Thursday, November 15, 2012

An Update on the Cloud Household Logistics

Back when I first wrote my "Having it All: The Logistics" post (which I really wish I'd called "Having All of It That You Want: The Logistics," so much have I come to despise the phrase "having it all"), Alexicographer wondered how things would look once we no longer had both kids at the same day care. I said I'd come back and update once Pumpkin started Kindergarten. And then I forgot about it.

A couple of blog posts reminded me about it this week: AskMoxie had a post with a mother who is about to go back to work asking for advice and Laura Vanderkam had a post about that lawyer who quit with a dramatic exit email detailing how long/crappy her day was. I realized that our schedule has settled into a routine again, and decided that it was time to update my logistics post. I've cut and paste the old schedule in here, and modified it to reflect our new routine.

The Base Weekday Schedule

My husband still gets up at about 6:20 a.m., when the alarm goes off. I still get up earlier most days. I now set my alarm for 5:55 and try to get up for some "me" time. The plan is to go for a short run Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, do some writing on Tuesdays, and do yoga on Thursdays. But Petunia has a bad habit of waking up and messing up my plans. Or she'll have a bad night (or I'll be sick) and I won't want to get up. I recently had the bright idea of doing two of my 10-minute dance workouts, which actually worked as long as I let Petunia watch a show on my Kindle Fire. I prefer the run- the neighborhood is so quiet at that hour, and I enjoy the peace. But perfect isn't possible right now, so I'll take what I can get.

We all eat breakfast. I check my email and then shower, and do my hair. I also help get the kids dressed and ready. Petunia has started demanding that I get her ready, and in the interest of getting everyone out the door roughly on time, I have been doing this. Mr. Snarky has picked up an 8:45 meeting most days, so we need to get everyone out on time. Mr. Snarky makes Pumpkin's sandwich, which is a combination she invented- strawberry jam and cheese spread on a pita pocket. It used to be gouda cheese slices, but those fell out too much and annoyed her.

I now leave the house between 7:45 and 8:00 a.m., and so does everyone else. I kiss everyone good-bye. Most days, Mr. Snarky and I do some sort of dramatic silly good-bye kiss, because it makes the kids laugh, and when Pumpkin was still struggling with the Kindergarten adjustment, she needed a laugh. Now it is just fun to look into the car and see the kids laughing.

I drive to work, and get there between 8:15 and 8:30 a.m. Sadly, this is now usually closer to 8:30 than 8:15.

Mr. Snarky drops Pumpkin at the before care at her school (which is frustratingly as far from the only open gate as it is possible to be), drives Pumpkin to day care, and then drives to work, arriving between 8:30 and 9 a.m.

We both work all day. I don't take a long lunch break most days, although I do occasionally meet a friend for lunch. I go for a 20-30 minute walk at lunchtime if my meeting schedule allows. I actually find that the walk helps me think problems through, so it can be a very productive thing to do. I usually manage a walk at least twice a week. If I have a meeting too close to lunchtime and can't walk, I usually still take a short break, by goofing off online while I eat. (This is unchanged.)

I leave work between 4:30 and 4:45 p.m. and drive to day care. It takes roughly 10-15 minutes to get Petunia and her stuff gathered up and back in the car.

I drove to Pumpkin's school, which is a couple blocks from our house and Petunia and I walk across the entire campus to her after school care. I usually get to Pumpkin between 5:15 and 5:30. We walk back across campus and buckle everyone back into the car, which takes 5-10 minutes, depending on how many delays the kids create and if anyone melts down. We drive home from there, which takes a couple of minutes.

The kids watch TV or a DVD and eat a snack while I cook dinner. Mr. Snarky still leaves work between 5:15 and 5:30 and is home between 6 and 6:15 most nights, and then we have dinner. Traffic in the area in which we work has been bad lately, so he's been late a lot. Sometimes, dinnertime is only done a few minutes before bath.

If there is time, one adult plays with the kids while the other clears the table and puts away any leftovers, then comes and joins in the play.

We still take turns giving the kids a bath at 7 p.m. On Tuesdays, the other parent takes the garbage out. On Thursdays and Fridays, the other parent may start a load of laundry.

