Weekend hits and misses

On Friday, I wrote about my planning process, which is basically a list of lists. Does this process work perfectly? No! This weekend, for instance, we had some definite hits and misses/inefficiencies. My other half, as some long-time readers may have surmised, is slightly less into planning/organization than I am, probably because 99 percent of humanity is less into planning/organization than I am. Also, he spends M-F with his life scheduled in 30 minute increments (if not tighter), and the past few weeks have been particularly so, so when I had tried to engage him earlier about the schedule for this weekend, the discussion did not really happen.

The weekend, however, had so many moving parts that it would have benefitted from more strategizing. We did have some hits. I got a long enough run in (8.6 miles) that I felt I could sign up for the Philly half-marathon in 2 weeks. We all went to the Longwood Gardens Night of 1000 Lights chrysanthemum show. My husband watched the Texas A&M game (taped, several hours after it happened. Alas, it did not go well). We went for a family bike ride at Valley Forge on Sunday morning. While the time change did atrocious things for the toddler sleep schedule (4 a.m.!) at least each of us got one morning to sleep in, and on my morning to cover (Sunday) I took a full trip to Wegman’s with the toddler at 6:30 a.m. The store was pleasantly empty then.

However, some things did not go as smoothly as they might have. For instance, on Saturday morning, my husband took the 7-year-old to flag football, and decided at the last minute to bring the toddler too. So then — fair being fair — I took the toddler with me to our daughter’s soccer game after. But of course that meant that neither of us actually got to watch our kids play because we were chasing the toddler around the sidelines the whole time. A second problem: One of the discussions I had wanted to have was when I should do my long run. When we finally did talk about this briefly on Friday, my husband told me I should do it Saturday afternoon and he would take all four kids to our 9-year-old’s swim meet in New Jersey. Then they would meet me at Longwood for the flower show that night. I expressed my doubts — especially as the other kids were whining about having to go with him — and sure enough, halfway through my run I got a text message asking if I could drive out to New Jersey because the kids were going ballistic. Feeling bad about the whole thing, I turned toward home, and got in the car. I drove the 45 minutes to retrieve the three younger children, who were whiny about going to the gardens because they’d been at a swim meet for 2 hours. There was a fit in the Wawa where we stopped for “dinner” when I insisted my daughter could not have a slushy as a meal. As my toddler was running around pulling things off the Wawa shelves, it became very clear he had pooped, so I was changing that in my dark car. Not an easy change — I smelled whiffs of it on my shirt the entire rest of the evening. The most inefficient part of the afternoon/evening? After the other kids left, my 9-year-old decided he was done swimming, so my husband wound up leaving with him about 15-20 minutes after I’d left. Thanks to my Wawa stop, they pulled into the Longwood parking lot at the same time we did.

I did enjoy the flowers (as did the kids, for the most part). The Sunday bike ride also went pretty well. However, I had been unclear about the extent of the swim meet (my husband handles all meet-related scheduling stuff), which continued on Sunday. My husband drove back out to New Jersey with the 9-year-old, but they were trying to get back before too late and he wound up doing just one event. I hadn’t thought of anything to do with the other kids, and so they wound up watching a ton of TV. And unfortunately, when I tried to do non-TV stuff with the big kids (like play Legos with my daughter), the toddler kept ruining it.

It would have been a good weekend to either have hired a sitter for a few hours (so we could pay attention to the big kids and my run need not have led to the rushed trip to NJ) or I could have done my long run at some other 2-hour point, but we would have had to figure out ahead of time when that could be. My husband would have liked to have worked out too, I suspect, but he didn’t get to. It all fits, but has to be figured out ahead of time.

And so last night we sat there with our calendars and talked through the next several weeks and weekends. We identified a few trouble spots when we would probably need babysitters or car pools or some such and opportunities (open days that might be good for day trips and the like). Now if only the toddler would start waking up later…

12 thoughts on “Weekend hits and misses

  1. Thanks for being honest about the hits and misses of your weekend. When I was neck-deep in kids’ activities, all it took was one “bad” weekend for both parents to get back on the wagon with schedule coordination. Sounds like you might be there too….

  2. As I waffle on the ‘to have or not to have’ decision like, hourly, posts like this one definitely make me lean towards . . .no! That said, I agree that more strategic babysitting might have helped 🙂

    I am thankful that Josh is very open to my weekend micromanagement. In fact he embraces the ‘weekend email’ with open arms and asks me where it is if I don’t get to send it to him for some reason!

    1. @SHU – more kids means more moving parts, for sure. But in retrospect, a good solution would have been for me to take baby to flag football (my husband needed a nap after his 4/5 a.m. wake up) and then he would have taken all 4 kids to soccer (there is a playground there so the extra 2 kids who didn’t go would have been OK with it). Then I would have done my long run then, and we wouldn’t have had the horrible kerfuffle in the afternoon with the swim meet/long run/rushed trip to NJ.

    2. @SHU – it totally depends on why you want another. For me, I just kept feeling – for years – that my family wasn’t complete. That feeling was worse than all of the baby/toddler phase issues – for me. Also, your older kids are still very, very young. My older three are 12, 10 and 7 (the youngest is 1.5). Believe me – early morning wakeups are a breeze compared to some of the preteen drama! In the grand scheme of life, that little kid phase goes by so quickly. Not trying to convince you either way – just saying that don’t focus too much on the toddler travails.

  3. Oh, Laura. I’m sorry you had a rough weekend, but having had a rough one with my own toddler, it was both refreshing to hear someone being honest about it, and also good to read about your strategic discussion at the end of it all. (It’s hard to get my husband to sit down for those, too.)

  4. Oh man, I’d have felt super frustrating about the swim meet driving fiasco too. Yikes.

    But it’s interesting to see that even in the midst of frustrations, there were good times too! Most things aren’t all good or all bad, I’m learning.

    1. @Kristen- very true. That’s one reason I make sure to schedule in stuff I know I’ll find fun into the weekend. Even when other things go wrong, I still get enough good stuff that I don’t feel too sad.

  5. Oh, Laura, I like how you try to put a good spin on the toddler early wakeups (at least Wegmans was empty on a Sunday morning at 6:30 am!). Not to be giving un-asked for advice, but (a) have you tried one of those grow and glow clocks that change colour when it’s time to get up (i.e., you can’t call for mom or dad until then) and (b) is he still getting good naps every afternoon? A lack of daytime sleep sometimes causes early morning wakeups.

  6. My other half is still pretty averse to planning. So I just plan in MY stuff around the have-to-do kid stuff, and if he doesn’t get his own stuff done, well…. He’s actually just much better than I am at going with the flow, and also sneaking in a work out or a work session whenever there is a free moments, whereas I need everything planned so I’m mentally prepared for it. So it works for both of us…kind of.

  7. I have yet to meet two people in a relationship where both of them are truly into planning. That must exist, and I would love to have a peek into how that kind of dynamic plays out when everyone is organized!

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