Time Log Recap – My week at a glance

The whole purpose of a 196 hour (week) of time tracking is to get a more accurate idea of how much time you spend “a day” doing something. So you add up all the hours you spent at work and then divide it by seven, and I guess it’s supposed to make you feel better about how much you work, because the lower (or lack of) hours on the weekend brings your daily average down. While I recognize the value in that, I’m not sure if I really think it’s okay to work 10 hours one day if you don’t work any hours on the weekend (or get an average of 8 hours of sleep, if on some days you’re only getting four).

I understand the point is not to think of your life in 24 hours chunks, because then it seems impossible to do all you want to do, and a 196 hour period can provide more flexibility. I do see the value in that shift in mindset, but I’d still like to work on making my week days feel more manageable, because by the end of the those five days, I’m usually totally and completely done.

So, what did I find from my crude combining of 15 minutes chunks of time? If my math wasn’t too far off, these were my weekly totals and daily averages:

I slept almost 43 hours during the week, for a daily average of 6 hrs/night. (I was also woken up 7 times– a total of 4 hours “night parenting”–which comes out to about 35 minutes of “night parenting” a night. (I’d love to bring my average sleep number up to 7 hrs/night (with WAY fewer wake-ups), but I manage pretty well on only 6 hours of sleep.)

I was at work for 33 hours and worked from home (or at work on the weekend) 9.5 hours to bring my total work hours to 42.5 and my daily average (this counts the weekend) to 6 hours a day. I’m happy with that.

I enjoyed 10 hours of “me time,” so almost 1.5 hours a day. Not bad when I see it written in black and white, although it feels less substantial when it’s broken into 15 and 30 minute increments.

I spent 33 hours with my kids, which comes out to 4.75 hrs/day over the entire week. 10.5 of those hours revolved around bedtime, which consumes about 1.5 hrs/day of my life. This is the one area I wish I could improve upon; bedtime crushes my soul and I wish I could be spending those hours doing something more fun with my kids.

I spent 8.75 hours commuting to work, so about 1.25 hours a day (over 7 days). Traffic has gotten so bad in the past two years. Ugh.

I only spent 5 hours on chores, and this was mostly prepping meals and folding laundry. I’m sure I missed some of this work, because it happened in short bursts or when I was also with the kids, but it’s not at all surprising to me that I spend less than an hour a day on chores. No wonder my house is a shit show.

There were chunks of time I wasn’t quite sure how to “code,” like the PTA (not represented here at all) and traveling for kid pick up (which I included in “kid time”). There were other little 15 minutes spots I wasn’t sure how to categorize, so I just didn’t include them in this review.

So that is how I spent my time last week. The good news is that some weeks I get even more “me time,” and spend even less time working. Sadly, the nightly wake-ups are not uncommon and I doubt they’ll stop anytime soon. If I had that time to sleep I’d be at 6.5 hours a night, which would be amazing. I’ll just have to try harder to get to bed early, so that time spent “night parenting” doesn’t hurt my overall shut eye so much.

Have you ever tracked your time? What do you think you’d find if you did?


  1. So interesting! And not necessarily what I’d think from reading each log individually. Personally, I would count driving to pick up kids under commuting time, because it’s not really time spent “with” your kids.

    For me (and I could be wrong, because I didn’t do a time study): I spend fewer hours working, way more hours commuting. My total sleep is probably similar, somewhere between 6 and 7 hours. I am woken up every night but only for 5 minutes (get up, go get C, sometimes bring her to the potty, grab a sippy cup with milk, bring her into my bed). I spend more time on household chores, but that’s mainly cooking dinner. I spend a similar amount of time on bedtime 🙁 I can’t recall any me time, although I’m sure a time log would prove me wrong, especially on the weekends.

    1. Once I got the first kid I called it “kid time” because the actual time driving between the two care providers and home is minimal (5 mins each trip) but the getting to the car, getting in the car, buckling seat belts, that all takes forever and what do you call that time? I had a lot of trouble with those “transition periods” so I just lumped them in with other stuff.

      I was also surprised by how much “me time” I carved out, but besides my three workouts it was all little 15 minute chunks that I suppose I take for granted. It was nice to see I do give myself some time, but I’d love for longer, more obvious blocks that are all about me.

  2. I should do this. I have no idea, my commute time is probably around an hour and work time is much higher I am sure I work 10 hour days so that would mean my time with kids is less 🙁 I’ll be curious though. Def a good idea to see where I can streamline some thing and perhaps show the husband he needs to be a little more helpful!

    1. I would love to see our husbands’ time logs. Wouldn’t that be interesting!

      And to be perfectly honest, very little of the time with the kids is quality, fun time. It’s almost all the morning and bedtime routines, and then after school time. I spent one weekend day working and on doing something fun with them, but there was really only 6 hours of fun time.

