P (nanny) had a family emergency that brought her to South Carolina last week. Then we got snowed in and she could not get on a flight until yesterday evening. The kids were out of school Monday and had a 2-hour delay Tuesday. I can often make up time on weekends, but on Saturday we were all snowed in (which prevented my husband from doing the usual option of taking all 4 kids to a museum or some such so they would not keep interrupting me). And Sunday he took the boys skiing, so I had the little ones all day.
In any case, as I look at my time logs, I see that over those 6 days (Thurs-Tues) I did 23.5 hours of work. That is like doing 6 hours on the 4 weekdays involved — not a bad total — and given that I would not have been working much on Friday in any case, that is like doing 8 hours on the 3 workdays I would have had.
Yet the past few days felt completely different from knowing I would have 8-5 each day with a half hour for lunch and a half hour for a treadmill run.
I did a lot of if-then planning. If I have time, then I will do this. Some hours were relatively certain: Mon and Thurs AM are normally housekeeper times, but she took the kids instead. I had also planned to have a sitter Monday evening, and that wound up being about 5 hours, since she came earlier. I did all my calls during these hours.
In theory, evenings after the kids go to bed can be in play, and some nights they were. But this was partly dependent on energy level.
Then there was nap time. In an ideal world, the 1-year-old would take a nice long nap from about 12:30-3:30. My 4-year-old has been perfectly willing to play on the computer and watch videos during this time, though every 45 minutes or so something would go awry that I would need to fix. Since running keeps me focused and sane, and it is the thing that is hardest to do with the baby up and toddling around, I would jump on the treadmill and do 25-30 minutes as soon as he fell asleep. Then I would work the rest of the time.
But this only worked perfectly one day (Tuesday). The other days he either reverted to the morning nap or took a more limited nap (like 2 hours). The timing moved around a lot. I got the run in, but everything else was touch and go.
It all adds a lot of stress to working, and I did not do things (schedule calls and the like) because I was not sure the timing would work. Of course, other people were discombobulated by the snow too, so I do not think much went off track. Indeed, a speech on Tuesday got postponed, which is fortunate, as I had no childcare and my husband was out of town. Then again, I am back at work today. I knew I would be, so I pushed a lot forward. Maybe some people can run a business during naptime, but not me, not over the long term.