Relax on the Weekend? What a Novel Idea!

Categories: Making Time, Parenting, The Juggle


I am wiped out. Completely. So much so that, in lieu of a proper post, I’m just going to blog my Saturday for you:

1 a.m. Go to bed.

3 a.m. Get up, go to toddler’s room. Toddler is shrieking like he’s being eaten by lions, but stops and smiles the instant I enter the room and chirps, “Monnin’, Mama!” It is not morning.

3:25. a.m. Back to bed. Glance at husband, who can sleep through anything and is, in fact, doing so.

5:45 a.m. Back to toddler. Tell him that it is still not morning.

6 a.m. Back to bed.

6:30 a.m. Give up, go to toddler’s room, concede that it is, technically, morning. Change nastiest diaper on earth. Why do 20-month-old boys eat crayons, for God’s sake?

7 a.m. Take him downstairs before he wakes up the rest of the house.

7: 07 a.m. Ahhhh, coffee.

7:15 a.m. Ahhhh, more coffee.

7:20. a.m. Make breakfast. Fruit and granola and yogurt for toddler and preschooler, who I am certain will appear behind me at any moment.

7:32 a.m. Preschooler materializes by my side and stands there, silently grinning, until I notice her and jump out of my skin.

7:33 a.m. Climb back into my skin. Decide I need more coffee.

7:45 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. Destroy family room. Pat myself on the back for not turning on the TV, then kick myself after I notice the extent of the destruction.

8:46 a.m. Try to wake 10-year-old and 12-year-old for karate practice. They are not so much on board with the waking, having been up three hours past their bedtime playing “Rock Band” on the XBox-360 with their Dad who, like them and their 14-year-old sister, is still asleep.

9 a.m. Dress preschooler in the world’s tiniest karategi. Take pictures of her practicing “X low block” and “hook kick, round kick” until she refuses to perform for the camera.

9:10 a.m. Husband stumbles downstairs, thanks me for letting him sleep in (awwww), says something about how revitalizing a solid eight hours of sleep can be. I hand him the toddler and load preschooler into the car to go to karate.

9:29 a.m. Arrive on time for 9:30 class. Studio is dark and locked. Didn’t know class was cancelled.

9:30 a.m. Preschooler nearly learns a new word. I tell her what I really said was “fudge,” a word she already knows. Decide to go grocery shopping instead.

10 a.m. Preschooler practices “X low block” in produce section.

10:30 a.m. Load groceries into car ($62.78 after sales and coupons; need to make another trip later in the week), drive back to karate studio to see if it’s still locked. It is.

10:55 a.m. Arrive home. Everyone is eating breakfast. After being fine for the last hour, preschooler bursts into tears about karate having been closed, and then asks if she can eat a pile of cookies as a snack in order to “feel all better.”

11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Honestly, this part of the day is kind of a blur. My husband spent the entire weekend editing video, and I found myself wishing he’d just go to the office because it’s easier to not be annoyed by his temporary unavailability if he’s not right here in plain sight. I know I did four loads of laundry. I know I put away the groceries. I know I distributed ice pops and fed everyone lunch. I know I put the toddler down for an all-too-short nap, and that I refereed a few fights (including one that broke out after one of the big kids started lecturing the other two big kids about their previous fight) and ordered all three big kids to read in separate parts of the house because I was certain that they were going to kill one another if they stayed in the same room. I looked at my to-do list and realized that there was no way any of the freelance work on it was going to get done. I listened to the toddler imitate his older siblings and try to say “I’m bored” (”Ah-m buhd”), drew outside with sidewalk chalk, played some sort of running and kicking game using an enormous beach ball and, inexplicably, a squash racket, and then started cooking dinner while the preschooler fell asleep on the couch after insisting that she wasn’t tired. I persuaded my husband to join us for dinner, because I was sick of telling the kids he was working and shouldn’t be disturbed (and, also, because he was working at the dining table and, well, we kind of needed it for dinner).

After dinner, there were baths and bed and cleanup and laundry. And, in spite of all of this, I still feel like I didn’t get anything done. And I’m trying to understand why.

Is it because none of the stuff I got done was on my mile-long to-do list? Or because there was no finished project to show off at the end of the day? Or was it because, while I was wrangling kids and household, my husband was toiling away on a career-related project and, therefore, what I was doing didn’t seem to qualify as “work” to me?

Whatever the reason, and as much as I love my family, I am psyched to go in to the office today. I’ve already put “make coffee” on my to-do list, so I’ll have something to cross off right away. You know, just so I can feel like I’m getting stuff done.

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12 comments so far...

  • I got tired just reading this…. hope your Monday is more relaxing!

    Nataly  |  June 30th, 2008 at 8:44 am

  • I’ve had many weekends like this one! Laundry, groceries, schoolwork I’ve brought home, helping teen with his homework, and then I arrive at school Monday morning wondering where the weekend went! Yes, I like to put “make coffee” on the to-do list just so I can cross it off, too.

    Daisy  |  June 30th, 2008 at 2:15 pm

  • I can so relate to going into the office on Monday to catch my breath. I often feel like my weekends are like one of those silent films where I run around in sped up motion and then collapse at the end. Except instead of silent, it’s noisy.

    Marinka  |  June 30th, 2008 at 9:16 pm

  • This highlights one of the reasons why we work - so we can be in an environment where we actually feel like we get things done. Without the yelling and the fighting (usually, at least).

    SydneyGal  |  June 30th, 2008 at 9:33 pm

  • Thank you so much for writing this! My four children are older than yours, but the weekend still passes in a blur. I feel quite alone in having a husband who is “out of the picture” for much of the weekend, but perhaps it is not so unusual as I think…My husband is either on the computer or practising fiddle on the weekend, and must be prised away from these solitary activities.

    Anna  |  July 1st, 2008 at 5:01 am

  • I know that feeling only too well! You do “stuff” nonstop all day, but nothing on your list seems to get done - hence feeling like nothing was accomplished! You are accomplishing alot that is intangible, but that doesn’t make it any less important! :-)

    BlapherMJ  |  July 1st, 2008 at 8:53 pm

  • I sympathize about the wakeful toddler. We have one of those here, too. She and her 7 y/o brother run me ragged most days. You have three more than me so really I don’t think anything more than everyone alive at the end of the day should be required.

    StephLove  |  July 2nd, 2008 at 6:34 pm

  • I love the title of this blog.

    vera babayeva  |  July 6th, 2008 at 9:45 pm

  • I’m laughing (at you) and crying (for you) all at the same time. My every day seems like this because my home is where the office is. I like the idea of adding make coffee to the list but hubby usually gets to that before I do. How about just adding get out of bed or wipe someone’s butt? When I have days like that my husband says, “well, you kept the kids alive.” I think I’m supposed to feel better then.

    Mandy at Dandysound  |  July 7th, 2008 at 5:19 pm

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  • Oh my goodness, that was my weekend! Right down to the martial arts studio being closed. It is so nice to know I’m not alone. Sometimes I look at my single friend with the meticulous house and social life and think - that’s cool. But at the end of the day, I’ll take the chaos because a full life is a life lived well. Time with kids just needs to be a major item on that weekend to do list I keep remembering. Thanks for sharing!

    Stacey  |  July 10th, 2008 at 1:55 pm

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