Friday miscellany: On the road

The three middle kids have been in three different camps this week. Two are in the same direction, more or less, but one is in the opposite direction. When I originally planned this a few months ago, on the camp spreadsheet, I noted this reality, but I figured we would have multiple drivers every day.

Currently, we have childcare, but very limited assistance on the driving front.

Once I realized this would be the case (during my weekly planning, naturally enough), I had to do some triaging so that, if necessary, one driver could do all the drop-offs and pick-ups (in case either my husband or I had to do this solo). One camp — the one in its own direction — is relatively casual (no car line) but runs from 9-3 with no before care or after care options. The two other camps (one from 9-3 and one from 9-4) did have some extended care options.

So I signed the child in the more formal 9-3 camp up for before and after care. I signed the child in the formal 9-4 camp up for a little bit of before care (you can elect for an 8 or 8:30 drop off; I chose 8:30). So, if necessary, one driver could head out with the two kids who had before care at 8:05, drop them off at 8:18 and 8:30, head home, grab the other kid at 8:45, get him to camp at 9, and come home. In the afternoon, the driver could go get one kid at the 3 p.m. pick up, come home and drop him off, then head out at 3:45 or so to get the kid at the camp that ends at 4, and then pick up the kid from after care at the other camp.

This is doable, though you will also note that if one driver is doing this, they are on the road from 8:05 to 9:20 or so, and then from 2:45 to 4:15 with a 20-minute interlude in there. I have not had to do all four drives any day this week, though I have done 3 of them.

The net result is that work time is quite chopped up, and during-the-day work time is limited. So I work at night, and in the early mornings when possible (this morning I did a 6:15-7:20 a.m. shift and got quite a bit done). The good news is that when you identify what absolutely needs to get done, and you assign it a time, it’s possible to get through a fair amount. Though I can’t help feeling like I should get some sort of efficiency award here… I would also really like to work a full 9-5 work day sometime.

This week, my Medium column started with the crazy fact that Tom Cruise, who one might think of as having his career peak in the 1980s and 1990s, just saw his highest grossing movie be released in…2022. You never know what the future will bring. It’s easy to be angsty about it, but it’s also possible that there’s some huge win lurking around the corner. Check out Something Wonderful Might be Waiting For You.

Before Breakfast featured discussions of “Aim for a few enjoyable moments” — my mantra for low expectations with family travel — and “Do a recommendation swap” with friends for cool ideas.

Speaking of recommendation swaps, we’ve done some of these in the Patreon community for Best of Both Worlds. This week we’ve also had good discussions in the forum of why we chose our communities, and body image. Please join us! Membership is $9/month.

This weekend I’ll do Mommy Day #2, so I’m looking forward to writing about that. And next week I record the audiobook for Tranquility by Tuesday! These recording days are always intense (I’ve done readings for many of my other books including I Know How She Does It, Off the Clock, Juliet’s School of Possibilities, and The New Corner Office). But the good news is that when I write, I often edit by reading things aloud to hear how they sound. So I have practiced. Hopefully that will make it go smoothly…

(Fun fact: I did not record 168 Hours – that’s done by a professional reader. Not too long ago, someone told me that they enjoyed my audio books but they really thought I did a much better job on 168 Hours than the others….haha)

4 thoughts on “Friday miscellany: On the road

  1. I love when authors read their books, and I like your reading voice 🙂 Looking forward to it!
    Your schedule, down to the minute, makes me think about my relationship with time. For so long, I scheduled things tightly. (And I would get upset when things got off track.) I think it caused lots of fights with my son (6 yr old now), because he likes to dawdle and be silly and it drives me bananas when we have to be somewhere on time. So I’m trying to allow for more dawdling. Some days, he has to be to camp by 8 or 8:30 because the field trip bus leaves then (and if he misses it, that means no child care for the day), but on non field trip days or days when the bus leaves camp later, I try to be more chill… but then I get into the office late and the plan for the day doesn’t quite match up… I haven’t quite figured it out yet.

  2. Laura, your Medium article is fantastic. Such a great perspective and I particularly love your point that there are likely more people out there who will love me in the future; I just haven’t met them yet. A profound, yet accessible, truth.

  3. Your own voice gets my vote too! All the best with your recording session. Also, I love the optimism of the Medium article, thank you. My youngest child is 14 now. He can walk or catch the train independently to all of his friends’ houses, school, and activities apart from sports fixtures, which my husband drives him to. So I have reached a new stage of parenting when I am no longer scrabbling to work out the kind of drop off and pick up logistics you are wrestling. It’s freeing and disconcerting at the same time, having more time and freedom plus the sense of time feeling more precious and the years ahead fewer, now that I am older than before starting my family. I love your perspective that there is still the possibility of new people to love and adventures to be had.

  4. Just popping in to let you know I couldn’t listen to 168 hours because the voice just felt off, knowing how you speak! I much prefer the audiobooks you recorded and am glad to hear you’re recording this one.

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