Delegating - Who knew I'd be a Pro!

Even though I know the proactive approach I alluded to in Monday's post is making a big difference in how healthy I am, I'm sure there's another reason why I'm doing so well. Meet Leticia, the world's greatest babysitter!!

Leticia comes over every afternoon from 1-5pm Monday through Friday to watch little Miss Deirdre, giving me ample opportunity to fit in a good 2-hour nap, write a quick blog entry, or do a few things around the house - all of which leave me feeling refreshed, renewed, and most importantly, healthy. She enables Johnny and me to grab a quick lunch date together when we can, and I can even run a few errands now and again, although I usually have to be careful about trying to fit in too much. (The time or two I've skimped out on a full nap, my joints have paid the price.) What's more, she prepares dinner for us most evenings before she goes, does the dishes, washes, dries and folds the laundry, changes the sheets on the bed (as needed), takes care of the dogs, and treats our little angel as if she's her own. In fact, she has grown children of her own, and is great about helping this new mom figure out just what Deirdre is up to sometimes. I can't tell you how lucky we are to have found such a wonderful person to watch our little munchkin for a few hours each day - what a godsend she's been!

In working with Leticia, I've learned that there is an art to delegating, and although I never thought I'd be so good at it, I think I've perfected it. (I'm sure Leticia would say so!) In order to stay healthy as Lupites, we need to teach ourselves how to take advantage of the opportunity to delegate - it not only alleviates stress and strain on our bodies, it allows others to take part in our quest for a healthy lifestyle. Whether it's at home, the office, or anywhere in between, here are my tips for making delegation work for you:

Preparation: While it takes a little forethought to have Leticia make dinner each night, it's worth it! Over the weekend, I try to rummage up a few recipes that would be good options for her to make during the week, and then I make sure I have the ingredients on hand. I do my best to remember to pull out anything from the freezer that needs to be defrosted, and I go over the recipe with her once she arrives at 1pm. I also try and bring down any laundry that needs to be done, and we try and run the dishwasher before she comes so that she can unload it (and fill it up again with our dirty dishes) while she's here. In addition, I make sure I have a bottle ready for her (usually pumped the night before) so that she can feed the little lady anytime during the afternoon - leaving me free to nap, relax, or run errands. So far, my prep work is paying off!

Organization: While organization comes pretty naturally to me, I know that keeping the house in order makes utilizing Leticia that much easier. She knows where to find everything (because most things have a place in our house), so she can refill the diaper stash, easily find ingredients in the kitchen, or put away the dishes without having to constantly check with me. I'm telling you - if our house was scattered and disorganized, I would spend way too much time answering her questions about where something goes. She likes the independence, and I love my time "off"!

Relaxation: Being organized and relatively good at preparation, I'm not that great at letting other people do things for me. I think it's usually easier to just do it myself, but when I'm running on empty, the benefits of having others "do" for me far outweigh the frustrations of not having something done exactly as I might do it. In fact, it's becoming easier and easier to just relax, and enjoy the fact that Leticia is feeding the munchkin, making dinner, or folding laundry while I'm sleeping soundly upstairs. Sure, she may not make a recipe exactly like I would (although that has yet to happen), or she may change Deirdre into an outfit I might not have chosen - but let's be honest - who really cares? She's doing it so I don't have to - and that's the bottom line. I've found that my relaxed attitude has carried over into my relationship with Johnny, too. He has his way of doing things (be it with little D, or the boys, or around the house), and that works for me. Rather than thinking, "oh, I wouldn't have done it that way", I think, "thank goodness he's doing that and not me!"

Of course, I think back to my years working in an office, and think how great it would have been if I could have relaxed a little bit more and allowed others to help out now and again. I ran myself ragged most days - and who knows, maybe Lupus wouldn't have come on so strongly if I had learned to delegate better. Of course, the sicker I became, the more delegating I did, but I wasn't enjoying it like I do now. If you're going to let someone do something for you, don't fret about the outcome. Just enjoy the fact that you're not doing it yourself!


Anonymous said…
Some alternatives if you're not so lucky to have Letitia: relatives, neighbors, church members, friends, local college girls, a local grandma whose grandbabies don't live nearby. Would need good organizational skills to pull it off, but do something to put your health's not as hard as you'd think to reach out...most people are more than happy to give a little time to help out.
Sara Gorman said…
I completely agree! It's always amazing how many people are willing to lend a hand - all you have to do is ask (which is often the hard part for independent, self-sufficient people like us!)

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