Thursday, 20 May 2010

Bartering

Every day I spend as a mother I am learning to let go of the "I can (and must) do it myself" mentality. Life is so much easier when you share each other's burdens and talents.

I called a good friend last night whose 6 year old is ill. I called to see if I could run any errands for her, or sit with her son if she needed to run out (her husband is out of town on business). She said she had it covered so far, but thanked me for the offer and agreed to call me if she needed something.

Then she said she did need one thing (unrelated). She had written a song and wanted to know if there was an online program to create printed sheet music. No, I replied, there isn't, but I have a great computer program and keyboard that makes it really simple. She asked if she could stop in next week and use the program, to which I agreed.

Then I backed up. "I have a proposal" I said. My friend is a master sewer. Really fantastic and experienced, which also makes her fast. I have curtains I need sewing. Just basic hemming on four sides, with a slot for the curtain rod. Then I have a little ribbon to make a trim. Nothing too complicated, but my sewing machine is more temperamental than ever, and I was looking to borrow a friend's machine. The proposal: I come to her with my computer and keyboard, so she can use the keyboard and I can use her sewing machine.

We agreed, but within moments realized one more thing: it would take me a lot longer to try and actually sew those curtains, and she would have to struggle through the computer program. The solution was obvious: she would sew, I would transcribe, and it will all be done in an hour!

Although she insists she is getting the better deal, I secretly know I am. Actually, it's such a fantastic partnership I don't know why we moms don't have a system like this going on continually!

2 comments:

Kerry said...

You're so right. Why not helping each other much more with some kind of barter system. I have two little kids, and sometimes I just need somebody to take care of them, and in return I offer to help with computer problems etc. I would like to share a good Website with you, which I found recently: www.barterquest.com
It's a trading site, where you can exchange your stuff or services. I think this is a good way to get to know mom's, who have similar problems, and would like to barter for things like child care, clothing, housework etc. and it could be real fun as well!

Jenn said...

I am ALWAYS happy to barter away my skills, and I'm thrilled when other people are too. I'm going to remember that you said this in a few years, when my sewing skills have improved even more, and Griffin is ready for piano lessons!