Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My 30 Hours of Leisure Time- Dr Phil

So, I don't watch Dr. Phil, but sometime during my homeschooling blog search last week I ran across an angry-ish mom who was discussing one of his recent episodes where he featured a "time-focused" scientist who stated that stay at home moms have anywhere between 30-40 hours of leisure time a week. Although this irritated me at first, because I definitely feel busy, I do seem to make time for myself (when the girls nap, after they are in bed while my husband is sleeping). You get the idea. So, out of morbid curiousity, and before I could rightly get angry with Dr. Phil's show, I decided to "log" myself. For those of you who aren't interested in my very "mundane" life....I'll just recap the results.

I logged a quasi-normal Wednesday...I didn't have any pressing appointments or lessons outside of the home so it was your average day (although we are out of our home about two-three days a week for swim/dance/Mops).  I've also just started a new volunteer position as a Key Spouse (similar to an Obudsman or FRG member depending on the branch).

From 7:30- when I went to sleep at or around 10, I totaled 3 hours and 25 mins of leisure time. I choose not to include weekends in my "work week" even though they are pretty much EXACTLY the same as our week (only exception is we have Daddy time for about two hours on the weekends, but we homeschool on weekends due to hectic weeks). So on average that's about 17.5 hours of leisure a week! I would say that's a fair amount of time..I'm not complaining...but I do want to point out that I work (without my husband who would normally be there full time on the weekends) 7 days a week from 7 am- 8pm....and sometimes longer. That's a 91 hr work week (including weekends, and I would just had two or three hours of leisure time when I'm being a LAZY mom and letting my kids veg out infront of the TV).

**Please note that my husband is generally very hands-on, but seeing as he is in the Military, his schedule can be somewhat unpredictable, long and demanding depending on the world situation. Normally my weekends would be "Mine", but since he's working this new job, his hours are crazy and I, in no way, am going to complain about my measly 17.5 hrs a week when he has near to NONE**

After having found the Washington Post article, the scientist isn't out to paint mom's as bad (although that may be how the episode appeared due to Hollywood injecting their opinion or their attempt for ratings, again I DID NOT SEE THE SHOW), he just simply calculates what he views as "leisure time" which includes drive time/wait time at appointments, dental appointments, basically anytime you aren't actively involved in duties pertaining to your job as a parent. I think he might be right for some parents, but I always view statistics as broad genralizations and not as FACTS.

My log:
730- Wake up! We had a late night, so this was our late morning.
740-8 Breakfast (although Anna is STILL eating at 830)
8-815- I ate my breakfast infront of the TV watching the Duggars (I try to show my kids that they don't "own" the TV while also keeping what I watch very kid appropriate. My first 15 Mins of "leisure"time)
815-830- Folded a load of towels and did dishes while the show finished, Kaelyn decided to eat AGAIN
830 -930       Cleaned kitchen (counters, tabletop, floor, but didn't manage to mop), Changed diapers, Cleaned Anna up, finished baked goods, started dishwasher
930-Shower (out by 945)
By 10, I was dressed, had done a load of laundry and started getting the girls dressed
10-1030- We were all dressed with hair done (three heads of hair is a LOT of hair to do), loaded up the food for the guys, and loaded the kids in the car
1030-11 On our way there. According to what I've read this WOULD be leisure time, except I made phone calls for my volunteer position the first 15 mins and then contacted my mom the last 15 mins to get an update on my Grandma who is in the hospital.
11-12 Delivered food, met with some of the people in Ryan's Flight, hopefully boosted morale then went out to lunch with dad...we will call the 30 mins of lunch with dad Leisure time
12-1230: "leisurely" drive home and getting girls unloaded
1240-1 NAP TIME for Anna, and story time for Kaelyn (about thirty mins). Since I'm contracting I'm SOOO taking nap time today for me (starting at 1)!
I wanted to nap...but ended up getting two volunteer position related phone calls, so I would say I ended up with about 30 mins of leisure time.
230-Anna is awake, going to go downstairs and prep for our homeschooling afternoon
240-3 I entertained a surprise visit from the FBI (security clearance) and fielded yet MORE phone calls from my volunteer position. Had I known the FBI was coming, I would have spent MORE time cleaning
3-4 an hour of craziness between fielding family phone calls, volunteer phone calls and husband phone calls I did manage to pick up, play with Anna, build a SUPER cool tower and finish prepping for our homeschool lesson.
4:45-listened to worship music and played with playdough until 530 when I started cooking...
530- Anna's having a meltdown and I cave to FB for 10 minutes...yep, while she's having a meltdown and after what seems to be an endless stream of phonecalls!
Kaelyn requested breakfast for dinner....I start prepping and cooking
6:40- girls start to eat and finish eating,
7-Girls are in the tub, Ryan calls and is on his way home
740- Girls out of tub, dressed, in PJ's and going to bed
8-Tub cleaned out, clothes put in laundry room, towels hung up and Ryan and I sit down to watch V
2 hours of leisure know the real kind, that involves TV, Facebook and reading before I crash...not the 30 mins driving.


Leslie said...

I'm sure there was a ton of value to the article so I won't comment on it's value.

BUT I will say, only someone who has NEVER taken a child to the doctor and tried to keep them safe and publically presentable (not screaming, throwing, etc.) would think that waiting for the doctor is "leisure time". I would say WAITING for things are my MOST stressful times as a parent!

Anonymous said...

oh my stars this post was soo great!!! I Loved it! :)

I hear ya i don't call drive time with 3 kids in the car leisure time (especially when they are fighting)!

that is not much leisure time i'm curious now to see how much i have??

Cate said...

Hahahaha! I definitely wouldn't call driving, waiting for appointments, etc as "leisure time." I personally detest waiting for doctors, etc while holding a baby and trying to keep her calm...and when I'm focusing on driving and not getting in an accident, I'm not free to let my mind wander! How silly.

I think my husband and I get close to equal amounts of leisure time...yes, I'm home during the day, but I tend to work hardest when he IS home, preparing meals and cleaning up and such. You made a really good point about weekends being part of the work week. It never ends, does it? ;-)

Brandie said...

I really found the study itself to be interesting, however I think the show took it to a different level. The scientist made a comment to the mom who he analyzed that even though time didn't feel like leisure, that didn't mean it wasn't. His point (from what I can gather from the article written by one of his subjects) was not to bash the amount of leisure time but to encourage us to take advantage of it, to make it "worthwhile" or more leisurely.

If you had your children with you during the wouldn't be leisure time, but if you were getting YOUR teeth cleaned sans kids...that would be leisure time.

I really feel like having my kids in the car at anytime makes it not leisurely...the only way driving is leisurely is if I get to listen to MY audio books and NOT my kids.

I definitely agree with you Cate, having a husband home means MORE work generally, not less. My husband is usually very good, but the poor guy is pulling CRAZY hours (3am-7pm)and working on his Master's at night, I don't feel like I can complain about ANYTHING with his work schedule right now.

Elaina said...

I've got to say, most of my leisure time is at night, after my kids are in bed. Wouldn't I also have that time to myself even if I worked outside the home?

And I agree that having my husband home makes more work, not less. He's great with the kids and has been known to throw a load in the wash from time to time, but when he was deployed, my house was spotless and I even find I'm usually a better mother, at least with the hands-on stuff, when he's gone. Maybe it's because I'm making up for his absense, but I thnnk it's because I have the time to devote to them, because I'm not devoted to my role as spouse. Of course, I'd rather have him home, but it IS more work