Archive for June, 2011


When are you most productive?

Categories: Uncategorized


My summer schedule kicks into gear next week, and while it’s much less hectic in some ways, it’s more hectic in others.

My step kids are older now, and most teens who are old enough to be contemplating college are not that keen on spending 8 or 9 weeks away from their BFFs—which means that, unlike in years past, I won’t have a full house for the summer.

On the flip side, though, I work from home now, and while this job is far more demanding than the one I had before, being at home means that most of the chauffeuring and kid care falls to me (my husband still has a crazy-long commute). And the easiest way to trim expenses is to avoid enrolling my little kids in the extended day program offered by their camp—which means that I have a lot more to do and less time in which to do it.

Which means that I really need to figure out when I’m most productive, and maximize that time.

So I’m turning to you, fellow working moms. Are you an early riser who can knock off a to-do item or two before your kids are even up? Or are you a night-owl, who gets the most done while the rest of the household is asleep? Somewhere in between?

Coping with end-of-the-school-year clutter

Categories: Hacking Life, Parenting, Uncategorized, Working? Living?


School is out in my town, and on her last day of Kindergarten my girl had a backpack full of precious papers. Not just her own drawings and worksheets and notebooks, but stuff her entire class had created together: Wall-size poems with six-inch-tall letters, spiral-bound storybooks illustrated by everyone. It’s a genius way to declutter the classroom at the end of the year, I grant you that. But as she proudly pulled paper after laminated paper out of her backpack, I began to wonder: What am I supposed to do with all this stuff?

Read the rest of this entry

Do your kids think you work too much?

Categories: Hacking Life, Making Time, Parenting, The Juggle, Working? Living?

1 Comment

My daughter was humming a tune that sounded a lot like “Bingo” while she was drawing the other day. When I scooted closer to her on the couch to get a peek at what she was doing, I heard that she had made up new words to go along with the song:

There was a girl who worked a lot
and Lylah was her name-o
L-Y-L-A-H, L-Y-L-A-H, L-Y-L-A-H
and Lylah was her name-o!

The drawing was actually an illustrated guide to the song’s new lyrics (spelled phonetically, of course—she’s only in kindergarten). I thought I was doing a pretty good job of getting out of work mode and morphing into Mama mode during the window between school pick-up and bedtime. But apparently not.
Read the rest of this entry

Are you a “good enough” or a “never enough”?

Categories: Uncategorized


I will be the first to admit that I am a perfectionist. But there’s a qualifier: I’m a lazy perfectionist. I want everything to be perfect right off the bat, the first time, without having to spend (waste) more time re-doing anything.

It’s totally unrealistic, and I know it. But there it is.

According to research by Becky Beaupre Gillespie and Hollee Schwartz Temple, authors of “Good Enough Is the New Perfect,” that makes me a “Never Enough.” Their survey of 905 working mothers, all Generations Xers (born between 1965 and 1980), found that perfectionism was “the single greatest roadblock to juggling work and family” and the “constant need to be the best at everything” outweighed everything else, including financial pressures, bad bosses, and husbands who didn’t help out enough around the house.
Read the rest of this entry

What does your desk say about you?

Categories: Uncategorized


Once upon a time, I had a desk in an office outside of my home. And it was always messy.

No matter how pristine it was when I first sat down at it, within a few weeks it was cluttered with papers and strewn with pens. When I first started doing layout for a large, metropolitan newspaper, the company was still using actual pieces of paper and pens to sketch out the pages, so my ability to generate clutter was on overdrive. But even when we switched to those new-fangled computer things—with massive tube-filled monitors that took up most of the desk space—I merely transferred my clutter to the walls and called it “decor.”
Read the rest of this entry

Subscribe to blog via RSS

Search Blog