Well, we're trying to do so damn much these days that we've officially hit the point where we probably ought to just buy something rather than find the time to make it.
I'm not even sure how this happens. We don't engage in any weekly activities, we go out--generally to buy groceries--about once a week, we aren't part of too many clubs or anything. There's really nothing to 'simplify'. What we're doing is very simple...trying to keep up with the house and the yard. And I know that Evelyn is a big part of this, but I swear to you, we just can't do it.
At least, that's what it feels like to me, and perhaps to a lesser extent, to Jacob. Earlier this evening, I was trying to decide whether to do dishes or continue scrubbing rust off of a hand-me-down toy for Evelyn, and Jacob commented that the only sure thing was that whichever one I picked, the other one would just keep getting worse. Or, as I replied, if you're weeding, then the planting's falling behind, and if you're planting, the weeds are growing. My mother used to sing a traditional song that went, "Today is Monday, tomorrow's Tuesday, Wednesday will soon be comin' on...better get up and get moving; the week's half over and the washing ain't done."
There would be enough time, however, if I could, you know, actually get stuff done during the weekdays. But I can't, because I'm either trying to keep Evelyn happy or watching her. If we had a better prepared environment for her, chances are good that she would be happier AND I wouldn't have to watch her so closely. So what I need is a better prepared environment. But that takes large quantities of this mutable time/money stuff, in some combination. It moves from the basic, like installing cabinet locks in the kitchen and baby gates at strategic points (which is not simple either, because at least one of those spots really calls for a custom gate and we'd like to make one but there goes more time...) to the more cerebral, like Waldorf- and Montessori-inspired play areas equipped with high-quality toys ($$$). And then there's the simple and perpetual fact that a cleaner environment is a safer one, but you can't clean effectively while you're watching the kid in your not-all-that-safe house. And she doesn't like to be worn unless she's outside, of course, and then god forbid you do anything but walk around.
There's a long list of things I'd really like to have which Jacob could certainly make (rocket stove, solar ovens, collinear hoe, solar wax melter, solar dehydrator, etc., etc.) but Jacob has more than enough on his plate without any of those, never mind all of them. So at what point do we just say, ahh hell, we DO have money, let's just buy something for once? I'm there, but I think Jacob will never get there. Also, whenever I mention buying something for Evelyn, the fact is that he's not the one spending his day trying to keep her away from the bookshelves or the computer power source or the pantry or or or or and he's not the one that's desperate for a little peace and sanity, even the CHANCE of a little peace and sanity, even if it costs $150. I feel like I have to show him a powerpoint with incontrovertible proof that such-and-such item will repay its full value within the first child's worth of usage or something.
I am a firm believer in making things for oneself and making do and we DO..but dammit, I'm dancing as fast as I can.