The kids have a snack at 7:30 p.m. For some reason, Mr. Snarky has stopped helping much with that, which may be something that I ask him to change. I think he got out of the habit when he had a big deadline and would have to do work during this time. I make my lunch, Pumpkin's lunch (except the sandwich, which would get soggy overnight), and Petunia's "lunch" (a plastic bowl with goldfish and pretzels that she calls her "runch" and will get very upset if we forget to give her in the morning. She eats it as soon as she gets to day care. I think she just wanted to be more like her big sister. She often insists on carrying her "pa-pack" to the car, too.)

Both kids now head to bed between 8:00 and 8:20. We still alternate nights for which parent gets which kid to bed. They both get 15-20 minutes of books before the lights go out. Pumpkin is usually too tired to read to us these days, but since her teacher tells us she's already reading in Spanish, we aren't too worried about that. Petunia still gets snuggled to sleep, and has started insisting that I come in and finish the deal, even on Mr. Snarky's nights. Pumpkin went through a phase like this, too, so we're just rolling with it. I am now starting to lay the groundwork for convincing her to go to sleep on her own, though. I'll probably get more serious about that after the holidays.

Since I am almost always in Petunia's room snuggling her to sleep, Mr. Snarky almost always does the dishes and sweeps up the kitchen.

Most nights, we're both done by 9:30. Then we work, do chores like paying bills, blog, watch TV, or do whatever else we want/need to do. This is also unchanged.

I try to go to bed between 10 and 10:30, but sometimes it is as late as 11. Mr. Snarky comes in later.

Petunia sleeps through the night more often now. When she doesn't, she usually comes and joins us in our bed. Lately, she's been sleeping through until 5:30 or so and then coming down the hall with an armful of stuffed animals and climbing into bed with us. Very cute. But she then proceeds to aggressively snuggle me (hand up my shirt sleeve, feet pushing into my hip, etc.) so I don't get much more sleep once she joins us.

Variations

On Mondays, Mr. Snarky picks up Pumpkin and takes her to swim lesson. I pick up Petunia and come home and make dinner. They don't get back from swim lesson until almost 6:30, so I've started making things that take longer than 20 minutes to cook on Mondays. A couple of weeks ago, I even made zucchini soup (from scratch- I just noticed that the source of my recipe is now offline. I'll have to post a Dinner during Dora recipe!) and pumpkin scones. That was sort of tiring, though, so I doubt I'll be that ambitious that often.

On Tuesdays, my husband picks up Petunia. I leave work at my usual time, and pick up Pumpkin. I get a ~30 minute workout (down from ~45 minutes before the advent of the double drop off), and then we have leftovers for dinner. Mr. Snarky doesn't pick up Pumpkin because he has been under a deadline. That is supposedly past, so we may renegotiate this. However, Pumpkin really likes getting picked up a bit early and getting a little time with me (even if she's just sitting in the garage reading while I work out), so we may just leave this how it is.

On Thursdays, my husband has an early teleconference, which he takes from home. I take both the kids in. We make a concerted effort to get me out the door by 7:50 a.m., and I get to work by about 8:45 a.m. I still pick both kids up, which can lead to sucky days like today when traffic was bad on both commutes and my total commute time for the day was a whopping 3 hours. This may also be up for negotiation now that Mr. Snarky's deadline has passed.

There is no soccer anymore. If Pumpkin wants to pick that back up, we can do it as an after school option on the campus of her school. She chose not to pick up any of the after school "classes" this fall, and we were fine with that. We figured she should just concentrate on settling in at school.

The routine when a kid gets sick is unchanged- one of us picks her up and takes her home and the other one finishes the day before picking up the other kid. We choose who has to leave work based on our work schedules- basically, who has a meeting that can't be missed or who has the deadline coming up first. We also roughly take turns. I call my Mom (who is retired), and if she can, she flies over from Phoenix to stay with the sick kid the next day or two. If she can't, Mr. Snarky and I take turns, or split the days (one works morning, the other works afternoon), and we try to work from home as much as the sick kid and the rest of our schedule will allow.

Weekends

We still do Friday Night Beers, and plan out our weekend and either just talk or watch a show.

I try to sleep in (until the decadent hour of 7:30) on the weekends, to help compensate for the fact that I am the one who gets up in the night if a kid needs me, and because I generally need more sleep than Mr. Snarky, who is the genetic source of Pumpkin's lower than average sleep needs. We may start alternating. But I hope not....

