends if I did miscarry, we just didn't want to jinx ourselves. Probably silly, but actually, once you get over the initial "I want to tell everyone!" phase, it is kind of fun to have that little secret between you and your spouse. When we did tell, we went out to lunch with both our parents so we could tell them at the same time and it was probably one of the most fun days of the pregnancy.

Posted by: JJ321 | September 23, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Sunflower: congratulations!
-I have, like many, gone with the principle of "tell now to those you would also tell about a miscarriage, tell after 12 weeks everybody else who should know". In my case, that means parents, siblings, and about two friends until the 12 weeks had passed. My sister's 2nd husband couldn't wait to tell friends, colleagues and the butcher, and it did make it more difficult when she miscarried.

On topic:
Its an interesting way of calculating, and we do, to some degree use it. Here in Mexico the difference in salaries is so great, that when I teach one university class (3 hours teaching, plus prep, say about 10 hours work a week) I earn enough to pay about 40 hours of domestic help at what is considered a decent wage. So, we do have fulltime help Mon-Fri, which in part covers taking care of my youngest children while I'm working, but also covers cleaning, laundry and ironing. So, if I didn't work, we wouldn't need to pay someone to watch the children, but we would also not have help with the chores, so no doubt, this pays for us (and I love my adult-time teaching).

On the other hand, I use at least 1½ hours most days cooking, plus a couple of hours once a week baking bread, and while price/quality is much better that way, than buying ready-made, it would be more economic for me to teach a second class, and spend half that salary to pay a 2nd domestic help to come halftime and do all the cooking and baking after I taught her how.
In fact, I often do teach a second class, but I enjoy cooking, and letting the children help and learn, so I prefer not to spend that money to be "economical".

Basically, the most economic would be for me to work fultime, giving us the chance to have not one housekeeper, but housekeeper, cook, nanny, chaufeur etc, but, ummm, I would rather live my life, than work to earn money to let others live it for me.

Aterall, as others have mentioned, the calculation only really works if you spend the time saved to actually make money, otherwise its paying for services to give you sparetime. And yes, that worth paying for to get rid of work you would rather not do, but not to get rid things you enjoy.

Posted by: Mmex | September 23, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for all the responses. I am really unsure about whether to tell my Grandmothers...I would hate for them to be upset if I have a miscarriage but also they are both older so if they were to die before knowing that would be a shame too. I think it is going to be hard to keep this a secret for long!

Posted by: sunflower571 | September 23, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

i never wanted a house, and the lawn that goes with it, so DH took care of the lawn when we first moved in. After one kkid, he could still deal with the lawn, but after two, well, we decided that it would be better to pay someone to take care of it. He only mows the lawn, so any real 'care' falls to us, anyway.
We have someone clean every other week. She started after number 1 was one. I am a horrible cleaner (we always had a house cleaner, my mom never taught any of us (three girls) to take care of the house, clean, cook, sew, etc.). So we try to keep it clean read: always cleaning) but the house needs more, so we have someone clean. My biggest pleasure would be to have her come every week. *sigh*.

Seriously - if you look at economic theory, well, everything people said here is true. If you look at supply demand for when salaries increase, well, demand (i.e., someone wanting to work more) decreases as supply (i.e., wages/hours) increases. Which is completely opposite to what economic theory will tell you. The reason is that once someone has enough money for 'the basics' and maybe a few not so basics, well, they typically value their free time more than the next hour of work would pay them.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | September 23, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

congrats, sunflower.

husband has hayfever so he doesn't do yard work. i am not interested in mowing the yard so i have a service. once our son gets old enough to mow a yard i'll make him the same offer i made my stepson. if he wants to earn money mowing i'll buy him a mower. he mows my yard for free until he pays off the mower. if he wants to earn money mowing other people's yards that he can keep.

Posted by: quark2 | September 23, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

oh, and sunflower: congrats!

We didn't tell anyone til 12 weeks. It was tough the first week or two, I guess, then after 12 weeks, it seemed like: hey we're keeping this secret, how do we tell people? But we did.
I'm not all about telling everyone everything and if I miscarried, I don't know who I would've told, so that didn't really play into it.
I had a friend who told everyone the minute she knew, and she said she'd tell everyone if it didn't work out, so what the heck. Not my style.

You can figure out your style, and deal with it. My dad really didn't care one way or another, and I don't speak with him much, so seriously, not really a big deal. My sisters are caught up with themselves, so again, whatever.
My DH isn't incredibly close with his parents, but back then we saw them a bunch. But he didn't tell them til 12 weeks either. It's a really personal decision...

Posted by: atlmom1234 | September 23, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

congrats sunflower.
We told family 6-8 weeks
co workers and friends 12 weeks
employers actually earlier (6-8 ) weeks, so we can make arrangements for maternity leave and long term projects. But we felt secure in our jobs.

Posted by: foamgnome | September 23, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

sunflower, for whatever it's worth, your elderly grandmothers would probably deal with the news of a miscarriage easier than your younger friends - remember that prenatal care really kind of sucked back in the day, so they probably knew a whole bunch of women who miscarried back then - According to my elderly female family members, it was really just a fact of life in the 30s and 40s and only became hush-hush sometime in the 50s. Of course that was in the rural south, so your family's experience could be very different...
I agree with everyone else that it's really a personal choice so I guess I am just thinking out loud and really procrastinating a distasteful chore at work...

Posted by: VaLGaL | September 23, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Sunflower,

If you're worried about the grandparents, why don't you wait until you have that first ultrasound and see the heartbeat? The chance of miscarriage goes way down once there's a heartbeat. And, since most docs will give you an ultrasound between 8-10 weeks, at least you won't have to wait the full 12.

