This weekend just worked for me. We didn’t do anything momentous, but I spent a huge proportion of it feeling very happy and grateful and just really present, for lack of a better term.
1) Planning ahead. It’s not like we went to Disney and needed to make 17 different reservations. But I had some cooking/baking projects, 3 separate birthday parties (necessitating 3 gifts, of course, plus dessert-making) and had some home tasks to finish. Mapping things out in advance helped everything feel doable and the time actually felt productive as well as relaxing.
cooking achievement Saturday night
2) Keeping my normal hours. Oh, this is almost embarrassing, but whatever. It worked so well that I am just going to have to admit it: I went to bed at 9:15 pm on Saturday and 9:40 pm last night. This way I was able to work out in the mornings and do some organizing/mental setup for the day before the kids were awake — always key for my sanity. We didn’t have any nights out planned which was Josh’s request (he wanted to “do nothing”, whatever that means) and it did make me realize the value in staying in a bit more.
3) Staying largely unplugged. Less than 40 minutes each day on my phone according to Moment! I did post once to Instagram and we FaceTimed with my parents yesterday, but otherwise phone use was quite limited.
4) Lucky weather. Hot of course, but no thunder/lightning. We were able to spend big chunks of each day outside, which is so good for the kids (honestly, they behave so much better when they can truly expend their natural energy).
bday party #1
5) Both parents off. Josh did work super late on Friday and spent a couple of hours at the office on Saturday, but otherwise we were both home. I’ll have to ask him, but I think we did a good job of giving each other time to rest/take breaks when needed.
6) An extra day! I finished call on Thursday and had Friday off. It was so, so nice. Our nanny had off, but I had time to myself while A&C were in camp and then a really nice time with them afterwards.
Friday ice cream trip
– Worked out both days (both Josh + me!) including the pregnancy version of a ‘long run’ (50 min with walk breaks)
– Swam both days w/ the kids
– Hung out with Josh’s family + FaceTimed my parents w/ the kids
– Attended 2 kids bday parties (I know these get a bad rap, but honestly I kind of love them, especially when I know the other parents well)
– Outlined podcast episodes 🙂
– Made eggplant and goat cheese gratin (from Melissa Clark’s Dinner: Changing the Game cookbook) and these vegan key lime pie no-bake cupcakes for my SIL’s bday
– Monthly/weekly review rituals (YNAB budgeting, monthly actions, etc)
– Almost finished the book I’m reading (Touch by Courtney Maum, not my favorite ever but interesting)
We have a template which I think is going to work well, and one of the segments is a Q&A — so I need some Qs! They can be anything related to parenting, work/life balance, organization, etc – my cohost and I will try our best to offer our thoughts on your questions and dilemmas.
Please either a) post in the comments or b) email me your questions! Pilot(s) are being recorded this week so please get them in today or tomorrow if possible 🙂
Pregnancy week 22
M – Treadmill. 41 min, 3.6 mi. 1 mi, then 0.5 mi x 2, then 0.25 mi x 3 with walk breaks between each, at escalating speeds
T – Barre3 30 min workout
W – Treadmill. 35 min, 3.14 mi. 3 x 10 min chunks of jogging with walk breaks
R – REST
F – Treadmill. 36 min, 3.26 mi. 5 min run / 1 min walk x 6
S – Barre3 40 min workout
S – Treadmill. 50 min, 4 mi. 10 min run x 3, then a 14 min run to finish it off. My longest run in quite some time!
I’m quite proud of this one!
I’m excited for your podcast. I have so many questions as a full-time working mom of 2, but my #1 is "Exactly what do you outsource and how?" We are constantly feeling bogged down and behind on life/chores/household things and never seem to have enough time to work out. My husband, in particular, struggles with this because his job is very full-time and no-nonsense (surgeon) AND he is dedicated to being a present parent and helpful at home when he’s not working. Perhaps if I had more things on "autopilot" (making choices takes time, I am not a natural "satisficer", unfortunately) or just outsourced them, things would be easier for both of us. THANK YOU!
How did you (…or did you? 🙂 ) decide on the spacing between your kids? From your experience, are there advantages to having them closer together vs. further apart, work-life balance-wise, or otherwise?
How do you make time for friends? I’m a FT working mom and both my husband and I are really social, but sometimes it’s hard to find time to see our friends. Especially those without kids! Also – meals/meal planning. Would love to hear how others make it work!