On Saturdays, we do the laundry that we didn't do during the week. Petunia is potty-training right now, so we have even more laundry than before. Pumpkin has gymnastics lessons at 11 a.m.  I usually take her, because one of her friends is also in the class, and I'm friendly with her mom.

Every other Saturday, both kids have Chinese lesson after lunch. Mostly Mr. Snarky does these now, although I sometimes sit in with Petunia. Petunia goes down for a nap during Pumpkin's lesson, and that requires me if we don't want any screaming. Sometimes, I have to take her out for a walk, which I usually don't mind too much, as long as I wasn't hoping to nap, too.

Mr. Snarky still likes to go for a run on Sunday morning. I write the menu plan and grocery list, and then in the afternoon, one of us (usually me) goes to the grocery store. This is unchanged, although I am experimenting with writing the menu plan on Saturday morning so that we can go to the store whenever is convenient.

Mr. Snarky still cooks dinner on the weekends, and we still have the usual mix of play dates, birthday parties, family outings, trips to the park, visits with friends, and other fun things mixed in with the chores. Usually, both Mr. Snarky and I need to do a little work, too. The extra commute time due to the double drop off/pick up has pushed a little more work into our evenings and weekends. We try to plan one fun thing per weekend, so that we can be certain that we won't let chores swallow our weekends.

---------------------------------------------------

Based on this, and my experience of being a mom in the workforce for roughly five years now, I have some observations:

1. Adding in the second drop off and pick up hasn't been as bad as I feared, but it definitely has a impact on our schedule and the amount of free time we have. I remain nervous about what will happen to our schedule next year, when both of our companies move to new buildings. My husband doesn't know yet where his company is moving. I know where my company is moving, and it is further away from home and nowhere near our current day care. It took roughly two months for us to settle into this routine, so I've resolved to give myself a few months to settle into another new routine when my company moves. I'm really afraid it is going to turn out to be untenable, which will require either leaving a job I really like and that is giving me lots of growth opportunities or leaving a day care we love. But there is no point worrying about that now. A lot will change in the next year, and I can't predict what the routine will feel like.

2. I think Laura is right that a lot of how we experience our days is colored by the narrative we have in our mind. I have certainly had some very difficult days when I had work deadlines and a child who was up a lot at night, and my life has felt a little crappy. OK, a lot crappy. But in the narrative in my head about my life, the crappiness is due to the kid not sleeping, and my day would have been just as crappy if I was staying home with the kids all day. And the hassle of the double drop off and pick up is a short term added stress on me that is necessary to keep the life I want.  Not working is just not in my narrative, because for me, working is something I really want to do.

That is not to say that my narrative is the right one for all women- far from it. Just that my narrative is the true one for me, and I have to admit, I sort of resent how much my culture tries to pull me out of that narrative into a "women can't have it all" narrative or some such thing. But that is a rant for a different day.

3. Along those lines... I'd love to see a similar daily schedule for a stay at home mom. I suspect it would not be the unscheduled nirvana that some of the commenters without kids seem to think it will be. Certainly, my weekends aren't like that, even if I'm not trying to do any chores. My kids have natural schedules they need to follow, and they are still young enough that they need a fair amount of entertaining. Unless I want to just turn on the TV all day, I'm going to spend the majority of my day tending to their needs, which I find no more relaxing than most work days. In fact, sometimes my weekends are less peaceful than my work days!

I actually like the trade off of having family life to refresh me from the demands of my work and work to refresh me from the demands of my family life, although I will definitely admit that sometimes I would like a slower pace. Usually, I can think of ways to slow things down for awhile when I need to, but not always. Sometimes things just get crazy and all I can do is wait for calmer times.

I have also been keeping actual time logs since August, which is before Pumpkin started Kindergarten. I plan to pull the data from those logs together and analyze it soonish- I suspect there will be some interesting tidbits in there, and probably some things that I don't expect. But that will have to wait for another day, because I need to get to bed- I'm supposed to get up and go for a run tomorrow morning. Let's hope Petunia lets me!

25 comments:

  1. "I think Laura is right that a lot of how we experience our days is colored by the narrative we have in our mind." Yes - I thoroughly enjoyed her post, and agree with her (as usual) ;).

