Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The best and worst day of my week

Wednesday mornings I've been staying home with Minnow. It's my morning to sleep in until she wakes up, enjoy some mommy time, take a walk with the dog, and maybe introduce a new solid food. Minnow usually takes a 1.5 to 2.5 hour nap, and that's when I grab a quick shower and then try to be as productive as possible on my laptop. When Minnow wakes up, depending on the time, I'll feed us lunch or not, and then take her to daycare. I usually arrive at school around 1.

I love my mornings at home. They recharge me.

But they also stress me out.

By the time 3 pm Wednesday afternoon rolls around, I am a basket case. I've got a lecture to prepare for the next day, undoubtedly some new administrative demand, and the ever present desire (and need) to get some research done. And I feel like I just lost a whole lot of time. Even though I tell myself that I really only lost about 3 hours and that time with Minnow was totally worth the lost time at work, I find myself wondering how long Wednesday mornings "working at home" is going to be sustainable. At what point in the semester am I going to say that I just can't give up a morning? And after I do give up a Wednesday morning at home, will I ever go back to them?

But I *know* it's worth it. She's growing up so amazingly fast and time is just flying by. She gets a bit caught up on her sleep (she doesn't nap well at daycare), and I get to watch her play. She's so independent - pulling everything off her shelves and crawling after objects that catch her eye. And I won't be able to do this next semester when my teaching load is heavier. So I should just enjoy it while I can and not let Wednesday afternoons beat me up.

Remind me of that next week.


Carrie said...

My own Minnow turns 4 years old tomorrow. I 'worked from home' all day on Wednesdays with him for the first six months of his life. And it really WAS worth it. You can never get those baby days back. I know the faculty pressure is intense, but beat it down and let yourself be a MOM only for 4 hours once a week!

Writer Chica said...

You'll remember that time with Minnow. Take it, enjoy it. The work will always be there no matter how much of it you do. And take lots of deep breaths on Wednesday afternoons.

I'm so glad to hear you are getting a morning at home with her.

Lab Cat said...

Enjoy Wed mornings while you can and do not give them up. It is only for another couple of months anyway. While professionally it is stressful; without this time your professional life would be worse and you might start resenting your work. You need this time to recharge and get some time for yourself and Minnow.

EcoGeoFemme said...

Anything could take up three hours without really being productive. so be glad you're doing something that contributes to your well being (and your daughter's). You could lose three hours in a lame-o meeting, having nonsense discussions with students or colleagues, etc. Think of the many hours that most people spend shooting the breeze with coworkers! Enjoy your Minnow time.

I'm helping you rationalize because you clearly don't want to change what you are doing, just change how you feel about it. :)

ScienceWoman said...

Thanks everyone. Ecogeofemme - you hit the nail on the head. I *don't* want to change what I am doing, just how I feel about it afterward.

EcoGeoFemme said...

That's what rationalizing is for!

Goat Mama said...

First off: you need to re-label Wednesday mornings. You are not 'working from home', you are 'out of the office'. Try to just mentally set aside the precious Wednesday morning time as Minnow-Mommy morning. Reduce your expectations of getting things done. I know its hard-but, this time is so important. I'm glad you're taking these few hours off work. Once time is gone, you never get it back. Keep us posted on this.

bk2nocal said...

I applaud you keeping these mornings with your daughter. I often think that we forget how our faculty duties, class prep and research responsibilities can suddenly fill our days 24/7 if we let them. I love teaching because I have a flexible schedule, but if I don't take advantage of that flexibility, it becomes ME who has the flexible schedule - to be filled with what everyone else is giving me to do. At some point, we have to face the fact that we can only do so much. And 3 hours a week with your daughter should NOT be something that is filled with all that "other stuff". So, I agree - make this time, "out of office" not "working at home". And although your teaching responsibilities go up next semester, try to find at least a couple of these "out of office" hours for yourself and your daughter!

We are only human.

Andrea Ann said...

When I was stressing about not getting all the work stuff done - even though I know it is not possible because there will ALWAYS be more work stuff a colleague said, "If you were to die tommorrow, the university would hold alovely memorial service...and then hire someone else." I always use that to put things in perspective. I love my work and I know my contributions are valuable - but at work I can be home I can't. So Weds mornings with your daughter and maybe group activity in class on Thursday. :)

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