1. Grocery pickup.
Recently, the big chain grocery store near me started offering curb-side pickup. At first, I didn’t even consider it. I usually planned my meals, wrote very specific lists, and sent Dan. Or, if it was absolutely unavoidable, went myself, usually with children in tow.

But one week, I looked at our schedules, looked at my cupboards, and thought, “Hm. It may be time to see if this curb-side thing is worth it.”

It totally is, my friends. Totally. (Unless you really like grocery shopping. I recall being happy when Dan said he would do it regularly as long as I provided good, specific lists for him.)

Meal planning, list making, and grocery shopping usually take me about two hours — if I’m wrangling kids, longer. (Hey, maybe I’m not that good at it.)

Meal planning, list making, and using the pickup service takes me 45 minutes. And costs $5.

I regularly use it now, about twice a month, and oh my gosh, it makes me feel like an entitled, precocious bourgeoisie, but I’m not giving it up. I do have to get a little bit better at making sure I have everything on the list (this week, I forgot a red pepper and coconut milk, so I still have to make a store run — I can probably ask Dan to do it).

There are cons: you may not find everything online. You may need to accept less expensive or more expensive substitutions, or not accept substitutions at all and go without. I have no clue how it works with coupons. I am not a coupon clipper despite my best intentions. And of course, some people in the area absolutely hate this grocery chain for very valid reasons and shop elsewhere.

But it’s working for me. It’s given Dan and I a lot more time in our lives. For $5 and the other tradeoffs I mentioned, it’s totally worth it.

2. Pedicures
I don’t know what else needs to be said about this. Pedicures went from a rare treat to a regular thing in my life. I get one about once a month, maybe twice a month during the summer (and not as often during the winter). Sometimes I take Kate with me; sometimes I go by myself. I have two places I regularly go. And at one of those places, I also get some waxing done when needed, and the less said about that, the better.

3. Our nanny.
Just saying the phrase, “We have a nanny” is another thing that makes me feel horribly, horribly like a one-percenter. However, having a nanny during the summer is one of the best decisions we ever made, and I will make it again as long as I have to. She is fantastic with our children, they all adore each other, and having her at the house gives my children the freedom I remember from summers when I was a kid. She doesn’t put up with any crap; she’s a taskmaster. But she’s also a ton of fun. From my point of view, it’s nice to get up and go to work without having to rouse the household; and it’s nice to come home to a neat house.

She starts next Monday. I can’t wait.

What are the little or big indulgences that get you through a week?

12 thoughts on “Indulgences

  1. Oooh! Which grocery store? I don’t mind taking all four to Trader Joe’s with me because it’s usually on a Monday morning when it’s pretty dead there but all brand new produce is jam packed in the tiny aisles.

    I know this sounds lame, but I indulge on the gym day care. I teach only an hour, but am there for maybe 90 minutes or more. I get there 20 minutes before I teach where I promptly drop them off, BS with the daycare lady and then sit on the couch and have just a few minutes to myself before I teach. I’m literally 10 feet away if they need me, but I love the feeling of freedom.

    • Market District in Robinson. I think they do it at the Pine location too?

      I think using the daycare at the gym for 90 minutes sounds fabulous, not lame. It’s the little things, the tiny breaks, that make parenting more pleasant for us. Don’t apologize!

  2. Since our grocery store is an hour away and I vividly remember taking three kids to the grocery store, I am almost jealous. Our Saturday morning is generally devoted to groceries and I am delerious if were done by 1230.
    Good for you on the other things as well. My youngest son is going to be a ” Manny” this summer for a 12 year old boy. I didn’t call her a nanny, but my niece watched my kids until they were mature enough to be alone. I can’t see how else working parents could have quality of life for kids during the summer. I was alone after I was about 7 on the summers, and they were boring and lonely.

  3. Also love the redesign. For what it’s worth, I remember my mother, one of three poor Irish kids raised by grandparents after her parents died young, saying that all the folks in her lower middle class had nannies and/or “help.” It wasn’t a thing of privilege, it was an arrangement of necessity on both sides. They didn’t have live-in, full-time au pairs or anything, they had part-time babysitters who ran errands and kept an eye on things and I don’t think they had much guilt about it because they were employing folks who had it even rougher than they did. Back in the day, even the poor micks of Carnegie were Job Creators. I wouldn’t count anything that expedites food delivery, personal grooming or child care as an indulgence. And neither would most dads. Now, the cocktails that you’ll have with me soon, those might count as an indulgence.

    • Thanks for the historical perspective. If you read some of the books on what family life was like in the 2000th century, what we believe about family life the 1 earner nuclear family was true for a short period and only among a particular class.

  4. Love, love, love the grocery store idea. But not having children, I would REALLY feel like an elite Thurston Howell-snob to use it. I just hate the grocery store so, so much. And it would stop me from impulse buying stuff I don’t need and inflating the bill by 20 percent. But I really thought it would be more than $5. Hmmm.

    I agreed to a cleaning woman twice a month, since Jean and I both work and we both hate vacuuming and dusting. She the mother of a friend who appreciates the work. And if feels SO good to come home to a clean house every other Thursday night. So worth it.

    • Dan and I talked about a cleaning person, or paying his mom to do our laundry. Laundry outsourcing won, and it’s wonderful. (My house still isn’t that clean. The nanny will help with that, too. She’s the best.)

      If you hate grocery shopping so much, and it saves you time and money, do it. For $4.95 a pop? Dude, c’mon.

      • I would do it but I see they only offer it in the burbs. Too afraid they’ll get jacked up on the sidewalk in Shady Side, I guess. Also, the city stores’ parking lots are very small.

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