Friday, April 6, 2007

E-Ode to a modern mother

It wasn't that long ago that, while the husband went off to work, the wife was expected to stay at home, look after the kids, make pastry and keep a clean house. Life is pretty different in our home, with a lot fewer expectations of what is normal, and a lot more experimentation of what works best. And this is where I have to give Les her props- she is very creative and willing to try new opportunities which are now available over the internet. I don't know where she finds all of these things? I think is probably a starting point for her, but I suspect she has many other sources too.

I would say that this behaviour started a little less than two years ago when we arrived home from Europe. The first venture I can recall was "Mystery Shop" where Les got paid for mailing some envelopes with the Post Office and then filled out a questionnaire about the level of service she received. Ever since then we receive a couple of emails a day with different opportunities for us to make a little cash by visiting a local retailer. It wasn't a big money maker and Les doesn't do many any more. However, every once in a while, when she wants a free basket of BodyShop products or what have you, Les once again dons her mystery shopping hat.

Perhaps a more profitable but time-consuming activity, is selling things on Craigslist. We picked up a $3 "saucer" for toddlers at a thrift store last year and Les was able to sell it for $35 on the first day she posted it on Craigslist. Not a bad return but pretty labour intensive. The article Les had published in the Globe and Mail came through the internet, as was a recent job offer to write for a trade magazine. Les is great at getting free things on the internet too; whether it's passes to a show or a Starbucks gift card. Lately I have noticed that a lot of the events we take the kids to, stuff going on in the community, are things Les heard about on-line.

However, having said all this, I still think last night's activity was the coup for her. I rushed home after work so she could go out to another of these mystery events. It turns out that somewhere on the internet, Les found an invitation to a catered buffet dinner at an upscale local hotel. In exchange for eating this meal (which she described as "fantastic" note: she rarely says this about my special breakfast dinner I prepare for her) and sharing what she knows about Flaxseed oil, Les was paid $60 for her time. Now, I know what Les knows about Flaxseed oil,and this does not seem like a fair exchange. However, the man who is starting the Flaxseed Oil company seemed happy enough, so everybody came out a winner. You've got to love the internet- and my wife too of course!

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