I’ve been writing a lot lately about weekend time management. I know that sounds like an oxymoron -- weekends are the time we don’t have to manage! But given the feedback I’ve gotten, I decided to try that supposed idyll of the relaxed weekend: a day where we didn’t leave the house.
So, on Saturday, we had nothing planned. Well, that’s not entirely true -- my husband and I were going out late (like at kid bedtime) for our anniversary dinner. But we had nothing planned for the kids to leave the house, and in fact the kids did not leave the house all day or get out of their pajamas for big chunks of the time.
It was... rough.
The baby refused to take her morning nap. It’s a little early to be transitioning into one nap, but it could be happening. The problem is that kids don’t come with signs that say “Hey! I’m giving up my morning nap now!” So you keep trying and dealing with the screaming until you realize it’s just not happening. So there was that. The older kids fought a lot, to the point of getting group time-out for a biting and hitting incident. There were unclear lines of communication on which parent was responsible for the kids at which point and who was “on” for longer which led to some parental sullenness. At one point I was lying on the floor in the basement, exhausted, with the kids throwing stuff at me. The minutes ticked by. If I ever feel like life is passing me by too quickly, I will recall the Saturday in which we did not leave the house.
I can see that if you face a difficult commute every day, there’s a certain appeal to not getting in the car. I also can see that if I did not have three children ages 5 and under, life would be different. Parents with older kids talk of the children disappearing to play video games for four straight hours. My children definitely cannot entertain themselves for four hours. My life will be very different when they can -- and when that happens, perhaps a Saturday spent at the house reading a book while they play Nintendo will seem better.
But until then? We’re doing something every weekend day. Something has to be less exhausting than nothing.
Photo courtesy flickr user Dan4th. This is roughly what things looked like in my house at 11 a.m. Saturday.