just a mom figuring it out one day at a time

Mommy Time Battle

Last week the Washington Post published an article, “The Test of Time: A busy working mother tries to figure out where all her time is going.” It chronicles the author’s time usage, as reflective of a working mom. The author, Bridid Schulte, clearly documents the struggle that all moms, especially working moms, face as they try and work essentially two full-time jobs. The story really resonated with me, as evidenced by the fact that I am writing this a full WEEK after I began reading the article. Did I also happen to mention that it is Sunday night at almost 11 p.m. after the children are asleep, laundry started, kitchen cleaned, swimming lessons complete?

I digress. What is most amazing about the story is her reference to John Robinson, a sociologist at the University of Maryland, who claims that women today have an additional 30 hours of leisure time, versus those in the 1960s. When I read this, a huge “WHAT?” started flashing like a large neon sign in front of my eyes. All this mind you, while working mothers also assumed an additional 3 hours of time caring for our children versus 1965, according to Robinson’s research.

To say that I was completely blown away is an understatement. Being a mother is a full time job, and one that does not give you paid vacation days, or hazard pay when you get puked on. I find even on the rare occasion when I am away from my children I am thinking about them, putting things in place for them, discussing their schedules or issues with my husband. It simply does not end. There are sports, or dance classes, school events, social events and on and on. It has gotten to the point that we now use an Outlook calendar to sync up all of the various events in our family. It may sound crazy, but for us it works.

Tonight at the swim lesson, I discussed this article with a friend of mine who is also a working mom and mother to three children. Her response, “Are you KIDDING me?” Having known her most of my life, we talked about our childhood; how we were able to play until dark without much supervision. However, in today’s environment I don’t see how I would ever allow my child to do that to the same level that I did. It is simply a different world, and in some ways more sinister. We wondered if we were able to let our children play more freely outdoors if that would creat more “leisure time.” However, we agreed that really it would just be filled with more items as we attempt in vain to keep up with the day to day needs of our families.

Do I have leisure time? Or time just to be free to do what I please? I will admit there is some here and there, but often it feels like it is filled with thinking about all the other things that need to be done, or at the sacrifice of something else. I guess that is just the lesson. To be present in the moment as much as possible and know that it is equally important to “make time” for a little leisure.


One Response to “Mommy Time Battle”

  1. Thanks. I think the bigger challenge is trying to also balance it with =

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