Moms’ Guide to Managing Time
Why do most moms feel they’re doing so much and accomplishing so little? Three women break down their most monstrous times of day (for one, it’s a weekend—doubly defeating) and get expert help to make it all a little less scary.
Leni Calas, 38, New York City
Family: Husband Rodney, 38; daughters Max, 12, and Roxy, 2.
Job: Prop master for television and movies.
Why she feels frazzled: Leni works almost around the clock—50 hours a week on sets and another 20 running QueensMamas.com, a community parenting website—so even when she’s home, she’s checking e-mails and taking calls. “I would like to be with my family in the evenings and then hang out with my husband,” she says. “Instead, I split my focus—not very well—between my kids and my job.”
A typical evening: While prepping dinner, Leni returns e-mails from a laptop on the kitchen counter and makes phone calls. “At least we eat dinner as a family most nights,” she says. “I’m proud of that.” She and Rodney, a set dresser, tag-team to bathe Roxy and help Max with homework. In between, Leni dashes off to return more calls or e-mails. These are the witching hours, when “everyone wants my full attention,” says Leni, “and no one wants to share it.” Once both girls are asleep, Leni goes back to work. Bedtime: midnight.
The bottom line: “I walk in the door between five and seven, and I feel like my day has just begun,” says Leni. “I usually don’t even stop to go to the bathroom when I get home.” She has tried shutting off her phone and computer, “but I pay for it the next day,” she says.