My pessimism about the night was spot on. I went to bed at 10:30. The baby started wailing around 3:45. I tried to let it go for a while, but he just got wound up (this happens with most attempts at crying-it-out). I went and gave him a bottle, which he sucked down. I tried to put him down, but after 20 more minutes of wailing, I went back in and gave him another bottle. He still was not thrilled, but after some rocking, I got him back down. I was back in bed around 5:15. I slept until 7:15, got up, showered, and ate my breakfast alone (!). The baby started fussing a few minutes before 8, and I went to get him and everyone else at 8 when our nanny got here. It is nice that the baby will sleep in after a middle-of-the-night mishap, but I would have preferred to sleep straight through 10:30-6:30, and to have taken those 90 minutes on the other side.
I helped with breakfast and answered blog comments until 8:30, when I brought the boys to the bus stop. Then it was back in to work revising my Fast Company essay on “The Second Shift” until 10:30 when I submitted it. I answered emails, and got ready for the interviews and phone calls I had starting at 11:30.
Lunch was noon, with the 4-year-old and baby. I closed out the holiday card address file after, making sure I had all the addresses from cards we received for next year. Then I wrote a Fortune piece from 1-2, and had phone calls and podcasts from 2-3:40. I did a trial run of a time use survey I’m working on with Redbook, then made tea and nursed the baby, who’d woken up from his nap. Next call was 4:30. Finished a bit before 5 and puttered around mostly until the piano teacher got here 5:15, thus kicking me out of my office (that’s where the keyboard is). I got changed and went for another quick run on the treadmill. I changed back, wrote in my journal, and started dinner at 5:50 (scrambled eggs and lox + fruit and veggies for kids, leftover chili for me). The kids and I ate at 6:15 when piano was done. We finished 6:35, and quick whipped up some banana bread. While that was in the oven, I opened the birthday present for the baby from one of my sisters-in-law and discovered it was tub toys. Genius! Bath time was much more pleasant (other than some obstinacy from the 4-year-old on getting out).
I got the baby in his jammies at 7:30, nursed him and gave him a bottle. He was down 7:50, in time to get the banana bread out of the oven. I cleaned up the kitchen while it cooled, and we had snacks/dessert at 8. Then the boys took their showers. I read a story to my daughter, then helped the boys with some writing they’re doing (they’re writing in their own journals and making their own books). I am down here posting around 9. I have one more phone call in 15 minutes, then I plan to read and go down by 10:30 or so.
In observing my day, I see a few things. First, when I think it through, I really am good at matching the right work to the right time. I write in the morning, start my calls at 11:30 (that’s what I give people when they want “morning”), then do more calls and publicity type stuff (podcasts, etc.) in the afternoon. I was able to crank out a second article in the afternoon today, though that’s not always a given. When I’m on the phone I seem to snack less. Snacking is a function of procrastinating writing!
Between the banana bread and the bath toys, the evening went pretty well. I’m not thrilled with solo 4-kid evenings, but I make the most of it. I turned my phone off completely for 1.75 hours, which may not sound like much, but allowed me to be more focused. Then I turned it back on while nursing the baby and read right-wing news sites in an attempt to understand the whole Donald Trump thing. I’m still working on it, really.
Do you have no-go times for your phone during the day or evening?
In other news: I’ll be on Facebook (my author page) talking time tracking at 2:30 eastern tomorrow, January 13.