It wasn’t until a friend asked me how much time I spend attending to my children and aspects of our family life that I started adding up the hours that I spend on my additional job as family manager each day.
I was startled to see that it’s at least 6 hours per day, not even counting things like tax declarations, paying bills or visits to the doctor. 6 hours of incompressible time. It was not only the amount of hours that amazed me, it was rather the fact that I had never referred to this time as “doing something” other than sometimes romantically labelling it as “quality time”, which honestly it is not always when you prepare dinner while helping with homework for one child and settling a dispute between the two others.
Recognizing that I spend at least 6 hours in my family manager job next to my day job gave my a boost and I am hugely grateful to my friend who asked this candid question. It allowed me to acknowledge my tiredness in the evening, it also enabled me to give myself some recognition equally for both my jobs that I am doing, as different as they are.
As a practice, note the things you do and that would not get done otherwise. How much time do you spend on them? What would happen if they would not get done? Next time you do the dishes, the tax declaration, … remember how this makes an essential contribution to your life in the same way as your “day job”.
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