Wednesday, November 16, 2022

One Day Hour by Hoour

 Monday was #onedayhh on Instagram-- the 10th annual #onedayhh, in fact. Laura Tremaine hosts the hashtag, and it's so much fun to take a photo every hour and document mundane life. It's also really fun to look back on previous years. Some people do it in Stories and make a highlight, but I always take 12 photos for my feed.

This was the first year the challenge has fallen on a  campus work day for me, and I realized how solitary (except for class and meetings) my days on campus are. I even went to the doctor with Harry and met Jon and Caleb for a goodbye coffee, and still I had so many hours to myself. The day made me appreciate my current work/life balance and realize that I absolutely could not be away from my under-5-year-old for the majority of my days ever ever in any circumstance. I am constitutionally unable to be away from  my under-5's all day. Part-day preschool a few days a week when they're 3? Maaaaaybe I can hack it.

My next-door neighbor expressed her incredulity that Minnie was not starting "school" this September and told me that the city is working on free full-day preschool and maybe Minnie can go to that. I just stood there with my mouth agape. Tuition is not the thing keeping her at home. It's just, like, a primal need I have. **shrug** Also! Does our culture think tiny kids should not be home? Like, is that the direction we have headed? Because that was 100% the vibe I got from my neighbor. The whole interaction made me scratch my head, and Monday brought it back to me because I realized that as much as I love being on campus, I desperately missed Minnie.

If you missed my scintillating day, you can check it out here.

That's supposed to be the point of #onedayhh, by the way, to appreciate the life you are living in the moment, and it really worked for me this year.

8 am, the before school rush:
9am, walking to meet Harry at the pediatrician
10 am, waving goodbye as he drove himself back to school
11 am, saying bye to Jon and Caleb
12 pm, WORKING
1 pm, running to the grocery store for lunch
2 pm, class
3 pm, work in my empty classroom
4 pm, meeting
5 pm, PITCH BLACK grrrrrrrr
6pm, BABY!!
7 pm, lounging
8pm, watching The Summer I Turned Pretty


  1. Anonymous6:49 AM

    Random thoughts as I read, from someone who homeschools her kids:
    1. Many countries don't start school until 7. And those countries aren't at the bottom in education! There really is no rush to do academics young, like there is no rush to force a child to walk.
    2. Socialization... Just because your child is not in school doesn't mean she isn't getting socialization. Note might it be good to next year be a little intentional about get being around other kids close in age each week? Yes. But, it didn't have to be all day every day! We did library storytime only for a season. Other times my kids were in a once a week activities for 2 hours. Summer families just give a couple of other families to hang out with once a week.
    3. School is basically the only time in life were we are around only those closer in age to us. The rest of love is full of being around people of a variety of ages. And Minnie is getting a lot of exposure to what real life week be.

  2. For me, a few days a week of preschool once they turned 2-2.5 was the right mix, but I would NEVER judge someone for not sending their kids to daycare/preschool. My kids loved their days home (I'll admit, I found it exhausting), but also loved being in an environment with lots of other kids. I would have been VERY upset if someone had tried to butt in with criticism (especially, since I assume you don't know your neighbour super well - as in, it's not like your best friend is asking thoughtful questions).

    You do you, and what you're doing is fabulous! Minnie is thriving! You love the balance you've found. Jazz hands for everyone. And maybe just smile and say: "Thanks for the advice; we're extremely happy with our decisions).

    Also, I have to say - you always look absolutely adorable and chic!

  3. So fun to see your day, hour by hour! Although I agree with you, the dark-by-five thing is old already!

    The preschool thing seems so individual to me! It has to be a decision that works for the parents AND the kid... rather than some blanket "all kids should do X by Y" kind of thing. My kiddo did full day, 5-days-a-week preschool when she was three... but I worked full time (and she'd been in daycare before that), plus she's an only so I have always thought there is a ton of value in her being around other kids. But that's what worked in OUR situation and I would never expect it to be "the norm" or something that worked for everyone else.

  4. I think this is one of those things where you can't win with other people. I worked FT outside the home when my kids were little, with a friend watching the littler one at home with his kid. When my daughter was about 2-ish, WITHIN DAYS OF EACH OTHER, one close friend expressed incredulity that I wasn't sending her to school ("Don't you want her to learn?!") and another close friend expressed incredulity that I could ever leave her to go to work ever.

    I'm really close to both of my kids (now teenagers), and they seem to have learned some stuff, so my take-away is that your way is great, my way was great, etc etc.

  5. Childcare decisions are such a "you do you" type of thing! Our kids have gone to daycare 5 days/week since they were 5 months old. I would be miserable if I was home with them full time. I realize that makes me sound like a monster to some people, but I know a lot of women who feel they are better moms because they work outside the home and that is truly how I feel. But for others, they really love being home with their littles. But I would never judge someone else's decision about whether or not they send their kid to daycare or preschool or whatever. Emily Oster is an economist who looks at parenting decisions and in her book, Crib Sheet, she talks about how there isn't a measurable difference between staying home, having a nanny or sending your kids to daycare so the decision should be driven by what is best for the family. So for us, that is full time daycare.

  6. Yeah, I wanted my kids home with me. We did a "preschool" that was a parent co-op, and it was only three days a week. I don't regret it one bit- although I wish I could have done that and earned more money but oh well- you can always get more money but you can't get those years back!

  7. Documenting hour by hour sounds exhausting, but fun. I don't know if I could do it! I am also discouraged by the total darkness by 5pm. It's like the day is over as soon as I'm out of work and it makes me really sad.

  8. I love that quite a few people in my IG feed did #onedayhh - it's honestly the first time I've heard about it and obviously missed participation this time. Maybe next year.

  9. I love these kind of challanges and the later on the recap posts. It does make yourself think about your day. Evaluate if it is the life you want to spend. And get inspiration from other people by reading along on their lifes.