August 31, 2013

[this is my 2nd time writing this post, which PAINS me, but i wanted to share some things]

1. i have been tracking my time.  and it has been instructive.  i have noticed:

     a) i need to beat myself up less for being unable to ‘do it all.’  i am not superwoman or even supermom, and that is okay:  it is what it is.   i can still be pretty awesome even if i do not get to spend hours of idle time with annabel every day, or if i continue to need a break on weekends despite this.  the end.

     b) i need to be better about making sure my plans match my values.  for example, this meal was good:

. . . but it was not worth 90 minutes of prep/cleanup.  note to self: be realistic.
     c) my use of leisure time sucks.  classic example: spending an hour in the kitchen, uncomfortably perched on a chair, reading a [rather juicy and interesting, but still] facebook thread on my phone because i didn’t feel like cleaning up.
not relaxing.  not satisfying.  i can do better.
brief report of my first ‘mother’s helper’ experience
i chose 17-year old m. from care.com because she sounded experienced, honest, and sweet — and i am happy to report that in person, she was all 3 and then some.  annabel was up at 6:15 am, so i was with her from then until 10, when m. arrived.  after that, i enjoyed a glorious 3 hours of:
— an uninterrupted shower
— over an hour of study time
— organizing important files [HAD to be done . . . but wasn’t getting done].
i stepped in for strategic moments: lunch, diaper change, nap prep.  m. played with annabel nonstop the whole time, and thoroughly tired her out for naptime — she’s sleeping now.  i felt guilty until i realized that i was just basically replacing JOSH when he is on call.  not his fault – just the reality of how things are!  and this is a great solution.  i think i have finished feeling bad about it.
i think that with time, i will be comfortable leaving annabel alone with m. for things like a yoga class or a haircut.  and in the meantime, i will enjoy getting some actual relaxation during her nap rather than rushing around trying to get everything done in span of 2 hours [if i’m lucky!].
rest o’ the weekend
filled with playdates, family time, and another babysitting trial [long-term, my plan is to do this just once per weekend when one of us is on call, but i wanted to get some potential candidates on my roster!].  
happy labor day to all!
a’s new favorite toy
new blinged-out kicks
[catching her in a photo NOT as a blur = true challenge at this particular stage]

 my office . . . can you spot the coolest stapler ever?!  
i gaze at it happily every time i go near my desk.


  • Reply oldmdgirl March 10, 2019 at 7:15 pm


    So glad things went well with the babysitter/weekend plans. You deserve it.

    (Love Annabel’s shoes.)

  • Reply Monica March 10, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    Awesome job. Even as a SAHM I would feel guilty occasionally when leaving my kids. It just is. But I was always glad I went out or did something for myself. My kids are teens now and their memories are of me being around (a lot). Glad to hear things are working out and hope the self guilt lessens.

  • Reply Jan March 10, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    That stapler IS the coolest thing ever! Some people don’t understand that kind of thing (my husband) but I definitely get it.

  • Reply ana March 10, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    Are you going to post more about your time tracking? i always find those fascinating. Yay for getting help—with Josh working frequently on weekends you definitely need it, its really impossible to do it all on your own, and that break can be so so refreshing.

  • Reply JT@Faux Foodie Girl March 10, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    I love the choice of A’s new toy 🙂 I really need to track my time better, I recognize so many "time wasters" in my day, but can’t seem to break the cycle…

  • Reply Laura Vanderkam March 10, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    I’d love to see more about the time tracking (of course!) I’m glad you were able to re-conceptualize the mother’s helper on the weekend. In many families, both parents are home on the weekend, and so you could trade off. Since your husband isn’t there, you have someone else. The sitter replaces him, not you. And I’m guessing he’s not eaten up with guilt about it (maybe?)

    • Reply theSHUbox March 10, 2019 at 7:16 pm

      Just emailed you the logs spanning two weeks 🙂 would absolutely love any feedback from a seasoned time log analyst 🙂

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