My biggest dilemma is the "brain work" of parenting. As my children get older, the decisions about how much they should be challenged and where they need support, aren’t ones that I can outsource. Items such as: tutoring once or twice a week, speech therapy now or wait a year, will the oldest need braces, the youngest glasses? etc. it’s more of a drain on my thoughts and processing power than any work project, especially since the answers keep changing!
My most burning question is about your nanny – your setup sounds so ideal (especially how she cooks for you!). How did you find her, decide on duties, integrate a third person in your parenting structure, etc.?
Me again 🙂 Would love to hear your thoughts on screen time/smartphone usage. My baby is only 10 months old but this article is making its way around my friend group and it’s terrifying! https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017…
Also second the nanny question–it seriously sounds like a great set up that you guys have, and I’m wondering if you had to "commit" to a certain amount of time (year-wise) to get her? Did you luck out right away with finding her? I feel like you might have mentioned she was a family referral but I don’t quite remember.
One other thing that I’d love to hear you talk about, though perhaps it is a LITTLE much for your first episode haha, is to unpack the "lean in" vs. "having it all" arguments vs. what you’ve done in your own lives. Not going to lie the feminist in me cringes that you were the one to "opt down" in your family (though I know you did it for you!!!), and I know that’s definitely a problem in double-physician families in general (and I think a problem for double-earning couples in high-earning/long-hours careers across the board).
How do you plan for the weekends when you’re too tired to think most of the time during the week? How do you keep yourself from being envious of other families who have more help/present relatives? How do you deal with conflicts over parenting? How do you get your spouse to communicate with you about plans (or anything) when he clearly isn’t interested?
My question is about the "mental load" of your job- how do you "check out" of work mode when you’re home? I’m not in medicine, but as a teacher my job is pretty all-consuming September-June. Even if I’m not at work, I’m thinking about it (How could that lesson go better? How can I help the class work better together? Am I giving enough timely feedback? etc). This is my first school year with a child of my own (daughter will be 4 months on the first day of school), and I worry about this!
As an aside, I commented on your initial "Thinking about 3" post about a year and a half ago that our fertility treatments were not going well, and you had a lovely reply. Thank you for that. And, they worked 🙂 And I’m so happy you decided to go for #3!
Your blog is fantastic and I’m excited for your podcast.
How did you choose between a nanny and day care? Like you, I have a long commute each day. How did you weigh the benefits of having your kids at home (the kids spend less time in the car) versus putting the kids in child care near your workplace (you are readily accessible if they need you during the day)?
My podcast q&a: when did you know you wanted to be a doctor? any regrets? can you imagine yourself as anything other than a doctor?
love your blog. have been reading it all through my phd 🙂
Excited for all of the discussion!
*How do you handle the mental banter of "this vs that" – time with kid or time for self – make plans or plan free? It’s the mental mind games that I find most exhausting.
*Do you have mantras to help in moments of doubt? On any "doing enough" topics.
*Do youbget feedback from the kids on "missing you and josh" – how do you handle? What verbiage do you use with the kids about work and time for work – time for sell – your personal desires that are important.
Love reading this thread. It’s like our own tribe of support. Even in the questions. Xo
I’ve been reading your blog for a long time and have read many of the archives so I am so excited for this! I have many of the same questions that have already been raised but especially would like to hear about how you handle "re-evaluating" your set up especially with regard to your kids. You remind me a lot of myself in that I am someone who always feels everything can be better. I can be a better mom I can work harder I can get the balance more perfect I can spend more time with my husband. I struggle with us all the time because I just want to make things best I can and find myself wondering should I stay home should I cut back on hours more should I make the most of this opportunity at work – never feeling like OK this is the right balance I am doing OK right now even though things are really darn good. That’s really amplified right now because I am pregnant with my second child and know things will have to change so I am reevaluting my whole life haha!
so I’d love to hear about the transition to two kids too. I am also jealous of your super active social life and am constantly amazed you have been able to build such a great life for yourself and your family! I am always looking for tips on growing our social circle now that we have a kid but also keeping up with treasured friends who don’t have kids and aren’t interested in play dates (understandably)!
I echo the question on making time for friends – and for yourself – and perhaps this is a couple of folks sharing – how do you balance the kid/me/spouse time. I’m finding it easier as our daughter gets older – and yet, even harder since there is so many things she wants to do with us right now – and I know soon enough she won’t want to do things with us . . .
How do you disciple kids or deal with age related behavior issues/ tantrums? We are in the thick of it right now with my 5 year old and would really welcome your thoughts. So excited for the podcast.
When you discuss childcare, be sure and cover families with au pairs. I have one, and I think it is an under-utilized, but often quite elegant solution.