Do you really want to know what I do in a day?

Now that I’m on maternity leave, I get a lot of questions like: “What do you do with your time?” and “You didn’t take the garbage out? What did you do all day?”. On top of the questions are statements like: “It must be nice to relax and do nothing all day” as well as “I wish I could get a year off of work”.

I could answer the questions and statements by saying how much work it really is to be at home with two little girls (4 and 4 months), but I felt like my answers were falling on deaf ears.

Being a tech mommy geek with a love for stats and charts, I came up with a plan to come up with a visual representation of my day as a part-time work at home mom.

I tracked everything I did on from midnight on July 16th, 2012 to midnight on July 17th, 2012.

Here is a sample piece of the insanity. I recorded 91 activities:

All of this before 10am

Once I had an entire day documented, I assign activities to each task so they can be grouped together. Then, I added up the minutes associated with each category. Next, I converted minutes to hours and then calculated each activity into a percentage of overall time. From there, I put together a pretty pie chart.

This is what I do all day

Now, when someone asks me what I do with so much spare time or assumes that I sit on my butt watching TV all day, I reply- “On an average day, I get about 6 hours of sleep and then work for 3 hours, look after the girls for 7 hours, and spend 6 hours between eating, traveling, household chores and making supper. After all of that, I am left 2.5 hours of free time.” I follow this up with: “My free time now is actually less than the alone time I got over lunch, coffee breaks and my commute when I was working full time at the office.”

Then I take out a copy of my pie chart image that I have saved on my iPhone and ask if they have any questions. This always shuts them up. Always.

Being a stay at home mom or work at home mom really isn’t a cake walk.

If you are looking for a way to answer these annoying questions, I highly recommend going nerd on people. It astonishes them and It’s fun. Nothing like throwing a pie chart in someone’s face.

If you do decide to try this, let me know. I would love to see what your pretty pie chart looks like.

  • Nicolaaaaaaa

    Freaking hilarious! I need one on why it takes me so long to eat a meal…give kids their food, sit down with my food, get up and pick up 3yo’s fork (isn’t she too old for throwing the fork business) go to sit down and requests (demands) for ketchup, then water. Etc. etc. etc. Rargh.

    • JenBanksYEG

      I know!! I heated up the same cup of coffee in the microwave 3x today. I found the same cup in there at 10:30 tonight. Poor dumped coffee. I always have the best of intentions.

  • MagzD

    I. Love. You. This is the most awesome use of geekery I’ve ever seen!!!

    • JenBanksYEG

      Then my job here is done!

  • JackieN

    Love this post!! I’d actually like to log the amount of time you are honestly alone – I cried tears of joy the other day at work when I realized I didn’t have an audience in the bathroom with me! ;-)

    • JenBanksYEG

      My 2.5 hours of free time was alone time. It seems like a lot until I calculated at least 40 minutes of trying to fall asleep into that bucket. *sigh* It’s the little things, right?

  • ZoomJer

    I don’t know. Seems like you take a lot of personal time in the middle of the night. It really can’t be that bad. ;-)


    • JenBanksYEG

      That was the hardest time to categorize. Technically, I was not looking after the girls or doing anything, so I categorized it “Free Time”. Worst. Free.
      Time. Ever.

  • Krista House

    I love this SO much. I worked from home for a year before moving into an office outside of the house. It was amazing how people thought I sat around watching tv and drinking coffee. I wish I had the foresight to track my day. As a former DBA I’m all over data tracking and management. It really brings the nerd out in me.

  • Natasha Chiam

    Love it!  I am going to make mine so the next time I hear, ‘why didn’t you sweep the floors today?’, I can just go BAM! PIE CHART!!

  • Vikki H

    AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I have been a SAHM for 8 years and should have done this long ago!

  • Yashy Murphy

    Love this! I  should totally do this! I’m more about staying out of the house, exploring.  Trying to enjoy this while I still only have one kid! Here’s a list of what I’ve been up to!