Judging a weekend by the right standard

Weekends have been rough of late. The 2-year-old's sleep is disordered (still), which means that staying up remotely late is a recipe for trouble. He no longer reliably naps, so there's no break. There has been a lot of kid bickering, and people want to do activities, but they don't want to do the same activities, and any other kid's suggestion will be met with a shout of "I hate that!" And so forth.

All of which means that I am approaching weekends with low expectations. Some moments will be fun. Some might be soul-crushing. The most practical question to ask is this:

What needs to happen this weekend for me to feel OK?

And a follow-on: how can I make sure that happens?

Judged by this standard, this weekend was a success.

I desperately wanted to sleep. I had to go to bed at my during-the-week bedtime (10:30 p.m.) both Friday and Saturday nights, but each night I was able to sleep > 7.5 hours (one night because the 2-year-old slept until 6:30 a.m., the other because my husband took the 4-6 a.m. shift).

I hoped to get a little work done. We had talked about going to Baltimore and going to the National Aquarium on Saturday, but between my husband coming home from the airport at 2 a.m. Fri night/Sat am, and then being up at 4, this wasn't really happening, especially since the kids were mixed on it. Outdoor activities were out (it was 23 degrees) so he wound up taking them (without me) to a local trampoline park. They were out of the house for 2.5 hours. During this time, I wrote 1000 words in the fable, and went for a very, very frigid run. Then the 2-year-old fell asleep on the sofa, and I wrote another 1000 words. Later in the afternoon, the 2-year-old went on an errand with my husband and I wrote another 1000 words So it was an unexpectedly productive day.

I wanted to run twice. I did. Once outside, and once on the treadmill before church while listening to classical choral music.

I wanted to go to a concert on Sunday put on by the staff singers at my church. I was able to go to the first half in between driving people to playdates and supervising other playdates. (This took a lot of coordination).

I read. I finished Sourdough on Friday (quirky and pretty fun), and Circle of Quiet on Sunday.

I wanted to go out to eat Friday night at some place that was tolerable. My husband was not home, so my plan was to take the 3 big kids (sitter stayed until 8 p.m. with the 2-year-old). They all wanted to go to Ruby's Diner, but I didn't. On Friday night, I kind of want a beer, not a milkshake. So I had to find another restaurant that fit in the overlapping circles on the Venn diagram of serving Kraft mac and cheese AND having a liquor license. I recalled that Iron Hill Brewery (where I'd been with my husband) fit the bill. So we went, and it was fine. Less relaxing than eating with adults. If an adult at a table wants one dinner guest to hear a comment, but not another, the adult seldom ducks under the table, crawls across the floor, and pops up next to the person he wishes to confide in. But I had my Octoberfest.

And we have (so far) made it through the weekend without major illness or injury. So there's that. We had a nice family dinner tonight (Sunday): lamb, green beans, bread. And (of course) mac and cheese for the kids. Though Annie's brand, so it's like somewhat more noble.

In other news: Off the Clock officially has a page on Amazon. Stuff like the price is basically placeholder at this point (though if you want to pre-order I'm not going to stop you!), but that is the real cover. Enjoy!

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  • Excited about this new book and already have some friends/family I want to buy it for. May seems far away but I'm sure it will come before we know it!

    • @Beth - thanks so much! I encourage purchasing multiple copies :) And yes, a long time from now, but time does keep passing, one way or another...

        • @Jenna- I hope so! I think, per my contract, the publisher reserves the right to either produce the audio book themselves, or try to sell the rights to someone else. I hope they hire me as the "talent" again - it was such fun to record I Know How She Does It!

  • You are right about defining the standards. When we had our fourth child and were living far away from extended family to help us our definition for a successful weekend was "no tears for anyone over age 8". (Our oldest was 7 at the time)