Sarah and I are both big goal setters. We love setting resolutions around New Year’s, and we have rather elaborate rubrics for them. This week’s podcast goes through all of them and looks at how we’re doing.
Sarah decided to set her goals in quintiles: maternity leave, the “fifth trimester,” summer, back-to-school and holidays. During maternity leave, she was flying along on various projects and reading like a mad woman. It is funny what you can do when you have full time childcare and you’re not going to work! The first three months back at work were a bit more about survival mode, but she did survive. She also did things like plan her oldest daughter’s first drop-off birthday party. She started a parenting book club (they read Naomi Schaefer Riley’s book Be the Parent, Please). Now she’s moving onto the new residents starting, and some summer travel.
As for me, I set my goals quarterly, and set a career, relationship, and self goal for each quarter. The first half of the year has been decent. I did some big stuff: launch a book, take the kids to the UK, finish my house renovation. I also ran a long race with my husband (not the half marathon, but we did a 10-miler together, which I think should count).
However — I did not do everything. Intriguingly enough, the two small goals I didn’t accomplish were completely within my control. I set a goal to write a dozen sonnets. I wrote three. Each of those three took about an hour, so I’m pretty sure I could have found another 9 hours during the first quarter. I didn’t.
I also wanted to get a new PR mile time. This sounds like it might be a more complicated goal, involving intense training, but it isn’t. I know my current best mile time (7:35) is not the best I can do. So why didn’t I just go jump on my treadmill some day, set it at 8 mph and run a mile under that? I’m not really sure. Maybe I forgot? Bit of a mystery.
(I wonder what it says that I set goals and then don’t really hold myself to them…)
Then the Q&A: we heard from a listener who doesn’t have kids yet (we are surprised how many of these listeners we have — it is awesome!). Anyway, she’s thinking about it in the future and wants to know what we wish we would have done pre-kids and in pregnancy.
We had a long discussion of this, partly because this gets at one of my least favorite genres of blog posts: lists of, say, 30 things to do before having kids. Because it implies that your life is over once you have them. Which it is not!
The only thing we really put out there is any big bucket list trips that might be more difficult with kids. Like 3 weeks in New Zealand. But since our listener traveled for work anyway, it’s unclear that she won’t be doing that after kids.
As for pregnancy: spend less time thinking about your registry and more time thinking through your childcare situation. People who think “oh, let me see how I feel after I have the baby” are setting themselves up to be stuck with whatever childcare is available after they go back to work. It might not be good, and that is setting yourself up for problems. Which sometimes might be the point — some people have trouble admitting what they want, and pinning the decision to stay home with a baby on a lack of good childcare may sound more socially acceptable. But it is not inevitable. Sarah and I both got ourselves on the lists for very good daycares shortly after learning we were pregnant with our first kids. You might ask around with friends who maybe know of a good nanny who will soon be available (because a family is moving, or kids are aging out, or whatever).
Anyway, do you have any advice for our listener? Feel free to share it — or how you’re doing on your 2018 goals — in the comments.