A Manic 168 Hours

I try to update this blog daily during the week, and have for the past 18 months or so. But I’m a few days behind. It’s been a manic past 168 hours. We’re moving on Thursday, and we are trying to do some of the packing ourselves. I’m a firm believer in outsourcing, but the last time we had movers do our packing, we wound up spending gads of time unrolling giant amounts of bubble wrap only to find a single fork buried in the mass. They can pack the breakables. We’re packing the stuff we don’t care about so much.

The biggest issue, though, is that I’m also trying to get as much of my final round of book revisions done as possible before we move. It is intense and time-consuming work, and will take every hour I can give it. Adding to the mess? My husband was out of the country for much of the week. So ever minute had to count. Up at 5:30? Start work. During the day, I’d actually put “shower” on my to-do list (and skipped it some days). I would go back to work at 9PM or so when the kids went to bed.

It was still not enough. But I’m feeling better now. Because the kids have been off with Michael for the past 7 hours seeing the Mermaid parade at Coney Island. Adding in some time I had this AM while they were getting their hair cuts, and I’ve had a full 8-9 hour workday on a Saturday. Sometimes the marginal extra hours in a workweek make a big difference.

So what is the point of all this? I’ve been following a discussion on a list elsewhere from two young parents. She’s long been home with the kids, but is starting up a new job in the fall, which required them to move. His plan was to mostly take over the kid role to make sure she had as much support in the transition as possible. But he decided to interview for a position in the area… and got it. So the question they were wondering was, how does this work? How does the 2-career thing work when you have little kids?

If you both have 35-40 hour jobs, that’s one thing. That can be straightforward. Someone drops them off at daycare, someone picks them up. But once the work hours start getting higher, the travel climbs or the stress level increases, then you have to do other things. The biggest thing I have learned from my three year deep-dive into all things time-related is that all 168 hours matter. Is it less than ideal to do a full workday on Saturday while the rest of my family is at the beach? Of course. But when you only have a certain number of hours during the usual work days, you seize what you can. And you also tell yourself, during these crazy weeks, that this is not how it always is. Some weeks are more relaxed. Some weekends you don’t work much at all. Sometimes big projects are worth putting in some extra hours for. Someday, you’ll probably even miss the craziness.

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