I had Wednesday off this week. A relative was in town or something and Sasha's family didn't need me that day.
I... I can't believe how much less stressed out I've been, and how much happier I've been this week, with that one eight hour shift obliterated.
Over the last couple of years, I've had jobs with different hours. When I did AmeriCorps I was regularly cramming 60 hours of work into each week. Lots of 12 hour days, lots of extra work on weekends. Before that I was working maaaybe 15 hours a week in a research-y type position that mostly had me sprawled on the couch in my pajamas at 4 in the afternoon writing about community building activities for teens. That wasn't quite enough work to keep me from getting restless, but damn I had an awesome garden that summer.
When I was trying to piece together nanny jobs after my exhausting, overwhelming AmeriCorps year wrapped up, I was aiming for close to 20 hours a week. I ended up with 35 hours a week. This week was a good reminder of why 20 hours a week is my ideal work load. While almost-full-time means I'm building up a cushy savings account, it also means I cling to the weekends like I'm an invasive species of blackberry bush and weekends are native underbrush -- and I have a harder time enjoying my time with the kids when I am at work.
HB and I don't really make formal New Years resolutions, but we do talk about what I call, in a deep and foreboding voice, "our hopes and dreams."
My current "gosh wouldn't that be nice" is to work halftime in a small, progressive preschool, and work halftime as a freelance artist. I really miss painting.
I've been trying to partition off more evening time for art lately, but it's hard to motivate myself to work on it when I get home from eight hours of scrubbing baby chins and cajoling a belligerent six-year-old into starting her homework. When I work close to full time, all I want to do with my free time is eat, sleep, and watch shoddy escapist shows (current favorite being Once Upon a Time which is thoroughly, thoroughly mediocre).
Little by little, and with HB's encouragement, I'm reclaiming parts of my evenings and weekends for making some real progress on art projects, and that feels fantastic, but oh, I do look forward to an employment future of fewer hours spent in other people's homes raising other people's children.
For now, it's what it is, and I'm thankful to be employed, housed, and partnered, even when the balance isn't quite ideal.