Soem clarifications and notes:
1) I actually almost never have solo weekends anymore! This is by design. I don’t want to act all martyr-esque, because truthfully being home with both kids by myself for the weekend is a rarity these days. In 2016, Josh and I sync’d our call weekends and haven’t looked back – it was a great decision. Yes, it comes with a cost (childcare 1 in every 5 weekends) but is soooo worth it to both of us to be parenting together on most weekends rather than taking turns half the time.
2) Perhaps it would help me to take a clear look at when/where my ‘free time’ currently lies on a typical working weekday.
The kids sleep about ~8 pm (Annabel’s bedtime – sometimes she doesn’t fall asleep until a little later, but I aim for 8!) to 6:30 am (when Annabel woke up this morning). Sometimes it’s 7 am, but right now it’s unusual for both kids to make it to that magical hour. Cameron sleeps a little more, often 7:30 pm – 6:45 am. So, like many parents & caregivers, my “free time” most work days is limited to pre-6:30 am and post-8:00 pm. Josh often takes the morning shift so I can work out (yay!), though sometimes he has to leave by 7 (and also has to get ready) so this can be variable.
I need about 7.5-8 hours of sleep while pregnant (7 seems to work fine while not gestating!).
So, without additional childcare, I can realistically fit in for me:
– a ~45 minute (max) workout (5:45 AM – 6:30 AM)
– a short journaling or meditation session (5:00 – 5:45 AM), or pieces of a blog post
– 60 min of reading or TV max, post kid bedtime (8:15 – 9:15 PM) – otherwise will be too tired to get up early the next day
Not a ton, but not nothing!
3) My work days themselves are pretty packed (and often feel frenetic), but sometimes I can write a blog post during lunch. Usually that time is very limited (like . . . 20 minutes between end of last morning pt’s note and starting to see PM patient) and I use it to eat with my coworkers.
However, since going to 80%, I am now lucky enough to have an entire extra day per week. Typically our nanny does work that day (and so far this has been mostly the case, though sometimes I’ve ‘traded’ her for weekend coverage). Sometimes, time gets eaten up by to-do items (yesterday: ultrasound + car oil change) but otherwise it is an amazing outlet that I need to use WELL.
4) Commute. I’m in the car for about 90 minutes/day. I typically listen to podcasts. I need to reframe this as ‘me time’, even if it’s a little bit captive. I could also do audiobooks, but at this point I have so many podcasts that I love, so I still don’t get through all of them!
5) Evenings. I could also probably go out one weeknight per week (with childcare), but most of the time am too tired to really want to. I’m bailing on book club this week – in part due to laziness, but also because I didn’t finish the book!
6) I outsource A LOT, so the hours listed above truly are mine for the taking. I can focus on ‘important-but-not-urgent’ work-related projects if needed, and I can take time for myself. I just need to make sure I’m doing that!! Taking stock of the specific hours above reveals that my time is limited, but it’s there. I just need to make the most of it.
scheduling more fun & relaxing things for my days off
– goal: one prenatal massage per month until delivery 🙂
– dedicated reading time
– trying some new workouts
tracking time in some kind of fun and non-arduous way, in a way that I can SEE and appreciate how I am using (and hopefully not wasting) my ‘free’ hours
some kind of book reading challenge (2 books/month really should be doable)
writing here more
Obviously, things are going to get 999x more challenging in just a few (okay 4.5 . . .) short months. But I want to make the most of the time I have before then!