It was a work hard, play hard sort of weekend. I am working on a project with Redbook looking at how stay-at-home moms spend their days. There were 558 completed survey responses, and while the quantitative and choose-one-of-five answers can be automated, the qualitative stuff can not. So, between Thursday at 5:00 p.m. and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. I went through all 558 24-hour time diaries. At times it was tedious (it took me 15.5 hours!), but I am also reminded of why I am in this line of work. I found it absolutely fascinating. I will write more about this later after the study comes out, but it was also a reminder of why it is hard to do any sort of evaluation of what effect maternal employment has on children (that perennial question people keep asking). Mothers who are not employed lead very diverse lives.
In any case, Friday was somewhat of a stressful day, as I had planned that the time logs would take me 16 hours to process, and at that point, I had only done about 2.5 hours. My normal Friday plan to take the baby somewhere and tire him out so he would nap all afternoon did not work. We woke to several inches of snow, and a 1-hour delay for the preschool and a 2-hour delay for the elementary school. That made the morning chopped up enough that we just stayed home. I got my daughter at noon, came home and made lunch and put the baby to bed, but he only slept for about 90 minutes. Adding to the fun: my husband was supposed to be home by 5:00 p.m. so I could work from 5:00-10:00 p.m. but his plane was delayed, as was his train back from NYC, meaning that he did not get home until 7.
So what did I do all day? I watched a lot of TV while chasing the toddler around. I mean 5 hours of TV! I watched the whole season of “My Diet Is Better Than Yours.” This was a show where several trainers were matched with overweight people and they were competing to see who could lose the biggest percentage of body weight. They did it all up reality show style, with the weigh-ins featuring a scale that would cycle through numbers to build suspense. But one thing that should not have been suspenseful: the final percent calculation. These two people had clearly lost the highest percentage, and he clocked in at about minus 24 percent, and she had originally weighed 200 lbs. So when her loss was 53 pounds, I expected her to start cheering. But no, everyone waited until the scale finished the second calculation and said it was 26-plus percent.
Watching people lose giant amounts of weight always inspires me … so I took the kids to the McDonalds drive-thru for dinner. What can I say. By the time I had loaded the other 3 in the car to get the 6-year-old from Lego Club, and listened to them fight the entire way home, I had kind of had it. My husband got all of them at 7:00 p.m. and I worked until 10:00 p.m.
Saturday was ski school again, so I had the 4-year-old and the 1-year-old during the day. We went to the Please Touch Museum. I find the place interesting in an almost anthropological way. How do other parents behave? This one toddler brushed against my 1-year-old a few times and the mom kept saying “We have to be careful!” to her child. I assume that was for my benefit, but my little one gets so mauled by the three other children at home that I did not even notice it until she started reacting to it.
I worked during nap, and then we went for a tricycle and stroller ride. Our sitter came at 5:30 and my husband and I went out for date night downtown. It was an evening that was capped off by a stop at The Franklin Bar, which he had heard about on NPR on Friday. Apparently they only serve cocktails, and so the owner or manager or someone was interviewed for a piece on Jagermeister, and how its manufacturer is attempting to rebrand the liquor as not just for college students doing shots. The owner/manager of the Franklin said they could not have Jagermeister there because then people might see it and want to do shots, and they did not do that at the bar. The take-away is that it is hard to rebrand a product. But anyway, my husband was telling all this to the bouncer who said he did not listen to NPR, but whatever. It got us a table.
Sunday was a work day for me. My husband took the three big kids to ski school for the morning and went walking with the baby on the Appalachian Trail for two hours or so. Then they all went to the Crayola factory. With everyone out of the house at 7:30 a.m., I started work at 7:45 a.m. and went straight through to 3:00 p.m., when I finished log #558. I met Jane for a run at 4:00 p.m. and we did 6.5 very swift (for me) miles. 5 of the 6 were under 9:40, and the 6th was right at 10:00. This bodes well for my goal to be able to run 10 miles at a 10 min/mile pace in Q2.
I came home and, for the first time in several days, showered WITHOUT the baby sitting in the exersaucer in the bathroom. When I got out, the family showed back up, so I got them dinner and gave the little ones a bath. Then the baby went to bed and my husband and I watched the Super Bowl. I did not really care about the outcome, but some of the ads were decent. I was in bed by 10:45.
Photos: Pretty snow scene spotted while doing the morning school run; pensive child studying the view.