While you might think a 12 hour time difference poses problems for keeping in touch and staying on top of work meetings, etc, we have found that the time difference allows us to live our lives in the way we often tried to at home – daytime periods of work interspersed with time spent with the kids and evenings devoted primarily to work. After a year spent 12-hours removed, I think I might find it a challenge to transition back into a life where work hours and daytime hours coincide.
Here is what a typical GZ day life looks like in our family:
6:30 am child(ren) A come into room, B are heard to be playing in their room, or C all is quiet. If A, child(ren) is told they need to let us sleep until the “bunny wakes up.”
7:00 am The bunny is awake. We read a couple of books, feed the children a light breakfast and get them dressed and groomed for school. 7:45 Depart for school.
8:05 Return from dropping children off. Eat breakfast and check email and find out what happened the day before (due to the 12 hour time difference we miss most of the Stateside business day).
9:00 – 11:10 Some combination of writing and other work-related work, cleaning, running errands.
11:10 – 11:45 Lunch.
11:45 Pick up children and walk home.
12:00 – 12:45 Quality time with kids.
12:45 – 2:45 Kids nap and we work.
2:45 – 4:30 Kids back to school. We return home to work or else run errands (e.g. bank, wet market).
4:30 – 5:30 Pick up kids, play and socialize in the school courtyard, leisurely walk home.
5:30 – 7 Dinner either just as at home or at the restaurant with company.
7 – 7:45 play, pajamas, reading
7:45 kids lights out.
8 – 9 Sending emails, online meetings and making necessary phone calls to the US (beginning of the day in the States).
9 – 11 work