Archive for the ‘DH’ Category

PR in the Family?

This image has been circulated around Facebook lately:

Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 9.03.09 AM

…and many of my (girl)friends generally agree this is true to reality in their home.

I know it is in mine. In fact, DH often tells me that I’m in charge of PR in our home. I think that’s pretty typical. Honestly, I’m pretty sure nothing like gifts, cards, birthday wishes would be sent if I wasn’t around. This goes for appointment making, rsvp’ing to social engagement, getting & bringing host/hostess gifts to such engagements, etc.

If you live with someone else, who is in charge of “PR”? Is it mostly on one person, or is it shared?

Why do these tasks *typically* fall on women?

 

Let There Be Light

DH installed a light in my closet so I can now tell the difference between black, brown, navy, and dark green 🙂 Sorry for the crappy quality of the photos – I was using the camera on my phone.

Fig. 1: Before. 

Fig. 2: After.

Date Night!

Monday night, DH and I had our first date night since Evan was born (over a year ago). We went to an annual dinner that DH’s work hosts for a rather prestigious award in his general field of research.

It was not a typical date night, but it was wonderful none-the-less. One of the staff members at Evan’s daycare volunteered to babysit him, so she took him directly home with her. It was strange having both of us at home and not having him at our feet, reaching up to be picked up or crawl-running around the house.

We got to the venue of the dinner, ran into some of DH’s co-workers, and got a glass of wine. We ate hors d’oeuvres and chatted about our day and the people he knew there. We went into the beautifully decorated dining room and ate a four-course meal over a span of almost three hours.

The highlight of the evening was listening to Michael J. Fox speak about his childhood, his acting career, and his fight with Parkinson’s. It was funny, touching and inspirational.

At about 9:30, we headed out and picked up Evan (who did really well and was sleeping like an angel). It was a great night, and we can’t wait to do it again!

DH is a Unicorn

Cloud, over at Wandering Scientist, wrote yesterday about how a woman can in fact be a feminist and be married with children. She writes about how she is married to a mythical creature, a unicorn (men who take on equal workloads at home), and goes on to list how her and her husband separate their home duties. I think it’s a great post and, from the comments, there are a lot of good unicorns out there.

DH is a unicorn. Here’s how our duties play out, in no particular order:

– We both work full-time. DH typically works 8:30-5pm, while I do 9-4:30pm. He makes more money. Again, like Cloud said, this really has no impact on how our household duties are split (especially since, in our case, we share our finances).

– I cook dinner 95% of the time. DH cleans the kitchen 95% of the time. I love cooking dinner so this works out for me. I probably come ahead in this deal because it’s not like he loves cleaning.

– We are pretty even on the diaper changes and bottle feeding.

– DH does the vast majority of the yard work.

– Last year, DH did the vast majority of the snow removal, since someone had to stay inside the house with Evan. Not sure how this will play out this year, since the snow will have to be removed before we both leave for work in the morning, so Evan will still be in the house.

– I take care of all the bills and finances.

– I act as PR for our household. This includes calling people, extending and accepting invitations, sending out birthday and Christmas cards, making appointments, etc..

– DH drops Evan off at daycare, I pick him up.

– DH takes out the garbage (including putting it and the recycling out on the sidewalk each week for pick-up) and scoops the cat box.

– I put together the grocery list and plan our meals each week.

– I do the laundry.

– We have a cleaning service that comes every two weeks. This is an amazing way to buy some free time (another great post by Cloud) and we don’t have to fight about who had to clean the toilets.

– We both do bath time with Evan.

– We both put Evan to bed at night (we both lie down with him in our bed until he falls asleep, then we move him to his crib). I actually really love this time, and I think DH does too.

– If Evan wakes up at night, we try to alternate who soothes him.

– If Evan is sick, he wants his Daddy, and DH is much better at dealing with vomit (I have a bit of a phobia about it). I generally administer the medicine (but DH has to “secure” Evan), and am on clean-up duty.

– If Evan needs to stay home from daycare, we try to split it as fairly as possible – sometimes we’ll alternate days, other times one might take the morning shift while the other gets the afternoon. Thankfully, both our schedules are fairly flexible.

– I keep track of things we’d like to buy, DH keeps track of projects around the house.

That’s all I can think of. I think we split things relatively equally, but it’s not like we have a spread sheet that records who does what and when. We just fell into these roles and it’s working for us at the moment.

I’ll ask the same question as Cloud did at the end of her post: am I oppressed and just don’t see it? Am I really married to a unicorn? What’s it like in your house?

Not As Planned

Here is how this weekend was supposed to go: On Saturday, I had to organize two outreach events (one from 1-4pm, another from 5-9pm). DH was excited to have one-on-one time with Evan, and would come to both events so I could see them. Sunday we would make our turkey dinner for Thanksgiving, watch football (obviously kicking ass in our pool), and enjoy the day. Monday we would take a family outing to a local farm with apple picking, a pumpkin patch, and all things Fall.

Here is how it really went:

Saturday started out fine enough, with DH getting groceries and me spending time with Evan. About ten minutes before I had to leave for my first event, DH got very VERY ill. I had no idea what to do. I knew how awful it would be for him to have to look after Evan while sick, but I couldn’t back out of the events. DH assured me they’d be fine, so off I went.

