August 2022 goals

1 August 2022

Happy August, friends! It’s a big month around here – as of today, I am transitioning to working four days a week. This might seem like small news, but to me, it looms large. I’m very much looking forward to this change, and yet I’ve also felt conflicted – not necessarily about doing it, but about sharing it. If it would be of interest, I’m willing to attempt to untangle my many thoughts in a future post, as I think conversations around women and moms and household responsibilities and “work/life balance” (ick) are often shout-y, shallow, and all-or-nothing. This would decidedly not be that, but it’s still a delicate topic. Let me know what you think.

On that note, the main driver of this shift is to give more weight in my work/life balance to our home and family’s management, but I do expect it will give me a bit more time to write here, and for that I’m very grateful, as this blog and community are a joy of my life. (Still no plans to make it a job, though, ha.) Thank you, as always, for being here! xo

On my calendar this month:
— A week in Maine and a week in Connecticut! Two of our favorite places with some of our favorite people. We feel very lucky.
— The first day of school!

What I’m loving right now:
— S’mores game changer: use original Fudge Stripes cookies in place of both graham crackers and chocolate bars. You’d think the ratio wouldn’t be quite right but it is perfection. Heartfelt thank yous to the Michigan cousins for making our introduction!
— We listened to several episodes of the Along for the Ride podcast on our recent road trips, and they were delightful! Each episode has games, stories, and conversation starters, and though they’re geared towards kids, we all enjoyed listening and playing along.

As a reminder, you can find alllll the things I’ve loved over the last few years neatly organized right here!

What I read in July:
The Prophet’s Wife | I picked up this fictional novel about the wife of the founder of the LDS church in a bookshop in Michigan on a whim. The writing and interweaving of time periods felt a little clunky to me, but what bothered me most was the seeming liberties taken with the interior thoughts of the main character: her feelings towards her husband, her faith, and the church he founded (all largely negative, in her imagining). Though the author takes pains to note this is a novel, not a biography, the plot follows the historical record so closely that I guess it seems a little cheap to impose such strong feelings onto a historical figure without evidence for them. Also, I had flashbacks to reading The Paris Wife with this one: you know you’re headed to an unfortunate ending, and so a sense of minor dread hangs over the whole novel. Not my favorite.

My reading list for 2022, if you’d like to follow along!

Revisiting my July goals:
Write the service I’m giving at the Island in August (Yes! This soaked up much of my extra time last month, as evidenced by my lack of activity here. But I think it was well worth it to show up for one of my most special in-person communities.)
Edit June in June, Volume 7
Use Cultivate’s Leap Ahead Day to plan our Bermuda “marriage summit”
…and strategize and plan ahead for family meeting topics (More to come here, but got started!)
Write out a personal reading plan for the rest of our current sermon series
Complete June’s baby book
Make kitchen decisions and order things (I am not checking this off, but I did get organized to make decisions… I basically gathered everything I need to make the decisions and laid it all out very neatly so that Callie can come over and we can knock them out in an hour or two. That date is on the calendar!)

August goals:
— Enjoy our time in Maine and Connecticut
— Edit June in June Volume 7
— Plan and enjoy our back-to-school dinner
— Make kitchen decisions and order things
— Make powder room decisions and order things (light, mirror, hand towel!)
— Complete June’s baby book
— Adjust to my four-day work week rhythm

As a reminder, many of these are drawn from my 2022 goals!

I hope the second half of summer is treating you well, friends! If you’ve had any fun adventures lately, I’d love to hear about them in the comments! :)

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August 1, 2022 7:10 am

Happy August, Em!

I would absolutely love to hear more about this transition, as I anticipate I will be looking to do the same at some point. I always appreciate your thoughtfulness and as a mom of one (so far), I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come to your blog to read everything you’ve written about mothering and working.

Truly appreciate you sharing bits of y’all’s life with us here.

August 1, 2022 7:53 am
Reply to  Bailey

Echoing all the things that Bailey said! Would absolutely love to hear your thoughts on the why behind the transition!

Nichole W
August 1, 2022 7:22 am

I would love to hear your thoughts on this transition. I’m preparing to start working part time this fall after being fully at home for 3.5 years and definitely have some conflicting feelings on it.

Rebekah Murphy
August 1, 2022 8:41 am

I would also love to hear your thoughts on working four days a week! I always appreciate the thoughtfulness with which you approach decisions like these and your willingness to share your decision making process.

August 1, 2022 9:42 am

Yes, please, to your thoughts on work/life balance and family/home management!!

August 1, 2022 10:22 am

Wishing you the best in this work transition! I work a traditionally 40(+) hour job and transitioned to part-time 6 years ago when pregnant with my 2nd. It has been such a wonderful balance for our family to allow for guilt-free flexibility and for me to continue doing a job I love! And I’ve found that as our family life changes, my work schedule has also changed. I worked three 8-hour days a week for 5 years and last year shifted to five 6-hour days when both kids were in full-time public school. Asking for what I need from my career and having a work environment that allows me to find the balance that works for my family is one of the greatest gifts!

August 1, 2022 10:37 am

I would be interested to hear about your transition to a new work schedule, and similar to you, I have conflicted feelings on whether you should share it LOL But I do think there’s a way to write about your transition in a relatable non-preachy way, while acknowledging that this is something your particular field/employer makes space for. And not sure if you’re comfortable with this, but you could also discuss whether this is something your husband is doing as well. One of the things I hate most about work/life balance discussions is how much the debate on about “balancing” work and life largely involves things that women are doing or have to do, and next to nothing about what the other (male)parent is doing.

August 1, 2022 1:40 pm
Reply to  Jewel

I agree with this!

