Sunday, June 17, 2012

What My Weekend Looks Like

Weekends are more exhausting than weekdays because of all my dang chores and my two "spawn", as my friends call my kids. I spend the entire weekend grocery shopping, cooking meals for the next week, doing household laundry, washing dishes and baby bottles, and wrangling children. I usually manage some time to take a bath. If I'm lucky, I can squeeze in some time to hang our with girlfriends. As for work, I only have time to check my email once on Saturday and once on Sunday night. The idea of working on papers or proposals is in the forefront of my mind, but there is no hope of getting to them. And where is my husband during all of this? Let's just say that he does what husbands do. He's had great difficulty lately, so at times I feel as if I am taking care of three dependents instead of two.

As for help around the house, I've got maids and a mother's helper who comes once per week. I've thought about outsourcing laundry, but that is something I don't want to spend money on. Mr. JP does all the yard work and takes out the trash. We try to split child care, where one person either takes both kids or where we each take one kid. 

I wonder if my inability to work on weekends negatively impacts my career, but that thought is always accompanied by the realization that a few years ago I thought my career was over. I am thankful just to have one, but shouldn't I be kicking scientific ass out there?  


EarlyToBed said...

Perhaps these are the days for a laundry service, takeout, and paper plates. Or do as I did once and serve only oatmeal for a week. Hang in! Get help! Weekends are for unwinding.

Anonymous said...

You just described my weekend to a T. I am a junior faculty in boomed and my wife is an MD also on a research track. We have a toddler and an infant. We are lucky in that we manage to share duties with house and kids oretty evenly. Even so, Weekends are so much tougher than weekdays! And I have the same feelings--if I didn't have all this other stuff (i.e. life) to do, I'd be pushing papers out the door like nobody's business. I just console myself by saying that it's time limited and, when things ease up at home I am going to be so much more efficient at work!

Annaelle said...

Ah, I hear you.
I do as EarlyToBed says... takeout, baby sitter, paper plates, messy house.
Postpone everything but fun with kid(s) and a little work

Anonymous said...

I can only relay what people have been telling me for the past few years... that it gets easier as the kids get older and thus, more independent. I don't know if it's true - mine are still too young to know. But I hold out hope that it is!

Arlenna said...

Yeah, I don't work evenings or weekends either. While I really like doing science, it doesn't own me. My appreciation of my life and family is not something I am willing to trade for it. The haterz can bite me.

Anonymous said...

It actually does get easier. Mine are 5 and almost 3 now, and I cannot believe how much better things are this year. I have largely raised mine on my own due to an unsolved two-body problem.

Don't lose heart, and do whatever you need to do to make it through the next couple of years. Paper plates, take-out, sending them to daycare in their PJs, heck going shopping yourself in your PJs, messy house, whatever. I also came to see it as a blessing in disguise -- I can't work weekends or evenings either, but it forces me to leave work at work.

GMP said...

I have 3 kids (12, 5, and 1), and weekends are still pretty brutal. Laundry, mowing/snow blowing, groceries, vacuuming, various activities... Not to mention serving and doing dishes for three meals plus snacks. And we try to squeeze in some couples time, see a movie or so. There's no time to do anything that requires too much brain power.

I have made my peace with not being able to work weekends (I still manage to squeeze in a paper review or such on occasion).

Does not working weekends adversely affect your career? Sure. But I don't think it's fatal. I am finally starting to make peace with it, though (after 8 years as a prof). I think I realized I just don't have any more energy to stress and obsess about work all the freakin' time. My kids are growing up while I think about working, and not necessarily because I long for work, but because I think that I should long for work, that I should always only work. Fuck that shit. If I drop dead tomorrow, my family are the only ones who will care; my colleagues and program managers wouldn't bat an eyelash. So no, I don't owe anybody but my family anything.