July 26, 2014

MY OMPHALOSKEPSIS KEEPS ME TOO BUSY FOR PERSONAL TIME:

Overstated : Maybe we're not so pressed for time after all. (LAURA VANDERKAM, 25 July 2014, City Journal)

Ask anyone how she's doing these days, and she'll probably answer, "Busy!" If she also happens to be a working mother of young children, she might describe life as "scattered, fragmented, and exhausting." That's how Brigid Schulte characterizes existence in her new book, Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time. A Washington Post reporter and mother of two, she juggles deadlines while trying to be "the kind of involved mother who brings the Thanksgiving turkey for the preschool feast and puts together the fifth-grade slide show." Many of Schulte's friends inhabit this same frenzied zone.

John Robinson, an eminent sociologist who has studied time use for decades, tells Schulte that women are fooling themselves. He finds that they have at least 30 hours of leisure time per week--less than men, but still a lot. "I felt like I'd been clonged on the head with a frying pan," Schulte writes. She insists that she has no such time. Robinson has her keep a time diary for a week. She finds that she can't describe her time in the little cells of his spreadsheet, and she writes stream-of-consciousness entries like this one: "2 am - 4 am try to breathe. Discover that panic comes in the center of the chest--often in one searing spot. Fear in the belly. Dread just below that." Robinson discovers that she does have down time; she just doesn't seem to enjoy it.
Posted by at July 26, 2014 10:58 AM
  
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