Sunday, July 6, 2008

Justifying Lawn Service

I recently had another mom scrunch up her nose, act shocked and say, "You have lawn service?" Yes, ma'am. I do. And so do many of my neighbors! (In fact, that is how I found my service - they were working down the road.)

After the mom said this I evaluated her lawn ( I was at her house) and noted the very small patch of grass in her backyard next to her pool. Then, her front yard was normal size. Not all that big and easily cut by a push mower. She was proud that she cut her lawn herself. Well, that is great, but your kids are older and more self-sufficient than mine!

Right after Katrina not only was our house broken, but suddenly everything we owned started breaking. First the weed wacker, then the lawnmower, etc. Also, my husband had to start traveling ALL THE TIME for work because of changes in the staff. Therefore, he was usually only home on Sundays. So I hired a lawn service so he wouldn't have to spend half the day on Sunday doing the lawn and instead could spend time with me and our daughter who was 2.5 at the time. I surely couldn't go out there myself with her and cut the grass. I also couldn't just leave her in the house and go out by myself.

So that is how we started the lawn service.

Where I live we have very large lots. So it would take my husband about 4 hours to cut, trim, edge and blow. That didn't include the time needed to weed the flower gardens, trim bushes, fertilize, etc. Did I mention we have a lot of vegetation too?

Anyway, he lost his job about 8 months after starting the service. Of course this was the first thing on my list to go. That eliminated $80 a month right off the bat!
He said no. We fought about it. He rationalized and convinced me.

Till this day, I still want to eliminate the lawn service when things get tight. It is one of the last things left that we splurge on. But, hubby reminds me that we would have to go out and buy a lawnmower & weedwacker even if we got rid of the lawn service. He also reminds me that instead of us going swimming together on the weekend he would be home doing the lawn!

I get it now. When he is watching the kids for me while I work on the weekend he cant' take a 2 & 5 year old out there and cut the grass and watch them at the same time. And when I am done working we usually do something fun together.

The last couple of weekends I have watched my neighbors spend HOURS & HOURS mowing their lawns. They don't even finish in one day due to the heat. Today, they were up early and out there again finishing up. Us? We were in the house making breakfast as a family and the kids were making crafts while I cleaned up the breakfast dishes - the whole time watching out my kitchen window as they sweated profusely while pushing their mower back and forth!

None of my neighbors have kids as little as ours. The youngest around me is in college. So they have time to get out there and do their lawns. We pay the lawn service so we can devote our time to our kids and being a family. My hubby and I are always working and juggling kids between us. That is one less thing we have to worry about.

I just let the two young guys sweep through my jungle on their very expensive rider mower and finish up in 1.5 hrs instead.

To me, and to my hubby, it is so worth it.


mimosa momma said...

I feel the same way about a housekeeper...I just have to convince my hubby to let me have one!!

Lanny said...

I want to cut our lawn service when things get tight too, but like you, we don't. Family time is worth FAR more than we pay for our service. We'd also have to purchase a new mower, and it would take hours to edge our property simply due to the landscape. Although I think we pay them too much, I wouldn't trade my family time for anything.