Friday, October 26, 2012


I'm at a great point in the grant-writing process...really in the zone and enjoying the work. Its the sweet spot in between trying to start up and getting burnt out. I've managed to get a lot done during working hours, by cutting out all non-essential meetings and projects and delegating some lab work. I was sick last week and exhausted, falling into bed at 8 or 9 pm most nights. This actually jump-started a really good habit, because going to bed that early means waking up around 5ish. Instead of trying to work at home, I've been getting ready and coming to work by 7 or 7:30 (instead of 8:30-9).

This has many advantages:
   1) The simple fact that more time=more time
   2) Getting to work before most others=no distractions
   3) More complex---leaving home before the morning struggles with the kids=much more mental energy and willpower.

As typical for his age, B has been quite challenging. The defiance, stubbornness, and whining oh lord the whining. Dealing with that for an hour and a half in the morning leaves me spent, and not at all in the frame of mind to jump into work when I get to my desk. On a more long-term note, we do have to streamline our morning routines because it is ridiculous, but for now, I'm using the avoidance technique.

The disadvantage of leaving early---the whining from G. He complains about how much longer it takes him to get ready and how late he got to work. But I don't honestly think my  leaving early has anything to do with that. I can (and will) write a whole long post about how his inflexible morning routine is ruining my life hampering our productivity.

Back to work...


  1. WOOOOO!!!!!

    I'm so happy this is working for you. And also proud of you for sticking up for your needs at work.

    My husband similarly whined for a looooong time about how I was destroying his career by making him participate in the morning routine (he's out of the house by 7:30 most days, and I still have to take the Pickle to daycare AND pick her up). And then he got a terrific performance review. He still complains that I am destroying his career, but I have been getting better at tuning him out because, a) I don't believe him anymore, and b) my career is important too. And furthermore, every additional year I have to spend in this PhD is one extra year that my income will be crappy and that we'll be dependent on the whims of his industry to not do mass layoffs (again). Therefore it's important to the family that my career be protected too.

    Even if G is right, why should you have to destroy YOUR career (and your mornings) so that G's (non-primary breadwinner career) gets saved? You have worked so hard to get this far and you owe it to yourself to give yourself a real shot at it, especially since it seems to make you happy.

    In any case, I am skeptical that G is right. Wasn't he taking the kids to daycare before anyway? I'm assuming if he really is getting in late now, and he is now late more often, that if you stick to this routine and he continues to assume more AM responsibilities, he will figure out a way to get himself out the door on time by himself.

  2. Whining is the soundtrack of my life right now and I am none too pleased. I just read a terrific parenting book (if the contradiction in terms can be believed!) about "emotion coaching," wherein as a parent you listen empathetically, help your kid name their feeling, and then set limits and/or problem solve. The process works well when I have the time to sit down and really hash things through. When I'm trying to get out the door? In the middle of meals? Not so much.

    I wonder, though, if it works on adult partners?... ;)

  3. I was thinking of suggesting the "leave immediately after you get up, saddle the husband with the morning routine" plan! Good to know you're taking the suggestions I don't even offer--I'm very proud of myself. As for the whining from the spouse--lord. It's not like it's forever.