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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Let's Do The Math

Today we're testing the popular theory that a Modern Mom can do it all! Everyone assures me that if I just "make the time" in my day I can keep up with everything on my to-do list. Let's check that, shall we?

Calculators out!

Sleep - 8 hours (some people live on less - I can't)
Cooking - 2 hours
Eating - 1 hour (averaging 20 minutes per meal)
Feeding the Baby - 2 hours
Kids Homework - 2 hours
Cleaning House - 2 hours
Folding Laundry - 1 hour
Walking the Dog - 1 hour
Working Out - 1 hour
Writing - 3-4 hours (I can usually hit 1k/hr so it depends on how close a deadline is)
Chauffering Kids To School - 1 hour
Errands/Bill Paying/Miscellaneous - 1 hour (up to 5 depending on the day)

Quick... add that up and we get...25 hours on an easy day. On a day where I need more writing time or to leave the house to run errands (grocery shopping, going to the post office, ect) or on a day with sports (+3 hours for gymnastics - +2 hours for speech) and you see the problem.

Normally you can alternate these chores, walking the dog can be part of a workout (not with my dog maybe but with some dogs), and laundry can be folded every other day, but you get the idea.

This doesn't even include nonessentials like movie watching, book reading, gardening, lunch dates with friends, birthday parties, or anything relaxing.

You know, I'm beginning to see why I'm a little stressed.


  1. 2 hours a day of house cleaning? Wow. I can't imagine how spotless your house must be. I do it once a week and it's a 45-60 minute job while big brother keeps the twins occupied (they're terrified of the vacuum).

    1. My house is nothing like spotless. I have 4 crazy children who can turn a nice house into a dump in about 30 seconds. They dump their backpacks and a forest of dead trees appears on my floor. Then they tramp in sand and dirt from outside. Sometimes they smuggle in small spiders.

      My house looks like a hurricane hit it, complete with soggy floors.

    2. Heh, guess that's in my future. I've got the 6 y/o who goes in and out (though without bringing stuff in). When the two 23 m/os get to the point where they can run in and out...I'll probably see this. :)

  2. I always considered doing housework working out as well.

    Lifting weights - varies by chore, dishes are light weights, vacuum cleaner is a medium weight
    Sit-ups and push-ups - bending over and standing back up for any chore (laundry, picking up toys, etc) or stretching to reach high shelves
    Working any particular muscle group - dishes work the arms, sweeping and mopping equate to body lunges, running up and down the stairs = full body cardio

    Do the kids help with the chores? My Mom believed that it was never too early to teach kids to take care of themselves, their things, and help out. Same concept I've taught my daughter.

    1. They do, but the older two have homework every night and the boy... he's 3. He does help with some things, but he doesn't have much of an attention span. And the baby doesn't do chores.

      Eldest does a ton, and I feel bad because she's 10, but she does laundry, dishes, cooking, the works. She can't drive or pay bills, but she's pretty good with everything else. She also usually has two hours worth of homework every night and I feel she deserves some down time. She's up at 6 for school, home at 3, a quick snack and dinner done by 6pm which is when we eat so they can be in bed between 7 and 8. Most days she's working nonstop on school.

      Miss Pink does chores grudgingly, but she has the same schedule as Eldest and she's 7. School doesn't offer recess or downtime, it's nothing but rules and work all day. I can't blame her for coming home and wanting to be a kid for a little bit.

      Of course, them being kids is what causes most of the problems. It's a Catch 22.

  3. *chuckles* Mom would make us pick up any jackets and book bags dropped immediately so we all got in the habit of not dropping them after a year or two. For the youngest (my brother and I) we learned not to drop our stuff off by watching our sisters.

    My eldest sister helped more than the rest of us until we each grew old enough to help more. Gradually the chores were divided evenly until my sisters started moving out and it came down to my brother and me with the chores divided between us.

    During the weeks when school was in, we didn't have to do a lot of chores and on the weekend we would do most of them on one day so that we had plenty of time to be kids. Looking back at my childhood I don't remember doing a lot of chores so it must have worked.

    Homework times varied. I remember one of my sisters putting in hours every night, about 3-4, so she could keep her high average. My brother would put in about 2-3 hours under protest working with Mom. I was lucky, I could usually do most or all my homework in class so usually just had to finish off a few questions or study for tests.

  4. You can't fit it all in :( Jen and I try all the time. And then we remember that we also want to live until they graduate.

    Jen and I have instituted a "jail" for the kids stuff. It's amazingly helpful as it's helped them to become more aware, disciplined, and better cleaners. We imprison any toys or book bags or things that get left lying around and they have to perform chores and services to get them back.

    Systems help but simplifying is supreme. To "decide" comes from the Latin decidere, which means to "cut off". This is the greatest help you can get.

    Put the important parts of the day in first, fit whatever else can squeeze in around them. Maybe the cleaning happens every other day, maybe it's not perfect. It's hard for our OCD nature, but we're learning to accept good in some areas so the important parts can stay excellent.

    We'll keep you in our prayers; feel free to shoot me a tweet or an email if you want a supporting ear (Jen would love to commiserate on her time and cleaning woes!)