Parenting Work

You Win Some, You Lose Some

October 28, 2020

You all always have the best reading recs – thank you!

Yesterday’s WINS:

✅ Finishing I’d Give Anything (OMG, that ending!)

✅ Time block planning my work day and really killing it on the time management/efficiency front (this does not always happen, so I figure why not celebrate when it does!). Specifically, I completed:

peer review meeting (7:45 – 8:45)

a recruitment presentation

the mini video (also for work/recruitment) I had been putting off for weeks — guess what, iMovie is not that hard!

edits to our recruitment website (you can see what the major theme was)

a nagging patient-related task & triage of EPIC inbox

coaching practice (11:30 – 12)

an unexpected GME-related “assignment” (had to tally up months resident spending in various locations etc and organize it for finance to understand)

phone call with one of our rotation leads to discuss issues PLUS prep of a mini presentation I have to give today to their group

drafted QI project submission document

Really, that is a lot!! And it actually did not feel overwhelming as I was doing it. Previously I was really stressed out about so many lingering projects but I did not expect so much headway to be made in one day. Yesterday made me happy. PS: Being at home absolutely helped with this turbocharged work day – fewer interruptions + no wasted commuting time!

✅ Watched 2 episodes of Schitt’s Creek

✅ Restarted LIIFT4. Guess what, it’s still hard! And I still really need 17 and 20 lb weights. They are so pricey/hard to find now though!

Yesterday’s LOSSES:

❎ Kids were in moods (all had woken up earlier than usual and I’m sure that contributed — I am dreading the time change).

❎ I was in no mood to deal with their moods and it was not a pleasant parenting night

❎ There was a minor injury incident that occurred specifically related to kid impulsivity and bad behavior and now another kid has a visible bruise. Which is sad. And the whole thing really made me mad.

❎ C has these monthly science projects that sound fine in theory, but that I absolutely dread because — as a first grader — he has no ability to complete them independently or even really come up with an idea for execution so they are basically projects for me (I was going to assign it to Josh but he has been on call/at work during most of the kids’ waking hours recently). So “we” did the project, but it was kind of torture. I actually thought about just opting out (his school has no grades, and besides – he’s in 1st grade) BUT I feel that might send the wrong message about responding to assignments?

this sparked no joy in either of us except for the vintage label maker part


Hopefully today will bring success in both the work AND life fronts. (It IS possible – it has happened before!)


  • Reply Young October 28, 2020 at 8:40 am

    I hope you post when you get a hold of those weights. Heavier dumbbells are out everywhere, and it’s a real drag!
    Monthly science projects for first graders sound like a great idea in theory—– if they were able to do it by themselves in class! Good grief!

  • Reply Rebecca October 28, 2020 at 8:51 am

    Can you tell us more about the “coaching practice” item?

  • Reply Jamie October 28, 2020 at 9:19 am

    My second kid will be 21 tomorrow, and still has fond/grateful memories of the time when I pushed back on a dumb assignment in first grade. We’d been instructed to complete worksheets about a book they were reading, but the worksheets had obviously been written by someone who hadn’t bothered to read the whole book. As in, there were multiple questions that made sense based on the back cover copy but not on the actual content of the book. With some trepidation I emailed the teacher and said NOPE, not doing this, too dumb and too stressful and in my view the ENTIRE POINT of first grade is to teach kids to read with skill and joy. (I was a little more tactful than that.) The message it sent to my kid was that the purpose of school is learning, not compliance, and when assignments obstruct learning it is sensible to have a conversation about them.

    • Reply Michelle October 28, 2020 at 2:28 pm

      Of The Four Tendencies, I’m a Rebel and, as also a mother, you are my hero.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns October 28, 2020 at 9:26 am

    Ugh, that project does not sound fun for anyone. If it’s something they need so much help on, what is the benefit to doing it at home? School has changed so much from when we were in school. I do not remember homework/projects at home until I was in 4th or 5th grade. Before that, the only expectation was to read at home which my parents gladly did – and I did on my own a ton. I wish things were like that still – homework in early elementary just seems like a bad idea? No offense to any teachers who might read this, I know much is out of their control!

