No. 16

Emily Oster credit Dana Smith.jpg

Name: Emily
Age-ish: 39
City: Providence, RI
Day: Professor of Economics
Night: Writer of books about pregnancy and parenting

Morning Ritual

I get up at 5 every day, before the rest of the family (husband is up at 6, we wake the kids a little before 7). I really, really value the couple of hours in the morning to do my own thing. I have coffee, obviously, and then usually do some combination of work and home stuff. Sometimes I make muffins or something for breakfast, and during the year I pack the kids lunches. If I’m working on a book or some book-related writing I’ll almost always do that in these early morning hours. Lately, I have been doing a lot of European podcasts, which is actually not super relaxing so I’m hoping to return to the slower pace.  Kids are up at 7 and then we are on to breakfast, teeth, clothes, school. That part of the day is not relaxing although I do enjoy family breakfast. I do not enjoy reminding people fifteen times about their socks.
Commute Ritual

My kids school is a short walk from our house, and on the way to work. So most days my husband and I drop them at school and then either go running together and then walk to work or just walk in. It’s hard to imagine a better commute. When my daughter was very young we lived in Chicago and we commuted by car to work. On the way home it would often take 45 minutes in terrible traffic. I never got used to it, and I think I’ll never get tired of the simplicity of walking in. It’s not as nice when it is snowing so we do sometimes drive.
Daytime Ritual 

My work days are pretty varied so I’m not sure I have a ritual beyond mid-morning coffee (ideally with a colleague, although my main coffee buddy is currently on maternity leave). I occasionally will try to generate daytime rituals like “Mediate for 15 minutes after lunch” but I rarely make it more than a week. Maybe this belonged in the Ritual Fail category? Ha.
Lunch Ritual

I am not a big lunch person. If I do not have a work lunch, I’ll typically eat something at my desk while working or possibly vegetating on the internet. I think I already feel like I do not put enough hours in to my job, and I feel guilty hanging around for lunch. Also, if I eat a huge meal then I need to take a nap.
Dinner Ritual

We eat with the kids at 6, basically every day. It’s definitely the high point of my day most days. We usually try to discuss everyone’s “highs and lows” of the day although I’d say we only get to discussing mine about 30% of the time. The perils of being the mom! The kids are pretty good about eating whatever we serve, although we have a rule that if you do not like what we are eating you can have hummous and raw veggies any time. We go through a lot of baby carrots.
Night Ritual

The kids have a long winded bedtime but I’m usually free by 8:15 or so, and I’ll work for maybe another hour before bed. Usually that time is just email catch-up. I would like to be a person who is able to just put off the email, but I feel like I get panicked when there are like 35 unread messages. I’m an efficient emailer so usually the evening is enough to mostly catch up. I’m in bed by 10. I have never been a night person, not even in college, so 10pm is about my limit.
Weekend Ritual

Saturday mornings are my kid time. My husband gets a chance to sleep a bit (don’t worry, I sleep in on Sundays, it’s fair) and the kids and I get up, have pancakes and go to violin lessons. It’s a nice way to start the weekend, minus some of the violin whining. I like having them a little bit to myself – interactions with kids are always a bit different with just one parent.
High Brow Ritual

Eating salad for breakfast (does this count?!)
Low Brow Ritual

Eating mini candy bars from the department office mid afternoon. Not every day, but not NOT every day either.
Ritual Fail

I am always trying to get myself to meditate, do yoga, engage in some kind of mindfulness. I know it would be good! Or, at least I think it would. I keep trying to start doing it and then I can’t keep it up. My husband used to make fun for me for buying packages of yoga classes and then going once. I stopped doing this, so I guess deciding to meditate and failing to do so is a step up since at least it is free.
Repeat Purchases

Every manner of raw vegetables | Cut watermelon | kids clothes from | Raina Telemaiger books

No. 17

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