    One fallacious "no woman can have kids and a big career" narrative I particularly loathe and keep hearing ad nauseum from people who were raised lower to middle class goes something like "nannies and housekeepers = bad." They cannot get past their own prejudices about other people working in their home, even when they have the financial means. I find that perplexing: how can one be so certain they'll hate an arrangement they've never bothered to try? Perhaps the idea of hiring help can seem too luxurious to one who never encountered household employees firsthand when they were growing up - if so, talk about a potential barrier to social class advancement.

    Our societal narratives against women (and we only criticize women) who hire nannies tend to be so inaccurate and sad. In corporate life, I saw a couple of promising careers derailed because folks wouldn't hire the appropriate in-home help, for whatever reason - then they blamed the exhaustion and resulting unhappiness they were feeling on the foreseeable demands of the job instead of on the demands of the home.

    When I read about the BigLaw quitter, I kept thinking to myself, "Isn't this the *exact reason* the sage advice to 'Hire the help you need with childcare' and 'Live close to the office' and 'Don't marry a jerk' are the conventional wisdom conveyed at every law/life balance seminar in the history of ever?" And BTW, it was totally foreseeable to the DC attorney that her colorful resignation letter would end up on Above The Law and would be discussed on the internets -- so I don't feel bad for her.

    To be perfectly honest, that Ask Moxie discussion irked me. The elephant in the room was that the most vocal, unhappy, FT working moms who wish they could SAH said, among other things, they have 3 kids. I felt the conversation devolved into a false dichotomy between happy working folks vs. folks living under some significantly different fact patterns - and the obvious differences weren't explored.

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    1. Huh. I didn't notice that about the AskMoxie discussion! The thing that blew me away was that I was the first person to say "hey, your husband's life is going to change, too, you need to discuss expectations with him".

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    2. Well. Yes. If you HAVE a husband. Someday perhaps I'll write a day in the life of a single working mother post, if only to point out that it's actually possible to have a job, a baby, and be almost totally disorganized (I do not plan meals; I mostly remember to take the garbage out; I get up whenever the baby gets up rather than at a set time, etc., etc.). If I'd read any of these posts when I was pregnant, I think I would probably have assumed I was set up for failure. :)

      But then, MY mom started medical school when I was 3.5 and was a single parent after my dad died a couple years later, and we still had dinner together almost every night -- so it never really occurred to me that one could not have a kid and a career, though I didn't actually plan to have either.

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    3. @Hush- I always get a lot of pushback on the idea of outsourcing thing. I understand it, but I often still don't get it. There are a lot of cleaning services out there, and they are businesses. How is purchasing a service that a business is selling somehow exploitative of that business? If you're hiring people (for instance, a nanny) as long as you are paying legally and paying a living wage, you're creating a good job. Someday I will write a post about people not paying on the books. That, I believe, is exploitative because then the person isn't accruing Social Security credits, can't file for unemployment benefits, etc.

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    4. @Laura Vanderkam
      We're paying on the books for the first time this year (this is the first year we've hit the legal limit when you have to pay-- we almost hit it with one person several years back but in the end were still under it so we gave back the taxes we'd been saving on her behalf).

      It is a PITA. I do have a shiny new EIN, which the IRS made super easy to get (we have an upcoming post on that). I wish that the US gov't would simplify the entire nanny tax process so it's like 2 steps. (And thank goodness for about.com.)

      January does not look like it is going to be fun this time around. It isn't the money, it's the forms. (And yes, this is something we could outsource, but finding someone to outsource it to is going to take just as much time and cost a lot more than figuring it out ourselves.)

      But... this is something one has to do if one may be appointed to public office some day.

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    5. @laura- that AskMoxie discussion was triggered by a question from someone who specifically referenced her husband- so that particular thread was mostly about people with partners. Moxie had a post a couple of weeks ago about solo parenting, which had some truly great comments on it from single moms.

      I think it would be awesome if you'd write a post with your schedule. If you do, send me the link and I'll post it! As I said in my first "logistics" post, I don't think anyone should read too much into any one family's schedule, because there are so many variables. I don't research family dynamics, so I do not try to write about generalities when I talk logistics. I can only write about my own life, and I happen to be a married mom of two who has a fairly high paying job and a natural inclination towards organization. But just because I make it all work in one way, that doesn't mean that someone else with different life parameters can't make it work in an entirely different way.

