Time tracking can be a good way to see how you've been spending your
time and how it compares to how you would like to be spending it. It's
something that Julia and I have done a few times (
2011) and I've generally found it pretty
helpful. This time we tracked two weeks, 2022-01-05 through
2022-01-11 and 2022-01-18 through 2022-01-24. These were pretty
normal work weeks for the two of us these days:
This is with three kids, 7y, 5y, and 7m.
Paid childcare 9-5 each workday, with the exception of one day
where our nanny called in sick.
Nora was sick one of the days. Julia spent more time nursing
her, including during the workday, because she was refusing the
No travel or dance gigs.
No big house projects.
I took one afternoon off work to take the older kids
Sleep: Lights out to lights on. Julia tracked an average of
0:24/night of post-nursing insomnia that's included in the total here.
I also had some insomnia after nighttime wakings, but wouldn't have
been able to track it without making the insomnia worse. I subtracted
0:15 each night as a guess for how long Julia and I talk before
falling asleep. Does not include night nursing; that's under
Work: The entire workday, including lunch, incidental personal
stuff mixed in with working, pumping milk etc. Julia works from home;
I worked 4/10 days from the office, and included the commute here
(0:09 of the total; 0:35 per day I commuted).
Housework: cooking, cleaning, tidying, fixing things, dealing
J+J: time together without any of the kids.
Family: relaxing/playing with others in the family
Childcare: taking care of the kids. Julia's time includes
1:55/day of nursing (62% of her total). Nursing while hanging out
with family is under "family", though.
Personal: blogging, making a go
board, exercising, reading things, showering, free time generally.
When doing multiple things at once, like both cooking and
looking after a fussy Nora, we counted these as "housework" >
"childcare" > "work". That is, doing housework and childcare at the
same time coded as "housework".
"Family" vs "childcare" is a bit fuzzy. In 2017 we counted all
time solo with the kids as "childcare", but as they have gotten older
that no longer seems like a good fit. Instead, it's perhaps whether
one would rather have someone else to do it if that were a matter of
snapping one's fingers? Examples:
Childcare: changing Nora, hanging out with her when she is fussy,
getting the kids ready for bed, getting them to school,
time with them when I would otherwise be working.
Family: playing with a happy Nora, Nora on my lap while I play
music, park time with the older kids, reading to
them, morning cuddles, games.
Here are our numbers, in terms of average hours per day:
And a comparison to my numbers from 2017:
The decrease in time Julia and I have alone together is
mostly from the 2017 sample being unusual: we had two evenings out
together (speaking at a local college and my work holiday party) when
we usually don't take any.
The decrease in my work time (9:27 to 8:01 per work day) is
a mix of that I took a half-day vacation, that I'm not commuting, and
that we missed a day of childcare.
The increase in personal time is partly earlier kid bedtime.
The decrease in housework time is mostly from the "working on
the house" subcategory; the house is now in decent shape and I'm not
putting nearly so much work into it.
Did you have a nanny in 2017? You don't mention it but from the amount of childcare, I would guess yes.
In 2017 we had an au pair. See the "Ages 2y5m to 6y9m / 0y6m to 4y10m: au pairs" section of https://www.jefftk.com/p/childcare-iii for details.
I compared the time for childcare with our estimates, and things seem comparable:
42.5h (7 months) + 15.75h (5 years) + 9.25h (7 years) = 67.5h per week
And you had 7*(3h+1.5h) for you plus 4*8h for the nanny = 63.5h in that week.
We didn't have a nanny because our model was specialization, with stay-at-home-mom, which did and does work out well. Still, to be honest, our time budget was often in the negative when the kids were small.
You have 2021 dates listed a few times in the first paragraph. I think you probably meant 2022.