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Wednesday, January 20, 2010



This is the best blog yet!


A working mom's leisure is extremely limited. The tradeoff I've been making the last year is less sleep for more "leisure" (reading books, watching movies or t.v. after the kids go to bed) but one of my New Year's resolutions was to pick sleep instead of t.v., movies and books more frequently so I will feel better. I do count my 15 minutes of reading on BART as "my" time and sometimes wish my train ride was longer. Fundamentally, it's hard to have "quality" leisure time when your leisure time is after a work day and the kids go to bed. I admire your energy to write this blog. (This was written at work, of course!)


I am so glad you blogged about that article! I read it last night (during a rare few moments of apparent leisure after dinner), and I've been thinking about it a lot since then.

IMHO, a fundamental problem is that pretty much all of my leisure time is contaminated by a sense that I "should" be doing something else, instead of whatever it is that I'm doing. Other than dedicated family time (ideally with both kids), almost every moment of that 30 (???) hours of leisure comes with some guilt -- or, at least, a feeling of conflict. So, maybe part of the solution is to try harder to live in the moment.

Another fundamental problem is that most working moms (dads too, but especially moms) try to create more leisure time by sacrificing sleep, leaving us chronically and unhealthily sleep-deprived. As a result, even when I do carve out leisure time, I'm often too tired to truly enjoy it. (The example in the WP article was reading the same paragraph each night, making no progress in a book -- yep, that's me.)

Vicki Penn

I find it very frustrating that people, women in particular, continually complain about not having leisure time. Life is about making choices- to have kids or not, to watch TV or not, to go to bed early or not, to work full time or not, to volunteer at your child's school or not. All about making choices...quit complaining and be thankful that you have the opportunities to do the things you "choose" to do. Yes raising a family is exhausting- but it is whether you work outside the home or not. Women have always risen to the challenge of raising our families and being there 24/7 for them. I do not find that a negative but rather a positive in my life. I enjoyed my children as they grew up, worked jobs around their schedules so that I could be a part of their lives and am extremely thankful for the opportunity. That meant taking jobs worth less pay wise frequently, but what I received was worth more than any salary. Quit complaining and start appreciating life- you will have a lot more time after your children are grown, and then you will wish for the days of their youth when you got to be such an important part of their lives on a daily basis.


Thanks for all these comments. Tara, I agree with you about trying harder to live in the moment and enjoy fully the time you spend at work and the time you spend with your family. And, Jamie, sorry, but I think we do all need to sleep more! Vicki, I'm saddened that you viewed this blog as one big complaint. It's not - it's more of a comment on the way life is. Yes, I'd like more leisure time -especially time for myself. But I am cognizant of the choices I've made and grateful for my full life, especially for my husband and children.


Thanks for tackling this subject. I think it took me until my first baby was 2 years old to think that I "deserved" leisure time. But now I feel no guilt when I take time for myself away from my kids or family -- I realize that I am a better mom and wife because of it. Of course, as Stacy said, what I choose to do with that free time may not seem leisurely to everyone (going to a singing rehearsal or book group or working out) and I admit that sometimes it involves watching TV while folding the laundry. That's one of my favorite activities - enjoyable and almost meditative to put clothes in order - even though Robinson would likely classify it as housework.


Oh, and check out Brigid Schulte's piece in the Post's Story Lab today about where her husband fits in. Very interesting.


Great post Stacy! I would write more but I am going to enjoy Grey's Anatomy tonight without multi-tasking! :)

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