Allie Benter
August 1, 2022 11:35 am

Yes! Yes! Yes! I would love to hear your thoughts surrounding the decision to transition to four days a week. Some of the “decision making process” type posts of yours are from a season of life ahead of where I’m at and it is SO HELPFUL to read your perspective and experience. I (and clearly so many of us!) appreciate your words and thoughts and feelings.

August 1, 2022 12:22 pm

A friend introduced the fudge striped cookies a while ago and after an incident this weekend where my 4 yr old nephew gobbled all our s’mores chocolate, I think I’m going to go back to it!
Like many of the commentors above, I would love to hear your thoughts on your family’s transition. You are always so thoughtful in what you share! One of the other commentors mentioned how your husband’s role is impacted with this decision and I would be interested in that as well. I work a traditional 40+ hr job (though I can shift my start/end times a little as needed) and my husband is currently working a VERY flexible job (working for his Dad’s construction business as little/as much/when he wants). He has been great about using his flexibility to shuffle kids and run errands, but it hasn’t translated into much inside the home. He is looking at other more traditional job options and we are exploring how this would impact our family. I would love the margin an extra day at home would give me, but would it just get eaten up with additional domestic tasks? Would that be OK since it would give me more evening/weekend time with my family? Working 4 days/week is not an option with my very traditional employer, but I love to see how others approach “work/life balance” with their familes!

August 2, 2022 12:00 pm
Reply to  Kristin

I would love the margin an extra day at home would give me, but would it just get eaten up with additional domestic tasks?” YES. I felt this deeply.

August 1, 2022 1:40 pm

I would love to hear more about your 4 day work week. Becoming a mother has opened my eyes to expectations of caregivers in the workplace and at home. While I have a super supportive husband, it weighs differently on my heart. I hope this makes sense.

Kristen M
August 1, 2022 2:28 pm

As a full time working mom who is lucky to (post-covid) have a much more flexible schedule of in office and wfh I’d love to hear more about your transition. I made the switch to 30 hours in the office and 10 hours out when my daughter started K last year and it’s been really great to feel like I have enough time to get stuff done at work and still feel involved and connected at home.
And yes I echo the calls to discuss the husbands more!

Kelly Strawberry
August 2, 2022 11:36 am

Fun adventures lately include a week in Alaska with my son (epic!) and then a family week in Seattle. All of our big trips are done for this year, but looking forward to a quick overnight trip to the beach the weekend before school starts back and a 10-year anniversary weekend this fall to bike the Virginia Creeper Trail and visit Grayson Highlands. :)
Also would love to hear about your new work routine!

August 2, 2022 1:12 pm

Monthly goals posts — always a favorite of mine to read! Thank you as always for sharing!

I echo many of the other comments. Would LOVE to hear more about your transition, and I so appreciate your openness in considering sharing. So many of the other blogs I love are written by stay at home moms or women whose blogs are their jobs, and I would love to hear your perspective on this topic, as someone with a slightly different context than what I usually read.

August 2, 2022 2:57 pm

Sounds like you have lots of fun planned for August! Our kids started school already today (which seems very early compared to most of the country?), but we had some wonderful adventures including a somewhat spontaneous trip to Switzerland to visit my brother and meet my newest niece!!
Yesterday we had a very spontaneous back-to-school dinner and since all the pencils were already packed we decided to decorate the vase with crayons, haha! Not quite the same effect, but the kids loved making it nonetheless.
I’d love a post on work/life-balance etc. It’s so personal and so different for everybody, but I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Enjoy the rest of summer!

August 2, 2022 10:34 pm

Best of luck with the transition and I would definitely love to read your post about it! Xo

August 3, 2022 7:17 am

I would also love to hear about your transition to 4 days. As a mom of an almost 7,5, and 3 year old, working full time has hit the hardest this past year.

August 3, 2022 12:19 pm

Um, YES PLEASE to sharing your thoughts on work! You would do it so tactfully and graciously. It’s a delicate topic talking about working as a mom, so maybe someone would choose to take offense, but 99%+ of us would just love to hear your thoughts and be cheering you on even if you view the topic a bit differently than us or have made different choices than us. :)
Also, yes, the fudge stripe cookies are a game changer! There are some sitting on my kitchen counter right now for an upcoming camping trip! haha Don’t you just love those random “life hacks,” as much as that phrase is a bit cringey? haha

August 4, 2022 3:03 pm

You are so right that most discussions around work/life balance come off as preachy! It’s kind of like breastfeeding vs. formula feeding- everyone needs to confirm that their choice was the absolute best choice, even though so many highly personal factors contribute to both decisions. Mix in a healthy dose of jealousy and comparison and you’ve got a hot topic :). That said- I know your post won’t be that and I’d love to hear your thinking, even though I personally have no wish or plan to cut back on my work hours! Your thoughts on living intentionally are some of my favorite posts, and I’m sure I’ll find inspiration from your thoughts, even if my life plan is different!

August 16, 2022 9:07 am

I’ve just transitioned to a four day workweek as well- I’ll be thinking of you! It’s delightful to have some margin to allow you to better focus in both areas :)

August 16, 2022 6:42 pm

To echo all the others – yes please on sharing more about your work transition! I’d be curious what type of schedule it is and how you chose it. I seem to recall you worked before 9-3 or 9-4. I work a full-time position, but with some flexibility. I’d love to create some boundaries for my time and self to allow me to have the time and space to show up as the wife, mother, employee, etc. I truly want to be. And to not just fill in the margin time with chores/tasks (I believe someone else already stated this much more eloquently!).
I also appreciate you sharing your personal approach to blogging and your direction to not have it become full-time. I have recently started to use some of my career skills in freelancing and while I have really loved to support people in this way and have been so passionate about the projects I took on I also quickly realized the entrepreneur life is not for me. I was feeling a bit bad about it, but appreciate hearing I am not alone!