Jack enjoying his puree (lovingly made by Fatima)
So an interesting thing has been happening this week. My youngest son Jack, is nearing five months in age and is embarking on the world of real food (outside of breast milk, which he still guzzles happily several times per day). I have literally been dreading this stage, having been through it three times already. With your first child you feel rather industrious standing there peeling, chopping, cooking, sieving, pureeing, cubing, freezing, bagging (do you catch my drift?) etc etc. There is much pleasure to be derived from cooking your own organic purees to nurture and nourish your precious bundle.
When my second son Kai came along, needless to say I was feeling rather less industrious. More like I was feeling a little frazzled running around after a 20 month old toddler. But I still made the effort although it has to be said with a little less joy. By the time Maya made an apprearance, the wonderful world of Ella’s Kitchen had been born (THANK YOU Paul Lindley, Ella’s dad!) as I was sick to death of pureeing and freezing (mothers everywhere will understand :))
Enter Jack fourth child, and I find myself torn. I wanted to puree all his own food, but was really finding it tough to fit it in. Then one day as I was running around frantically steaming and pureeing before I left for a meeting, I looked around my kitchen and suddenly noticed that two of my staff were there, playing with the kids. And the question occurred to me: why oh why was I spending my precious money making time peeling and chopping vegetables, when I have people who work for me who I’m sure are perfectly capable and most of all willing, to do it for me? I realised that I had been putting off asking them to do it for me, because I thought it would take too much time to explain to them how to do it: it was just quicker to do it myself. I also realised that I am a total and utter CONTROL FREAK. What if they did it wrong? What if it wasn’t smooth enough? What if they added too much water and it wasn’t perfect? (You catch my drift).
It really got me thinking of all the areas of my life where I refuse to give up control because of fear. My fear is mostly based around people not being able to do things as well as me, or in the same way that I do them, and it is this fear that is one of my biggest limitations. Because I am such a “doer” I find it very hard to delegate (translation – give up the control!). Learning to delegate is the one thing that will free up some time in your life, and enable to you gain more of a work/life balance. Delegation doesn’t necessarily have to be to someone you employ – it could be as simple as tasking one of your kids to take the bins out on a daily basis. Or asking your husband to cook one night per week. This seems to be the biggest thing that we women struggle with as we wear so many hats. So the question then becomes, where are you controlling things that you could let go of, that would free you up to spend time on other things? And why are we choosing control over living the life we really want, if we actually do want something more than we have now?