30 Hours. A WEEK.

Someone.. maybe Undomestic Diva? .. twittered about this story in the Washington Post, and since I was waiting in a doctor’s office at the time, I had some free time to read it.

You should go read it.  If you read this blog, you’re obviously someone it’s talking to.

The whole premise of the article is fascinating and infuriating: a sociologist makes the most infuriating and diabolical claim I’ve read in a long, long time, and I quote:

“Wrong,” Robinson interrupted. “Women have time. Women have at least 30 hours of leisure every week. In fact, women have more leisure now than they did in the 1960s, even though more women are working outside the home.”

Um, I call (much like the author of the article) a big ole BULLSHIT on that one.

Of course, I won’t pull the rug out from under the article, because it really was worth reading.. but I will say that what he calls “leisure” is probably not what the rest of us would define as such.

For instance, time spent in waiting rooms?  Car-rider lanes?  Dance class lobbies?  Leisure.

Um, no.

But the author’s use of a time journal highlights what has been plaguing me for a long time now: it’s the quality of our leisure time, not the abundance of it.  The fact that we, as mothers/parents, will spend every waking moment multi-tasking and worrying and fretting and planning means that we don’t understand leisure time.  We don’t know how to turn off, to unplug, to just be.

I know I don’t.  I KNOW I DON’T.

I don’t know how to be in the room with my child and not devote 100% of my attention to him.  I don’t know how to have my work laptop at home and not be perched at it, checking work email.  I don’t know how to stop obsessively cleaning, picking up, straightening, grocey planning. 

I’m going to learn.

Because there may just be 30 hours of leisure time in there somewhere.

I’m just going to have to find it.

Here's where I am!

Click on the icons below to follow me around the web. In a nice way. Please be nice.

4 Responses to 30 Hours. A WEEK.

  1. TheJBO February 6, 2010 at 10:50 am #

    I have to play devils advocate here. Now, YOU may not feel you have leisure time. Maybe you don’t. I can tell you where leisure time happens for working parents. OUT IN PUBLIC. RESTAURANTS. MOVIE THEATRES. EVERYWHERE. What is it about a restaurant that makes people think “Thank goodness, I can sit down and ignore my child now”. Everytime we eat out, I see multiple families with ill behaved children where the parents sit and converse whilst their little psychopath in training is running around the restaurant with a steak knife singing the Power Rangers theme song at the top of his lungs. WHY?!?!?

  2. AndreAnna February 8, 2010 at 8:31 am #

    I don’t even sleep 30 hours most weeks and I wish I was kidding.

  3. Shannon February 8, 2010 at 9:52 am #

    When you find it please let the rest of us know where the hell it is hiding???? I haven’t had 10 hours of down time a week in the last 15 years!

  4. bessie.viola February 9, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    30 hours of leisure? No. NO. Perhaps the author and I have different definitions of leisure. My commute totals an hour each day, but I don’t count that.

    This is thought-provoking, though – what could I do to make those potential down times more pleasurable? Instead of multi-tasking, I wonder if I could work at what you’re suggesting and make some changes…

    STILL. I call Robinson a big ol’ douche. Seriously. What a sensationalist claim…
    .-= bessie.viola´s last blog ..quick like a bunny =-.

Leave a Reply