  3. Hi, long time, I just played catch up really quick. I need to write about our transition into kindergarten because our Fall has been super stressful too. Transitions suck. I’m sorry the daycare doesn’t have the resources or willingness to deal with a typical developmental phase. That’s total bs. I wonder about tracking my time. Interesting stuff you figured out.

  4. Very interesting! I will not do good on 6h of sleep!!! we have a “very strick routine” which makes a lot of my friends laugh (too rigid for them) but my kids thrive with it and it allow us to have planned me time! i need that time, I’m a complete mess if we have too many days with unplanned things!
    kids bedtime routine is pj/bath twice a week/teeth/we both get a kid for 15 min for them to read then my husband read a few chapter of a book to both of them we spit them again and snuggle for a few minutes and we are done… the little one still get out of her room at least once but the whole process last 45 min max and is usually done by 7:30/7:45…. so we have over 2h before bed to exercise/catch up on work or just relax. we find that if put them to bed later say 8 or 8:30 it takes them longer to fall asleep ( I guess they are overtired by then). E is the exact same age that your daughter and my daughter is almost 5. we went though phases where things were difficult, my daughter had nightmares a few times a night and we spent hours with her until we moved her mattress in her brother room for few weeks and she was fine. Now they sleep in the same room sometimes in the weekend just for fun!

    1. Your bedtime routine sounds amazing. I really struggle with bedtime because it’s the only 1-on-1 time I have with my kids a I do think that is important. My kids also really struggle with me leaving the room–many times it results in a 30+ minute meltdown. Maybe I’m just not being firm and consistent enough.

      1. i struggle with only having 30 min of one on one time every other day with each kid (since we share the bedtime routine with my husband) but the kids are like me, they become “little monsters” if they do not get enough sleep… So we try to carve some one on one time during the weekend… parenting is hard…

        1. I will admit, I’d totally sacrifice the 1-on-1 time for earlier bedtimes, because I also think my kids need more sleep. They have such a hard time going down, maybe it’s because we don’t actually get to that part until after 8pm, and like you suggested, they are over tired. I bet if I just let go of that and was more consistent about “only two books” and “only 10 minutes of snuggles” we’d all be a lot happier. I know I would be. 😉

  5. I think you should think of a bedtime routine that is a reasonable simulation of what you want and try to implement it for a few weeks. it’ll be hard for a while, and hard again here and there when they start testing it. But if you hold firm, they do get used to things. We lighten up during weekends or vacations, but otherwise it starts at 7:15 (bath days) or 7:25 (non-bath days): brush/floss teeth (they take turns being first), shower every other day for 5 minutes each, put PJs on, and read stories/chapters until 8:10-8:15, then “sleep on pillow” time, where we take turns lying with them for 10-15 minutes each (until 8:30). They then will come out of the room 1-3 times, but we quietly lead them back to bed. If they come out more than 3 times, something they love is taken away; I remind them of this. Every once in a while they come down again, later, and say they are hungry. They are offered the most boring/non-favorite food we have, and if they say yes, they can eat it and then go to bed (I get hungry at night, I imagine they do to sometimes). They don’t have to sleep, I don’t care if they are not sleepy. They just have to lie quietly in bed.
    Since I try to go to bed at 9:30, this way at get at least 30-60 minutes to myself each night.

  6. I make a big deal of the time on the clock. Its EIGHT THIRTY as if that is super super late. They think 8:30 is a minute away from the middle of the night, the way we carry on about it. We also talk a LOT about the importance of sleep for growth/learning/doing your best/healing (you have a boo boo! oh no! you need LOTS OF SLEEP for that to heal!) Who guys, its EIGHT THIRTY, you’ll be too tired to do karate tomorrow! Your friends will run so much faster than you at the playground! You won’t be able to do your sight word quiz!

  7. Your readers made me wonder if you do the clean up and change with both children together at same time then do the books final cuddles with son first WHILE daughter sits and looks at her books in/on her bed and then you Just Read&cuddle her second.
    My other thought came from staying overnight with my 5yrold granddaughter last night. I sleep on blow up bed next to her bed so we “hold hands” at first when she goes to sleep. What I realized was last night was that she woke up several times and redid her blankets (she is insisting on using just the big swaddle muslims from babyhood right now so of course they come off etc… but I am grandmother so not my battle) and it made me wonder if your son gets his feet out and they get cold or some such and if being inside a sleeping bag would maintain his warmth etc. SO now, I expect, you will say ‘no, he sleeps in footed blanket sleepers like from your childhood years so that is totally not part of the issue’. But I mention on an ‘in case’ basis as I see way fewer footed blanket pjs these days. ..
    I think the transiting commute time needs to be counted as child commute so it doesn’t show as part ‘actually involved with my children time’ and move the bed routine stuff to child bed routines for really looking at the process/time etc.
    BUT!!! WOW, lots of work and I am impressed and it does quantify reality. Just knowing facts is really important. And it can be shared with spouse but not in competition with what his week flow chart would be.
    Hopes you all have a lovely weekend, lots of sleep, much laughter and great joy!

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