The first event at the Children’s Museum went okay – not great, but about 50 people came by. I checked in with DH – he wondered if I could come home at some point, as he was not feeling any better. So, after setting up the second event, I came home to a very sick DH lying on the couch with a very upset Evan bawling his eyes out in DH’s face. I scooped Evan up, cuddled, played, changed diaper, fed, and put to bed. DH and I decide to move the turkey dinner to Monday, since we weren’t sure how he’d be feeling on Sunday.

I went back to the second event, which also wasn’t super great — again only about 50 people showed up. We all blamed the low turnouts on it being Thanksgiving weekend, and a gorgeous one weather-wise at that. I get home, and DH is feeling good enough to eat something. Hmm…12 hour bug of some sort?

Sunday morning I woke up at 6:30am and couldn’t get back to sleep. Evan woke up at about 7am, so I fed him and played with him, letting DH sleep in and recover a bit from the day before. By about 9am I was exhausted, so DH took Evan for a long walk and I went back to bed for two hours. That afternoon, we just relaxed around the house, watching football (doing very shitty with our picks), and hanging out in the yard. By 8pm I started feeling nauseous, so went to bed.

That whole night I fluctuated between feeling nauseous and having a panic attack – heart racing, shortness of breath, etc. – about feeling nauseous (I practically have a phobia of vomiting). I “slept” for 12 hours, and felt awful when I finally got out of bed, and felt awful pretty much all day. DH was a trooper, taking care of Evan, and even cooking up the whole turkey dinner while both Evan and I were napping. By the time dinner was ready, I felt like I could kind of eat something, so we both had a bit of Thanksgiving dinner in front of the TV.

Plus, we only got 5 points — 5!! out of 13!! — in the football pool this week. We couldn’t do worse than that if we tried!

Not exactly what you would call a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend – the last long weekend of the year.

First Month on the Job

It has been almost a month since I started my new job, and I love it so far. The teachers, graduate students, staff, and faculty I work with are all so enthusiastic and excited about outreach. There are no nay-sayers (as I’ve dealt with plenty of times in the past). In fact, it’s the opposite, with everyone wanting to do everything, but not having the time or resources!

That being said, it has been increasingly difficult having Evan at home. That is mostly because I’ve been having more and more meetings as the month goes on, and having Evan attend those meetings is slightly distracting. Thankfully, DH has been able to help out during the day and has taken Evan for an hour or two (or more) pretty much every day for the past two weeks. He is awesome, and I can’t thank him enough for making my first month on the job a bit easier.

DH is taking the first week off in July, and Evan starts daycare that week too. So, DH will help Evan with that transition while I’m able to go into the office. Although I’m slightly excited about Evan starting daycare, I’m also nervous about it – will he like the staff? how will he deal with the other babies? will he cry the entire time? will he forget and/or hate me? – but I imagine every parent feels that way.

As I go into my second month on the job, I feel confident and excited. I have meetings scheduled with all sorts of interesting people to brainstorm ideas for new events, activities, and workshops. I am incredibly blessed that I have a wonderful husband, an amazing son, great family and friends, and now a fantastic job career. It feels like I’m finally where I’m supposed to be and doing what I’m supposed to be doing.

Someone pinch me! On second thought — don’t!

WAH Vs. WOH

I’ve never been any good at working-at-home (WAH). I get too distracted by things around the house, and I can never leave things half-done.

For example, after I have breakfast in the morning, I need to put my dishes in the dishwasher. But, if the dishwasher is full of clean dishes, then I have to put them away. Then, I have to load the dishwasher with any dirty dishes. Then, hey, since I’m home, why don’t I just put a load of laundry in the wash (which then has to be put in the dryer, then put away)?

It’s even more difficult with Evan around. The worst is when it’s time to feed him solids. I have to figure out what to give him, make it, then get him set up in his high chair. Because he’s feeding himself, it takes a long time (typically 30-45 minutes), and I need to be supervising just in case. It also gets super messy. So, after he’s done, I need to clean him up AND the 10-foot radius around him. If I don’t do it, then everything won’t be ready to go for his next meal.

I usually do much better when I work outside the home (WOH). I love having an office. It distinctly breaks up the day into work-time and home-time. I concentrate on work-tasks when I’m in the office, and it gives me much needed face-time with co-workers. Plus, I get to wear all my wonderful new work clothes and be all adult-like.

Of course, right now, taking Evan into the office with me isn’t exactly that efficient either. He doesn’t last long there because there is very little for him to do (even though I bring lots of toys with us). There are also very few options on where to put him. I bring him in a stroller, but he doesn’t like being in it for too long. So, I brought a play-chair in, but he’s not such a huge fan of that now that he wants to move around all the time. But, I don’t trust his sitting ability enough to just sit him down on the hard tile floor. He bangs his head enough at home, and that’s on a carpet!

One nice thing about working on the same campus as DH is he can take Evan from time to time so I can get some work done (or have meetings without interruption). But, he spends a lot of time in the lab, so it can be tough for him to get away. If he can, it’s not for long.

So, if I do go into the office now, it’s only for a couple of hours here and there. In fact, that’s my whole work-life right now: an hour or two here and there. Because of that, I have been working in the evenings and on weekends to feel like I’m working enough. I’m starting to look forward to July (daycare) more and more!

What about you? Do you do better working at home, or working at the office? Does it change depending on what you’re working on?

Tag Cloud

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