Friday, March 23, 2018

Another Week in the Life

I'm not sure this week was busier than usual... It was a little unusual in that the girls' school had a spring break this Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. But my spring break was last week. And David's spring break is next week. My parents offered to come up Wednesday night and keep the girls yesterday and today, which meant that Wednesday night I shut the door to an office that had marker lines on the desk and Cheerios ground into the carpet because I had to entertain two little helpers at work all day! (Seriously a student commented that my office smelled like cereal and I was like, "Hmmm. Must be the Cheerios."). I did enlist babysitting help from two students because I had to teach classes and attend meetings without my entourage, but it was SUCH an exhausting day because instead of being able to sit quietly after class and prep or grade or read or answer e-mails, I was switching in parenting mode while trying to multi-task. Whew.

I've been thinking a lot about where my time goes lately. In a perfectly productive day, here’s what I’d do:

Yoga in the morning before work

Drink a full glass of water before coffee and breakfast, though those both are usually consumed in the car. I almost always eat an English muffin with fresh ground peanut butter on it for breakfast. It does not bother me in the least to eat the same thing for breakfast every day. One less decision to make.

Drop girls at school, podcast or audio book on the way to work. (I have a 30 minute commute, but there's no traffic, which I think makes a huge difference in terms of it not being miserable. It's my podcast or audio book time and OMG I've been listening to this podcast called Blue Babies Pink. It's the story of a guy growing up as a conservative Christian in Alabama and trying to comes to terms with his homosexuality. It's fascinating. I also like his southern accent. Very cute.)

Teach class (I teach two classes per day, every day of the week), grade, do email, meetings, lunch in dining hall on MW, in my office other days, occasionally out to lunch with work friends. Sometimes I have time or I want to stop grading so I check social media. Other days I'm too busy/preoccupied.

Pick up girls after work.

Supervise Kumon.

Help prep dinner or drink wine and supervise Kumon while David makes dinner. Eat and help clean up.

Scroll Instagram.

Hang out with kids—puzzles, books, art projects or watching performances (they have been working on “tornado spins”)

Put kids to bed—read, snuggle, talk


Read for class

Read for fun



Watch TV

There’s just not enough time for the last five things on the list. It’s like I have to pick just one or two, and that bums me out. If I stay up later, obviously I can do more, but then it’s that much harder to do yoga the next morning. On my spring break, I drank tons of water and used the elliptical every day, but when I get home from work, getting on the elliptical is basically the last thing I want to do. Exercise quickly gets pushed aside.

Plus, if I do any kind of social event—a dinner with friends or a meeting—I miss bedtime, so I don’t commit to more than two evenings during the week ever, and I prefer to keep it at one. 

My solution for now is to rotate what I choose for fun and this week blogging has been pushed aside by other writing and reading. Sometimes reading gets pushed aside for TV. It feels like a good kind of trade off, though as the girls get older I hope our evenings stretch out a little more and I can fit in exercise. They go to bed early—ideally asleep by 7:30, which means bedtime routine needs to start around 7, which sometimes feels like that happens right after dinner gets cleaned up. By that time, exercise is out the window. And they are still so needy and hungry after school that it just doesn’t work.

One thing we don’t do during the week is screen time. It truly feels like we just don’t have time for it. I know it’s a lifesaver for a lot of people, so no judgment, but it becomes such a battle at my house to turn it off once it’s on, that for us it’s truly not worth the 22 minutes of peace we get with a Netflix show because it seems like it negatively affects behavior for at least an hour after. I’m glad we are able to avoid it—they will occasionally ask, but they expect to be told no, so its just not a big deal. (It will be interesting to see how summer goes when every day feels more like a weekend... I may need some strategies on how to deal with TV as a SAHM this summer.)

Anyway, that’s mostly how my day gets divided, plus the little stuff that eats up time but gets unaccounted for... making photocopies, texting friends, cleaning... and that list doesn’t include days when I have to run errands. The other day it was raining and I had intended to leave work 30 minutes earlier than usual to run to Target and get necessities--lotion, shaving cream, pull-ups for night time. But I couldn't get away from the office when I wanted to and I needed to pick up the girls and the thought of dragging them to Target in the rain at 5:30pm was impossible. So I went home, placed a Target order online, and scraped the last of the lotion out of the bottle just before the new one arrived two days later. Errands are hard! How did we live before Amazon and online Target?

My thoughts are turning more and more to summer even though (or maybe especially because) the weather here is cold and yucky. I'm attending the March for Our Lives here in St. Louis tomorrow and it's supposed to rain. My friend ordered ponchos and I'm going to put on my rainboots and march, though! Enough is enough. We need to make some changes. I'll make time in my day for that.

1 comment:

  1. Good luck today! I'm Canadian m but it's been amazing watching the groundswell of the pro-gun control movement in the States.