Goals life

Back to Work!

January 2, 2020

My 12 day stretch at home with the kids. Complete with manifesto.



I enjoyed parts of it. I wouldn’t say I had an overall fantastic experience, though, and I never really want to do it again. And I don’t think I will have to – Josh (hopefully!) will work Christmas or New Years’ next year but not both (!) and I will be more aggressive about childcare or camps or SOMETHING if a similar situation ever arises again.

(Plus, everyone will be older. And that is good!)

well, good in some ways.

The little lady above drove me the least crazy, honestly. The other two . . . well, I think it was just perhaps too many unstructured days. We did have a bit of a rhythm going:

AM: breakfast, toys, putter around, usually avoid screen time. Sometimes babysitter ~8 – 10 am (I should have done this more.)

Mid-AM: outing — playground, museum, play date, etc. Ideally with friends so that I can get some adult contact.

Lunch: out or at home. Yesterday the kids did a picnic at the playground which they loved.

Afternoon: G nap, which thankfully was a pretty reliable staple most days ~1:30 – 3:30 (or 1-3, 2-4, etc). During this time big kids got screen (or craft or whatever) time and told not to bother G or me. (I pretty much used this time to read, nap, and recover.)

Late afternoon: This is where it always got hard. Typically I’d WANT to go take a walk / go to the store / etc, but not really have the energy to fight the kids’ inertia. Yesterday we did not make it to Whole Foods – thankfully Josh stopped on his way home instead. Around 4 – 5 pm many nights I cooked dinner / folded laundry while G watched Pinkalicious.

Dinner: Josh sometimes got home and sometimes didn’t. When he did it was great. We’ll just leave it at that.

Baths/bedtime: Ugh, this was rough (when Josh wasn’t home) and I’m very happy that I will be getting our nanny back during this witching hour. G’s bedtime has drifted closer to 8 pm with her later nap, and the big kids by 8:30 – 9 pm.

All that said, we all survived. There was more yelling / threats than I would have preferred. But I will keep working on it.

I am happy and excited to return to work today (!), so I guess the break did accomplish something! ONWARD AND UPWARD.

And here’s another planner pic for you:

PS: I also picked a word for the year, which I will share tomorrow. Anyone else?


  • Reply Meg Salvia January 2, 2020 at 7:35 am

    Sounds rough! I’m looking forward to getting back to work today after too many unstructured days off with the kids, too. It’s amazing how you juggle all the stuff: podcast, blog, and work!

  • Reply omdg January 2, 2020 at 9:23 am

    It’s over???

    Dylan’s school doesn’t start until Monday, so we have four more days. I feel like I’ve been pretty productive at work this past week, but also I am ready to get back to our regular routine.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 2, 2020 at 10:49 am

      Break is not over until Tues Jan 7 (!) but our nanny is back and I have work today and tomorrow 🙂

  • Reply Laura Vanderkam January 2, 2020 at 9:29 am

    You survived! Woo hoo! Our big kids are back at school today so…phew! They thought the holiday break felt very short. I did not feel so. 🙂

  • Reply Amy January 2, 2020 at 10:07 am

    My word of the year is “stillness.” I’m probably more excited for it than I should be. It is inspired by Pico Iyer’s TED Talk and follow-up book which I highly recommend!

  • Reply Jennifer Killelea January 2, 2020 at 11:03 am

    My word of the year is ‘simple’. I think I can do a lot more to make my own life easier by asking myself how I can keep things more simple, and that should have a trickle down effect for the rest of the family.

  • Reply A January 2, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    You survived- WOOHOO. And it sounds like your kids had a wonderful, fulfilling break (with some much needed TV :)).

    Was just thinking that the fact that you’re excited to return to work is probably a good reminder of how well you chose your career. I know you’ve had burn-out concerns lately and that’s been difficult, but hopefully this is one bright reminder :).

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 3, 2020 at 10:06 am

      Yes! Definitely a silver lining. I was happy to be back 🙂

  • Reply Irene January 2, 2020 at 8:07 pm

    My daughter just returned to school after being out since December 13th. Her school’s ridiculous breaks are making us all crazy, including her. She was nervous going back after being out so long and my husband and I split the time to save vacation days so there were way fewer family days than in the past despite such a long break. I enjoyed a lot of it but it felt weird and I’m so glad to be getting back into a routine again.

  • Reply Victoria B. January 3, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    I don’t even have kids but I find the holidays to be so stressful and I’m glad when EVERYTHING returns to normal. Glad to get back into my routines.

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