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11 February 2014


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Christy P.

What time do you have dinner? For us, on a weeknight it would be near impossible to plan something for after dinner unless it is a fair replacement for "get yourself showered and stuff ready for tomorrow". So spending a hour at the pool followed by a shower at the pool might work, but my kids are generally asleep or reading in bed by 8:30, so by the time we finish dinner around 6:45-7 it's hard to justify leaving the house. Perhaps this is a function of me not arriving home to start making dinner until 5:06-8 and then investing in child reconnection time before cooking begins in earnest. On Friday evening we go to the gymnastics meets at the U and don't get home until after 9, but kids don't have to get up for school the next day. Perhaps that is the difference -- not needing to start the morning quite so early or be attentive to a schedule external to the household for the majority of inhabitants. Enough stream of consciousness.


I'm interested in how that evening schedule works too. Leaving the house after supper seems nigh impossible.


You are right that going to the gym is a fair replacement for showering and bathing (for me and the kids), and that's one reason that it works so well for us. But the main reason is, I think, exactly what you identify: we aren't beholden to any other external schedule (except the necessities of Mark's job, which are nevertheless somewhat flexible). So, for example, the kids aren't usually all in their rooms till 9:30 or 10:30. Scouts/AHG is our latest-running activity, incidentally, not being done till 8:30 or so and on the other side of town -- but on the same evening and on the same side of town where Mark works and where we usually spend that day of the week, so there is some synergy there.

The other thing is that the person who needs to reconnect with kids is not the same person who is generally in charge of making dinner (well, at least we are getting back to that, postpartum -- for a while there I was not in charge of much dinner). So that can be done sometime during the workday, ideally after our schoolwork for the day is done and the kids are all sick of listening to me tell them what to do :)

So reconnection in our family begins, more or less, with sitting down to dinner. That ranges from 5:15 to 6:30 or so, depending on if we have anything in the evening. Then, as I said, we have till 9:30 or 10 before the kids need to go to their rooms. Sometimes we'll keep dinner warm in the oven or rice cooker and go to the gym first, followed by a late supper.

I don't generally wake the kids till 8:30 or so, and never wake the 7- and 4-y-old unless we have somewhere to go.


"we aren't beholden to any other external schedule"

This sounds heavenly. Right now my school kids alarm is set for 615am. When (if?) they go to middle school, they'll have to get up even earlier.


Jenny, it is indeed a privilege that I try mightily not to take for granted.


It actually makes me feel better that the reason you do so much at night is because of the flexibility you have in the morning. It confirms that I'm not crazy! We really don't have time to do that stuff.


I should mention that it makes it kind of tough to get together with families on more conventional schedules. I'm always like, "Come over for dinner and hang out with us sometime! Wait -- What do you mean you have to leave at seven-fifteen?!?"

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