Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Where does the time go?

Every few months, I like to take a week to do a time log to see what I'm doing with my days. Like most people, I feel like I'm always working on something, and always have even more I want to do. For instance, I want to do a longer post sharing the results of the log I did a couple of weeks ago, but will save that for another day. What I will share is a cool color-coded look at my 168 hours ...

... followed by major irritation towards all the productivity posts, books and general bloviation telling me to get up early and take an hour or two in the morning to center myself and tackle the tough before the pain of living starts to wear me down.* For real? All of those blue squares are time spent with my children, either playing with, caring for them, or both (silly songs during diaper changes, chats with Mr. T about his day on the way home from preschool). It's a rare day that doesn't have a blue spot between 4 and 5 am, so it's most definitely a rare day I'll be getting up an hour before my kids to have "me time" (purple is work, green is housework/errands, blue is children, orange is personal/sleep/family time).

But! This really isn't an excuse** to moan about how hard it is to be a working parent of small children, or a non-working parent of small children, or even just someone who happens to be in the same room as a small child every now and then. Really, it's about finding time somewhere in the day to take for myself. And isn't deciding to sleep a little more a way of taking care of myself?

One day, I'll get up before the chickens again. I'm not a morning person by any means, but there is something great about drinking a solitary cup of coffee and getting the dishwasher emptied before the shouting*** day begins. Until then, I'll bundle J-Cakes into the stroller for a run, or read a book while I eat lunch, or catnap while nursing him before his morning nap and my work day begins. And one day,  I'll finish that sweater for my dad I've been knitting for two years. I'll finish that novel I've been writing for a year. Heck, I'll finish the novel I've been reading for a year. Until then, I'll continue to fight my battle with inflexibility, and ignore the world when it chides me, all bright smiles and extra caffeine that I can't have because I'm still breastfeeding, to "Just get up a little earlier! You'll get so much done and feel refreshed."

*Can you tell I was up every 2 hours with a teething baby last night? I'm sure the hyperbolic emotion is a dead giveaway.

**Okay, it kind of is, but only a little. I have volumes to say about the happy-family-washing of blogs and our culture in general, and being a parent is really, really freaking hard. Yes, I got myself into this mess, and yes, overall the net result is mostly worth it (I say at 3 in the afternoon. Don't ask me the same question at 3 in the morning), but we don't do anyone any favors by pretending the mess doesn't exist.

***Figurative shouting. Mostly.

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