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    6. @Laura Vanderkam - Looking forward to your future post. The way I see it, the vaunted "exploitation" argument is easily refuted: Against exploitation? Then be the change you want to see -- don't exploit anybody. Obey the law. Pay a living wage. Provide paid time off. Don't hire anyone who asks to be paid under the table. Report abuses to the authorities. There's a toll free number in my state for anonymously reporting folks who aren't filing payroll taxes on their employees. The penalties can include revocation of a professional license.

      @nicoleandmaggie - Yes, hiring help the legitimate way is a no-brainer, even if you're never running for public office. ;) (Hello, Lani Guinier.) Been there, done that twice with the new-hire paperwork PITA, but most of the heavy-lifting is on the front-end around the time of hire. It gets easier the longer you've been employing the person.

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  2. I like these kinds of glimpses into other folks' lives. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks! I always feel like these must be incredibly dull posts. But then, if someone doesn't want to read them, the solution is obvious!

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  3. I love seeing this, if only to not feel so bad about leaving at 4:30 on preschool days myself :-) (Also, what is WITH the traffic lately? It's like it got dark and traffic tripled!).

    I do agree with a couple of your points: on days where I'm tired and crabby, it's often things that would make me tired and crabby even if I didn't work (kid was up late, I'm not feeling well, my husband did something to irritate me).

    And I also agree that it's unlikely that there's NO schedule for SAH parents. I know my husband has a schedule when he's home with our kid, and that schedule continues during the weekend. It was less firm when he was a newborn, but it's always been there.

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    1. When did we get the idea that workdays should go until 6, anyway? That's just silly! Unless you start at 10.

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  4. I dug up an old time log (like from 2009) when I was working just a few hours a week during my 2 year-old daughter's (A in time log) nap and taking a few grad school classes. Not quite a SAHM schedule, but close.
    6:30 wake up & snuggle
    7:30 turn on cartoons. Make breakfast & coffee
    8 am watercolor painting w/ A
    8:30 shower
    9 email, get A dressed.
    9:30- 10:30 alternate playing with A with wasting time on Internet
    10:30 go to library + park
    12:30 home. make & eat lunch
    1 put A down for nap. check email & facebook
    1:30 start working- write content for hospital website, conference call, prep interview questions
    3:30 A wakes up. Get her ready to go with Daddy (I can't remember where and didn't write it down)
    4-5 work
    5 eat take out dinner (Husband must have picked it up)
    5:30 go to pool as family
    6:30 come home. have snacks
    7 read stories. Tidy toys
    7:30 Bedtime snuggling
    8 pm A in bed. Tidy floor. Run Roomba. Pay bills
    8:30 finish work emails
    9 mop while watching tv
    9:30 tv in bed
    11 fall asleep

    Most stay at home moms I know replace working during naps with cleaning, napping or watching tv - or some combo. I've also noticed that the particularly "successful" stay at home moms are extroverts--they have a large friend network and do a lot of play dates. If you're very social, having 2-3 hours every day to chat with friends while kids play is a pretty good gig.
    My rules for a happy life as a mom- no matter if you're working out of the house, working from home, or being a full-time caregiver are the same:
    - Don't marry someone who is a jerk.
    - Discuss then act on your priorities
    - Figure out ways to avoid doing (as much as possible) that which makes you miserable.




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    1. Thanks! I love your rules. They are awesome.

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  5. Here's my SAHM day today:
    2am: cats fighting, get up and feed cats.
    6:30am: Dillo (6) calls from bed, help him pee, we are up for the day. mr. flea gets up at 7am. Casper (9) gets up at 7:30. Somewhat leisurely breakfast/dressing/lunchmaking.
    8:10am: Since children have gotten dressed by deadline, read 1 chapter of The Hobbit.
    8:40am: Leave the house to walk to school.
    9am: At school, I run the cash register at the Book Fair; insanely busy with children who have not accounted for sales tax.
    9:45am: Yoga for moms in school gym.
    10:45am: Book fair re-opens for kids at recess. Make nice with volunteers (I am the Chair), help the few kids who come.
    1:10pm: Go home, wash dishes, clean cat litter, Book Fair paperwork, internet.
    3:20pm: Leave to get kids.
    3:45pm: Meet kids at school, 15 minutes on the playground with other families who walk. Walk to bookstore to acquire birthday present for party tonight. (Stop at bakery for treat, as hunger-induced whining is occurring and dinner will be late.)
    4:45pm: Hound children out of bookstore, walk home. Unpack, supervise Casper as she wraps present and makes card, prevent Dillo from too much chaos as he plays. Radio news on and internet for me.
    6pm: mr. flea arrives home, takes Casper to birthday party; I make dinner (easy today: pizza!).
    7:15pm: Mythbusters.
    Dillo will start bedtime at 8pm and be asleep by 8:45; Casper is coming home late tonight, maybe as late as 10. I go to bed by 10, even on weekends.

