I’ve been tracking my time lately…trying to figure out where the heck it ends up. Often at the end of the day I have no idea what I did all day…and I find that a little alarming. A whole day? What did I do? I didn’t used to think about this stuff so much. Is this a mid-30’s thing?

So for a couple of days now, I’ve been writing it down. Logging my hours to myself to track it. So at the end of the day when I wonder where the time went, I can see where it went. But…it’s not really helping. I feel frustrated that it takes me an hour to fold and put away laundry. Although it needs to be done, it doesn’t end up feeling like a good, honorable use of an hour. So, instead of feeling settled with how I spent my time, I just wish I had had more time.

Which, I must say, is infinitely better than being bored.

This morning, as I got Andrew off to school and I saw the state of coughing, wheezy Isaac, I decided he needed to stay home. I needed to ignore my time card and only pay half attention to my to-do list. I need to let go of my quest to understand time today, and that’s hard. Ultimately I need to let go of my quest to understand time altogether. I tie up my sense of value too much in what I’ve done, instead of who I am, and I need to shift that all around.

But often what you need to do and how you need to think and the things you need to let go of…are just so hard to change. I don’t attribute intrinsic value to what my kids’ have done today. Isaac’s done a whole lot of not-much…but he’s still infinitely valuable. I know that I should extend myself that same grace, but I can’t seem to help myself. The list of crossed-off items is much more tangible than a list of character traits.

And so I wrestle.

But, if I get to the bottom of this. If I can find peace with who I am and separate that from my list of what I did today…well…that would be nice, wouldn’t it?

Yesterday I made a scrapbook page while helping Isaac finish up some decorations for his birthday party and after organizing a money-management spreadsheet. Sigh. Let it go, Robyn. Let it go.

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About robyn

I stopped teaching Kindergarten in 2005 to become the mom of two crazy boys here in Brooklyn. At first I thought being a stay at home mom meant that I needed to pour all my time and energy directly into my sons, but I realized somewhere along the way that being a rockstar mom meant not only taking good care of my boys, but also taking good care of myself. And taking good care of myself means pursuing something creative...just about everyday. I started Made In Brooklyn to motivate myself in my creative goals as well as share my work with others and perhaps inspire them in their own creative journeys.
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7 Responses to time

  1. Jen says:

    I think all SAHM are in the same boat. I’m constantly wondering where did all my time go. Even more so when I have to work some evenings and don’t get everything done that I needed to before heading off to work. We do need to learn how to let some things go and that our value is more who we are, rather than what we do. I’m still struggling with this myself.

  2. Ruth says:

    Jen is right … although, I thought I was busy today and yet I now discover that my ironing basket is still full. How?

  3. Cathy says:

    I’m so with you on this. When I first started being a SAHM, I used to write down everything I did during the day just in case someone would ask… as if being home with an infant wasn’t enough in itself. Several years later, I still feel bad when I fold laundry while watching TLC… or take a break before the second shift starts (homework, supper, bedtime….) Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this! (by the way, I’m closer to my mid 40’s so it mustn’t be an age thing….)

  4. Miss Vicki says:

    I love what your commenters (is that spelled right?) said. If you worked outside the home, would you be asking this question? I think not!! There is enormous value in what we do at home but the culture isn’t attune to assigning much value to that. Look around you and feel accomplished!!

  5. Susan says:

    haha . . I was going to say that this is always a problem for Eric and I both–which refutes a bit what your mom was saying. But Eric’s job is so nebulous on non-class days. And sometimes all he can say he did was have three or four really long conversations and get some reading done. Sounds really lame. But that actually is his job.

    I remember you saying to me once, “You guys are talkers and we are doers.” Which I agree with, in general. And while it may seem like we must be at total peace about who we are, there is a bit of “the grass is always greener”, I think. We are sometimes a bit too okay with just “being” all day and we realize that instead of talking and being we should really have been folding laundry and washing dishes.

    It’s all about balance. Piece of cake, right?

    • Robyn says:

      Hold up, now!!! That sounds like I meant “all you guys do is talk…we actually get things done.” That’s not what I meant AT ALL. I *think* I said you guys are THINKERS and we are doers…meaning you guys are SMART SMART SMART…ideas flow like the sweet waters of Jericho in that Johnston home (are there sweet waters in Jericho?)…and Dave and I don’t talk to each other as much as you and Eric and ideas aren’t really flowing in the same way for us. But…we do spend a lot of time on projects.

      That’s what I meant.

      Yeah. I wish balance was as easy as cake. I would have baked up dozens by now.

  6. Susan says:

    I’m pretty sure you have baked dozens of cakes by now so . . . .

    You’re right. You said Thinkers, not Talkers. I wasn’t offended at all when you said that! I think you are totally right. And you DO get a lot more done than us!

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