Friday, September 07, 2007

Schedules, division of labor, and other household woes

Today Sster posted her daily schedule and her household division of labor issues. She encouraged her readers to do the same. I'm up for it, so here goes nothing!

Daily Schedule (Weekdays)

4:45am: Alarm goes off

5-6am: Get out of bed; feed Hester; feed Clara and let her out; make coffee; say goodbye to Petunia

6-8am: Laundry; dishes; wash floors and surfaces; shower; clean bathroom; dress and change Hester; breakfast (if time)

8-9am: Kids arrive

9am: Breakfast

10am: Feed Hester

12pm: Lunch; feed Clara and cats

1-3:30pm: Naptime for kids; write kids' daily notes; eat lunch; blog, email; knit or read; feed Hester

3:30pm: Kids up

4pm: Snack

6pm: Kids leave; feed Hester; pick up house; feed Clara and cats

6:30pm: Petunia home on Wednesdays and Thursdays

7pm: Play with Hester; read, knit, or watch bad TV; eat dinner; catch up with Petunia (Wed. & Thurs. only); chat on phone with family
Run to grocery, Target, post office, etc.

8pm: Hester ready for bed

8:30pm: Hester asleep (knock wood); get bottles ready for morning

9-10pm: Let Clara out final time; bedtime

10:15pm: Petunia home (Tuesdays and Fridays)

[There's also a lot of playing and child-wrangling during those hours from 8am-6pm, but I don't need to tell you that.]

So, you can see that my day is chock full of household activities as part of and on top of my regular work. In addition to most of the cleaning and laundry, I do the trash and recycling, lawn mowing (ha! all 5 blades of grass!), pet care (though Petunia does the cats' litter pan 75% of the time), finances, letter writing and birthday remembering, and most of the basic goods shopping. It's an inherently unequal division of labor situation, but (right now, anyway) it works for us.

This is, it's working for us except in one BIG area: Dinner. Here are the issues with dinner, but you have to promise not to make fun of me before you read on:

1. I hate to cook and I'm way pickier than Petunia; I'd happily eat turkey hotdogs or cereal morning, noon, and night. Additionally, I'm a pretty awful cook (I'm pretty good at baking, though!). I'm also freaking exhausted by the end of the workday. After planning and preparing or cooking 3 meals/day for the kids in my care, I just can't bring myself to plan/prepare/cook anything for Petunia and me. It's awful--when 6pm comes I just want to lie down and have someone put a sandwich in my mouth. Tired + lazy = shitty eating habits.

2. Petunia loves cooking, but she walks into the house at 6:30pm twice a week and 10:30pm twice a week. She doesn't know what's in the fridge, she's exhausted as well, and she gets frustrated with my pickiness. Also, she and Hester are vegetarian while I eat chicken and turkey.

3. I hate leftovers. Also, I can't bear to eat things I smelled cooking for longer than 15 minutes or so, which means that while I can make chili or soup or crock pot goodness and serve it to others, I can't actually eat those foods myself. It grosses me out.

4. Our kitchen chairs are tricked out with booster seats for the kids and it's a pain in the ass to remove them every night and put them back on every morning. Lazy, perhaps, but there you go.

5. All of which means that we have one of several things for dinner: Pizza, breakfast for dinner, burritos, sandwiches, hot dogs (turkey and veggie, respectively), cereal. Seriously, these are the foods we eat at night. And we eat them on the couch, usually while Hester's playing on the floor in another part of the room. I know, we're bad moms. For reals.

6. I feel really guilty about this because I'd like Hester to grow up eating dinner with us. Right now, it's one of those things I've had to push off in a "choose your battles" kind of way. After all, she has communal meals 3x/day and snuggly bottles 5x/day. Also, we can't eat while we're feeding her, so it's been easier to justify lax mealtimes. However, a more formal dinner together would be nice, especially since Hester's starting to eat finger foods now. As she grows, I expect this will be my #1 area of Mama Guilt unless I can get a handle on it soon.

I'm not necessarily looking for help with this; I think Petunia and I will have to come up with something that works for us. Eventually, I think I'll need to bite the bullet and sacrifice some of my precious little personal time for the greater good of eating together. Now, if only I could figure out what to make tonight....


Blogger Hashbrown said...

You do so much to keep our house nice and to make us a family. I wish my schedule was different but for now it is not. Some day, my commute will not be so horrendous and I can atleast get home early enough to make dinner for us 5 days a week.

Thank you for all you do.
I love you

4:41 PM  
Blogger Abigail said...

Wow Clementine! That's a lot of "worky" kinds of things you do-- no wonder you are both so tired at the end of the day. A lot that you do for you and yours, and then a lot that you do to clean up and make everything you and yours do at home look "clean and picked up". I'm glad it works for you though- and I was relieved to see that you have a bit of a break in the middle of the day to do some of your things.

Do you ever feel "stuck" staying at home so much and having all your activities focused inside that one place? On my "administrative" days I spend a lot of time at home and I sometimes get to feeling that way. But then, I don't have people coming in and out all the time either.

6:40 AM  
Blogger Canada said...

Wow, that early morning woild kill me!!! I will try to send some quick and esy meal ideas (veg and chicken versions) - trust me, I've had to create a few, too.

And the first thing that really jumped out at me was: are you serious? Clara eats THREE times a day?

11:51 PM  
Anonymous Jenny PP said...

Ha ha ha! I laughed about that recently too - Clara eating 3 times a day. When I was there a couple of Sundays ago, at lunchtime Clementine was like, "OK, Clara, time for lunch" and said WHAT? What a spoiled puppy!

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Clementine said...

All of the animals eat 3x/day. It sucks, but the vet says it's better for their metabolism. It all started because we were trying to get Reuben to lose weight and he needed all the help he could get; the vet said that animals are like people in that it's better for them to eat 3 small meals each day rather than one large meal per day. I wish we could just feed them once per day, though! It would be less work on my part.

3:56 PM  

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