I was reading this post on Motherlode, the New York Times parenting blog, about how parents have about an hour and a half of time to themselves each day — and not all at once.
According to the study, it breaks down like this:
Get up 6:42am
Get ready (shower, dress, coffee) 55 minutes
Get children ready 47 minutes
Commute to work 52 minutes
Working day 7 hours
Pick children up 33 minutes
Makes / eat dinner 46 minutes
Children’s play and bedtime 1 hour 9 minutes
Household chores 1 hour 13 minutes
Work from home 1 hour 12 minutes
Go to bed 10:45pm
Spare time = 1hour 30 minutes a day
I think this is pretty accurate, except maybe the part about the time you have to yourself to get ready in the morning. Ha. This morning, the baby woke up at 4 to nurse, then had a hard time settling back down. I got up at 5:15 to jump in the shower before the toddler woke up, too. By the time I got out, both kids were crying. I got the baby settled again, ignored the toddler (don’t give me that look, you’ve done it, too) and blow-dried my hair. I decided to brush my teeth instead of putting on makeup (though I keep a toothbrush AND makeup at work in case I don’t have time for either). Then I got the baby dressed, got the toddler up and dressed — “Wear Twins T-shirt? Go Joe! Number 7! Go Joe!” I don’t even know what that means, must be something daddy taught him.
Then breakfast for Jack, more baby nursing, then pumping, oh the pumping, then trying to finish getting dressed in my kitchen (no point in putting a decent shirt on that’s just going to get spit-up on or else get grimy toddler fingerprints all over, and it takes too much time to haul both kids back upstairs to get dressed, so I bring it down) while letting Jack watch Yo Gabba on the laptop and rocking the baby in her carseat with my foot.
All in all? About 15 minutes of “me” time, which I used to take a shower and blow-dry my hair.
At night, by the time the baby is settled to sleep, I usually am too tired to do anything. I can barely make it through even a sitcom. And I often fall asleep reading. I have to remind myself this is just babyhood, and it will get better in a few weeks, months. I mean, Jack is a pretty awesome sleeper, but that took until he was about a year.
This morning was atypical, since Philip wasn’t home. On mornings he is there, which is most mornings, I am able to get out early to meet friends to run. Those days? I get about an hour to myself (well, some with the pump), which I use to get the hell out of the house and go for a run. I don’t love getting up at 4:45 a.m., but if that’s the only time I have to go, I go.
In the poll, people said they wanted more free time to read, watch TV or exercise. Man, I agree with all that.
Anyway, I’ll take what I can get when it comes to free time. And use it to run. Just don’t call me after 7 p.m. I’m sleeping.