I'm so excited for you -- you're in for such an amazing ride! Makes me feel nostalgic for when I was pregnant the first time.

Posted by: newsahm | September 23, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Newshm,

I did have the ultrasound yesterday and saw the heartbeat at 6 weeks. (I was surprised after I read a book afterward that said you usually can't see the heartbeat until 8 weeks but the Dr seems sure I am at 6 weeks). They did the ultrasound because I was having other female troubles.

And ValGal, you do have a good point about my Grandmothers-I think they have both seen a lot through the years (each have had grown children die) so perhaps I am worrying too much.

Posted by: sunflower571 | September 23, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Off Topic - Congratulations, Sunflower! Best wishes for a healthy and easy pregnancy.

I had a miscarriage around 4-8 weeks - after I'd blabbed my news to absolutely everyone I knew. Very, very awkward and uncomfortable for me, and for everyone else too. In hindsight, I wish I'd kept my big mouth shut until I was out of the 1st trimester.

On topic - DH has an oil-and-lube place that does a package deal - four oil-changes for the price of three. Disposing of used oil here in CA is *really* a problem, and it's much better to have the pros take care of it, than to get caught and fined (heavily!) for improper disposal.

Lawn mowing got handed over to older son quite a while back, and this summer younger son wanted to start doing that too, because we pay them for it.

Other than those two, I can't think of anything else we outsource. But DH is the SAHP, and if we calculated the wages he hasn't received for the last 18 years, against what he could have earned as an IT professional - all his work around the house and with the kids would be ridiculously costly. Well, maybe not - considering the costs of professional services for an autistic kid, maybe we are coming out ahead.

Cooking from scratch (funny that the garlic thing came up, because in a couple of weeks I'll be planting my next garlic crop) things just taste better if they're made from real, fresh ingredients. If the cook is using stuff that's preprocessed, they're losing flavor, and may be losing out on nutrition too.

If we can't get fresh, we buy mostly frozen instead of canned vegetables because of the nutrition considerations - and the taste! I've certainly bragged more than enough here, about what good eaters the boys are, and how much they *like* vegetables.

Posted by: SueMc | September 23, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm one of those folks that sees hiring people to do chores as generating more free time, not more income. Of course, if you hate a chore and have the money, it seems pretty reasonable to have someone else do it. (that comment causes my mother to quip that she had us kids so that WE would do the chores she hated)

Posted by: KS100H | September 23, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

as for the lawn mowing, well, when the kids are a little older, they will be doing it..
And they will be able to use our lawn mower to earn money in the neighborhood, too. But definitely, they will one day be responsible for mowing the lawn.

Posted by: atlmom1234 | September 23, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations, Sunflower.
I would tell anyone close enough about the pregnancy that I wouldn't mind telling about a miscarriage. It just depends on how comfortable you are with sharing such news with others. It's great that you have already seen a heartbeat. It's true that the rate of miscarriage is significantly reduced after a heartbeat has been detected. I have had 3 miscarriages, two of them very early in the pregnancy (around 6 -8 weeks). In both those cases, the early ultrasound did not detect a heartbeat and I was told that the embryo had not survived. But then I got pregnant with my daughter, and we were on pins and needles at the 6 week ultrasound. But the sonographer found a tiny little heartbeat and nine months later, a healthy baby girl was born. What joy.
In each of the pregnancies, I told my friends and family even before 12 weeks, and even knowing that I might miscarry. I don't regret it, because their support was very important to me in either case. But everyone is different, so just do what makes you feel most comfortable. Congrats again, and best wishes for a healthy pregnancy and baby.

Posted by: emily8 | September 23, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Congrats Sunflower! On the telling topic as an 8-miscarriage veteran who no longer says anything about fertility until it's obvious... it actually doesn't matter.

Do what you are comfortable with. People our grandmothers' ages generally have been through more difficult stuff around birth than our generation and I found they were often the most caring but also - pragmatic. It is amazing how many women have stories about pregnancy and 98% of responses I had the few times I was optimistic at early stages were loving. If you feel like sharing, share away, and if you lose the baby, let people give you a hug. If you don't share and you lose the baby sure you don't have to tell people, but then you lose out on the hugs (also a just fine response).

But it sounds very promising - enjoy.

On the outsourcing topic isn't chopped garlic in oil? Or something? Anyways, I use a garlic press. :)

Posted by: Shandra1 | September 23, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Congrats Sunflower! Regarding telling family, we went with different approaches for each pregnancy. First child, we told my husband's parents the week after we found out, and saved the announcement for my family till the next month (we made the announcement a Christmas present for my parents-a baby bib wrapped around a jar of baby food, and even then it took my mom a few minutes to figure it out!). With my second child, I had one of the worst cases of morning sickness known to woman (24-hour nausea for almost 3 straight months), so keeping it a secret till 12 weeks was downright impossible (not to mention she was a birth control baby, so seeing the test turn positive was, shall we say, a SHOCK?).

On topic, we're pretty much the DIY types, partly because we don't have money to spare to pay somebody else, and partly because we have the why-pay-somebody-else-when-we-can-do-it-ourselves mentality. And yes, we have our kids do chores to help out! Our oldest is 7, so getting her to do her chores sometimes involves a bit of nagging, but the threat of being grounded (no TV, computer or video games, or allowance) usually motivates her butt! Even the two-year-old chips in and helps get things picked up! Chores are NOT fatal to small fry, and they're a great way to teach self-reliance and personal responsibility.

Posted by: dragondancer1814 | September 25, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

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