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 ( December 2017, June 2017, 2015, 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 bottle.
No travel or dance gigs.
No big house projects.
I took one afternoon off work to take the older kids sledding.
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 "childcare".
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 with taxes.
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.