    While I miss my work and the income (I am looking for work in my field but picky - did not apply for a 2-10pm job, for example) the reduction in stress and increase in time spent with the kids during the week, walking to school, having time to noodle about and supervise (teach) making lunches, etc., in the mornings, is really, really, really nice. It will be hard to go back to the sort of daily leave-and-return-to-the-house-in-the-dark schedule you have (and I had for 9 years before this summer).

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    1. Hi! Long time, no "see"!

      Your post raises a good point- when I think about SAHMs, I always think of moms with kids who aren't yet in school. I forget that a lot of moms with school age kids stay at home, too. I agree with you- that has some serious advantages. When I was last out of work (almost exactly two years ago...) we kept the kids in day care, and I had a great time. I got lots of "big" chores done, but more importantly, I got time to work on some of my projects (writing, techie things, etc). I think that the lack of time to work on my pet projects is what I dislike most about my current schedule. I have things I want to do and it takes me soooo long to do them, because I can only work on them a little bit at a time. If only I was independently wealthy.....

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    2. I certainly found working full time with children in public school to be more challenging logistically than working full time with children in day care. Assuming the school has good before and after care, there are still the random teacher in-service days, looong vacations, half-days for conferences, and events during the day (all-school musical at 2pm? Yoicks!). That horrible week at the end of summer vacation where there is NO summer camp available, even at the YMCA. (I took that week off work two years in a row - mandatory staycation.)

      Then there's the homework problem. Some kids may be capable of doing their homework independently at after-school - not Casper. 3rd grade was a horrible slog of home at 5:45-6, eat dinner, then tears over homework for an hour or more, and bedtime. (We changed schools this year partly because of the homework problem.)

      I am not that great at keeping at projects with all this free time, alas; I am the sort of person who needs to be a bit busy to accomplish much. 5-6 hours of free time a day just leads to sloth (and a lot of reading, which is nice.) But the flexibility and freedom and having so much more energy to be fully present with the kids is awfully nice. When I was a WOHM, I always felt I was behind and overhwlemed, barely managing to keep all the plates in the air, and now I am not stressed at all about that stuff. (I worry about college tuition instead.)

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    3. Oh, I agree completely- from a logistics standpoint as a working parent day care is much, much easier. We have a fairly "working parent friendly" school, I think, and even with that, I miss the parent-centric world of day care!

      You're right about the homework, too. Pumpkin's just recently started catching on to the idea that if she'll work on it at after care, it is less she has to do at home. But we get a weekly packet, and she refuses to cart it back and forth in her backpack, so there is only one day per week that she does any homework at after care.

      We're very fortunate in that we could probably get my parents to come over for any uncovered weeks in the summer, too. I haven't had to sort out a summer camp schedule yet- I am told that will be one of our tasks for February- so I don't know if we have any uncovered weeks here.

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  6. Ooh, thanks for the update. Glad to know it is working OK-to-well and good advice both on narratives and transitions.

    My LO has also started K, which has moved us from a more varied weekday schedule to, of course, a 5-day-per-week school schedule (though lately it's seemed more like 4-day, and I totally get why 2 WOHPs and public schools, or of course single parents, would be maddening. It is so nice (for me!) just to be able to say to DH, "Remember, no school tomorrow, so you have DS all day.")

    Our system ends up being ... out of bed by about 7. I am happy to treat DS as almost a sack of potatoes if that makes the morning routine go faster, and most mornings (probably 3/week) I take him to school, allowing DH to stay in bed. So I help DS with clothes and plunk him in front of a bowl of cereal, and then we walk to school together. It is very nice to have left driving-to-daycare for walking-to-school. When I walk back, I often spend ~10 minutes working in the yard, then come in, get coffee, and head to work (usually by car though I try to use public transport 1-2 days a week, not trivial as it makes my commute 2 hours r/t rather than 1). DH is SAH and manages much of rest, though some nights I make dinner and I always put DS's lunch together and manage the bedtime routine.

