My 4 Day Workweek: Am I Doing it Right?

January 16, 2019

Clearly, I spend a lot of time thinking about how to best prioritize and use the hours that I have. Like most parents in a busy phase of my work life, there is a lot going on. Which really is a great problem to have!

One major source of chaos right there!

I recognize that I am incredibly lucky to be able to work a 4-day work week. I chose to take this 20% pay cut (not a small sum!) to have one day in which to:

  • Be available for the kids (appointments, school events, days off, events, etc) at times – often this requires moving patients because I don’t know when they will be, but having a day off allows for the flexibility to do this (ie I have somewhere to move them TO, whereas I did not when I was full time).
  • Catch up on life’s obligations: dr’s appointments, home administrative things like paying bills or balancing our budget, some errands that I prefer to do myself
  • Spend time on my creative endeavors, such as this blog, the podcast, and hopefully at some point (soon) a writing project
  • Enjoy some treats sometimes, like a mani/pedi, shopping at an actual store, or lunch with a friend

This was working fairly well until G was born. Then nursing happened, and all the sudden I felt like I was mostly just on baby duty. And nap duty (necessary at the time when G was not sleeping at night). It felt absolutely right for that phase of time. But now I think I’d like to reclaim some of that time. I don’t think I’d have any problem dropping G off in day care, honestly, if that was our childcare situation, for at least part of the day. But with our nanny here and her RIGHT THERE, I often end up hanging out with her rather than getting much done for myself. And then I wonder whether my 20% sacrifice is really worth it. It’s not that I don’t want to spend some time with G, but I don’t necessarily need it to be all day — we definitely do that on weekends already.

(Note, I definitely feel an undercurrent of: “Am I a terrible person for not wanting to spend 100% of my free time with my toddler?” because that is what I am supposed to want, right? I mean, she’s so cute and squishy and loving and needy? And yet I know I would support any of my friends facing a similar quandary with total understanding.)

So, I think I probably need to be stricter about setting an agenda for what I’d like to do for these days. I also need to probably GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. I am dying to catch up on several home projects today that have been languishing on my goals list for months. They are important to me (otherwise I would have nixed them from the list!) but never seem to be a priority.

And there can still be some G-time, A-time, and C-time.

Hmmm. Things to ponder.