The 168 Hours Time-Tracking Challenge officially ended for me at 5 a.m. Monday morning. I was asleep! Indeed, I slept from 10:30-6:30, when I heard the baby. I kind of rolled over and assumed my husband got up with him, and I dozed until 6:45, when I realized the baby had gone back to sleep! He slept until 8. He must have been tired from tiring us out over the weekend. I could actually use my morning to work, to check over my 9-year-old’s math homework, and grab breakfast.
Today I analyzed my log from the week. I found I worked 36.25 hours, which is pretty typical for me these days in the midst of kid activities. Sometimes I think it should be higher, and I know I could excuse myself from more of the driving than I do. I also know I will probably need to do that when travel picks up (January/February are relatively slow on the convention front) and as I get closer to my book deadline. So I’m letting it go right now. A good chunk of that time was spent working on book related projects. As that is my top priority right now, I am happy with that.
I slept 7.29 hours/day. This is just slightly under my long term average of 7.4 hours/day, and as I look at my log, I see I was somewhat sloppy with writing down the exact last time I looked at the clock. So it is quite possible it was 7.4 hours and I just did the counting wrong. There was quite a range on this: 6 hours on Monday, to 8.25 hours on Thursday. I was woken up twice before 5 a.m., though only one night was a true up-in-the-middle-of-the-night horror show. (Being woken up at 4:45 am. is no fun, but it could reasonably be considered the morning, I suppose).
Sleeping 51 hours and working 36.25 hours leaves almost 81 hours for other things. Some highlights from that time: I read for 15 hours, which is pretty intense. I put the Kindle app on my phone, and I made sure I always had something to read. The result is that I read books instead of scrolling through headlines when I had time that would otherwise be tough to use (e.g. sitting at karate or wrestling). I could bring a book, but somehow picking up a book feels like I’ve committed to something but picking up the phone does not. I am much, much more willing to get the phone out of my bag. Interesting insight into my mindset, but given that this is about 2x what I read during the first year I tracked time, I’ll take it.
I also ran all 7 days. I find that “every day” is kind of a liberating notion. Instead of asking if I will exercise, I ask when. And when one asks “when” it’s usually possible to find the time. Some highlights from that: running 6 miles outside in 63 degree weather on Thursday, and running a 27:56 5k on the treadmill at the YMCA (during my son’s wrestling meet).
I spent a reasonable amount of time with my husband. We did not do any official out-of-house date nights, but we spent some time chatting almost every day. Neither of us were traveling this week (he was gone one night, and that night started after the kids went to bed) and so that helped there.
I spent some one-on-one time with all four kids. The little guy took his time in the morning, though we played before dinner a reasonable number of days too. I took my daughter to the Chuck E. Cheese birthday party (and took dictation on a story she was writing). I took the 7-year-old to wrestling and hung out with him then. I did some school-related stuff with the 9-year-old, which was actually more fun than it sounds. We did the family trip to the Crayola Experience. We were visited by the tooth fairy and celebrated a 2nd birthday.
All in all, there was nothing particularly profound about the week. I say there are no typical weeks, but this week was pretty typical. And it was pretty good. Well, except for the early wake-ups. But other than that, not bad.
In other news: Ringling Brothers just appointed their first female ringmaster. Just in time for the circus to be shutting down, though.
I also heard from a blog reader who started a blog called Type A Mom of Multiples. She had triplets (!) and found that while the early weeks/months were tiring, eventually she was able to sleep, and have leisure time. Her blog aims to make the experience of having multiples feel a bit more doable.
Speaking of changing the narrative, Jen Dziura has a post over at Medium about taking zero maternity leave…and it all being fine. (I should note: she works for herself. Different matter entirely than working for someone else).
Photo: Where the little guy falls asleep most nights. Eventually he’ll figure out the baby-proof door handle.