    I’m glad shooting the video was not too painful for you. I used to have to do videos for our sales people and it would seriously take me like 30+ takes to get a finished product… but I would have to talk about something going on in the financial markets and it would be a 2-3 minute video so there was a lot of opportunity to flub your words and have to start over… I am so glad I don’t have to do them anymore – they were my least favorite task!

  • Reply Kathy October 28, 2020 at 9:58 am

    Regarding weights – it helps to double up. When I need 20 lb, I hold a 15 lb dumbbell and a 5 lb dumbbell in each hand. It can take practice to find the right grip to hold two weights securely in a single hand. But when you master it, all kinds of options open up.

  • Reply Connie C October 28, 2020 at 10:03 am

    Atmosphere layers in FIRST GRADE? Sheesh. That seems a lot to me IMHO.

  • Reply Omdg October 28, 2020 at 10:39 am

    Hard no on the ozone assignment. I probably would have done the same as you, though. 😝

    I ordered 25 lb weights a few months back and it took 2 months for them to arrive. Maybe just bite the bullet and do it now? I could also use 17s. Husband needs 30s.

  • Reply Chelsea October 28, 2020 at 11:00 am

    I really struggle with things like this, too. I was raised with parents who had the attitude that no school assignment was ever optional, and so far I have taken that tack with my kids. Anything that comes home from school that’s not done, every stupid worksheet, every book list. It all has to be done. But sometimes I wonder if it is worth the fights…

  • Reply Natasha October 28, 2020 at 11:05 am

    Kid projects spark no joy in me either! My 4th grader has to make a 3 D model of the national air and space museum, including a cross section of the inside. ($&@?) I don’t see how this contributes to learning. As a parent it’s expensive, time consuming, and frustrating. I’d rather spend time with her playing a game, reading to each other, or some other educational activity.

    Plus, we have been to the national air and space museum! I pulled up some old photos and showed her last night.

  • Reply Natasha October 28, 2020 at 11:08 am

    I also resent having to run all over town for project supplies (clay! paint! random material that looks like glass but isn’t!) during both a pandemic AND a hurricane!

    • Reply Elizabeth October 29, 2020 at 4:39 am

      This sounds so awful! My kids are still in preschool but I dread this part about traditional school (and it’s why we’re considering private). What happens if you tell the teacher your reasons for disliking the project? Would they be receptive or insulted? Would your child fail the class??

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger October 29, 2020 at 6:15 am

        In our case, he definitely wouldn’t fail – his school has no grades! But I fear the teacher might feel insulted or . . . harbor negative feelings towards him. And he’s in a Montessori classroom with grades 1-3 grouped so he could have her for years. I know this might sound kind of wimpy but just not doing it didn’t feel like an option.

        (I told Josh he is officially in charge of November though!)

  • Reply Stacey October 28, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    My kids are older but never had significant homework, other than reading and spelling, until year 6 (age 10/11), something which I am extraordinarily grateful for, because I think it’s utterly pointless, but I wonder if I would have had the guts to push back if that hadn’t been the case. I did have a personal policy that “reading records” would only be completed in my house until the kid in question was a confident, independent reader. After that, if they wanted to track it, they could, but if they didn’t, there was no way I was going to make them, as I never wanted to make them feel like reading was a chore.

  • Reply CSZ October 28, 2020 at 2:08 pm

    Hi, I’m a Kindergarten teacher and I totally agree that homework is pointless in the early years! I would also much rather the kids just spend some time reading each night. Typically, at my school, the only homework we send home in K and 1 is a one page math practice worksheet. Monthly science projects seem a little over the top for that age!

  • Reply Rachel November 6, 2020 at 9:24 am

    Not sure if it would help at all for Cameron’s science projects, but the YouTube channel Kids Learning Tube has all kinds of videos that are related to science and maybe would spark his interest. My son just turned 5 and has learned all about anatomy, space, the periodic table, etc from the videos.

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