    Then DS is in bed by about 8, and K (together with the earlier darkness) has definitely simplified that -- not so much the getting him to bed, but his staying there.

    Ironically, although I have to haul DS out of bed on school mornings, he pops chirpily into our bed equally early many weekend mornings and says, "Can we get up?!?" every 10 seconds until we get up. But I know in what will seem like the blink of an eye, I'll be complaining that my teenage son doesn't speak to me and sleeps until noon, so there's that to look forward to.

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    1. I look forward to the time when Petunia starts Kindergarten- then we'll just walk to school, too. It will be awesome, or at least I think it will. Of course, that will mean I won't have a snuggly three year old anymore, so that will be a little sad.

      Both of our kids are fairly early risers any day of the week. I try to look on the bright side of that (dragging them out of bed to get ready for school is a rare occurrence), but it does suck on the weekends.

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  7. Our schedule is *exactly* the same as yours. Well, almost. The only difference is that we only have one to drop off to daycare. But, my commute is really long, so the timing ends up being similar to yours. (dH works downtown, so it makes absolutely no sense for him to do drop off and pick up.) We're hoping to gain some time back next year when L starts kindergarten, hopefully much closer to our house. My work is actually only 15 minutes from home, but the daycare is in the other end of town.

    i ffinally got around to getting a good recommendation for someone to clean our house. She's been 2x so far, and it is absolute heaven. There was even a side benefit that I wasn't even planning on. The house is so clean after she comes that I find it much easier to upkeep the great work she's done. And I think that even if we get derailed by a busy week or two, it doesn't become a lost cause quite so easily, because, poof!, our housekeeper is back! I think this will ultimately be the saving grace for us. When things spiral out of control here, it's so hard to get back on course.

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    1. I forgot to add my cleaning service back into this schedule! I moved our cleaning day from every other Thursday to every other Monday, because we have decided that Pumpkin is old enough to have an official responsibility of helping to get ready for the cleaner, and we often go to the library on Wednesday nights after dinner- that is the only night of the week our branch is open. Also, cleaning up on Sunday is easier than cleaning up on Wednesday night. I love, love, love having a cleaning service.

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  8. It's all about the narratives. When you're first dating someone, for instance, you look for evidence of how wonderful that person is. Later on in the relationship, you stop looking for and seizing on such evidence in your grand narrative. A similar thing happens in terms of whether one feels starved for time or not. I tell myself that I have plenty of time to do the things that are important to me, and so I tend to look for evidence that is true.
    Your post has reminded me that I should try keeping a time log again. I can't wait to see the analysis of yours. Healthy Tipping Point (the blog) had an analysis of her time logs a few weeks ago.

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    1. Once I do the post, I can share the raw logs with you if you want to trawl them for other things. I've been keeping logs for almost three months straight now. I think I'll keep going, too.

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  9. Thanks for sharing your schedule!

    I must report that I have been unable to keep my exercise schedule. There is simply too much work to do and I could not justify leaving work early so often. Plus there are sick kids, and sick mom... Went to the gym only twice in the last 4 weeks. Pathetic.

    Will experiment with going once on Saturdays, once on Mondays at 5:30 or 6:30, leaving hub with kids, and another two times per week, likely Wednesday and Thursday at 4:30, because I have meetings all day on those days and I am totally fried around when they are done so not good for anything anyway and might as well go sweat...

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  10. I love these types of posts - thanks for sharing! I think a SAHM log would be cool to see - some of the commenters did post, but I need more details :-) If I ever get around to it and you are interested, I can send you a similar analysis for me as a working, married mom of 3 kiddies with a WONDERFUL NANNY! Honestly, I was surprised to see how many similarities between your schedule and mine and how many differences b/c of having a nanny. (Case in point: I don't cook dinner during the week. Ever. And I love not having to do that). But it will be too long to go in the comments, so I'll only bother putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard, more accurately), if you're interested in putting in the body of the blog. No worries if you are not, just an offer...

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