Weekend Warrior!

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Ahhhh, weekends!  

Time to relax, kick your feet up and… SNAP OUT OF IT!  

Relaxing weekends at our house were soooo 14 months ago.  In fact, I think the word “relax” has officially been omitted from our family’s dictionary.  And that’s fine. With B and I both working full-time, by the end of the work week, our weekend To Do list is a mile long.  There are the usual must-get-done-no-matter-what tasks such as laundry, grocery shopping, a trip to Costco, recycling, bills and preparing food for the week.  Then there’s the attempt-to-squish-in-if-at-all-possible tasks that seem to migrate from week to week because we always run out of time.  These tasks (taxes, hem B’s jeans, repair button on kids’ shirt, make prints of photos stored on jump drive, install dimmer switch in kids’ bedroom, etc.) seem to be never ending and, in fact, multiply with every passing weekend. 

So, how does a working-family with twins fit in all of the “must do’s”, a few of the “attempt-to do’s” and still have fun, all within a 48-hour time period? 

You become a Weekend Warrior! 

Back in the day, the term Weekend Warrior meant something completely different than it does to me now.  Weekend Warriors escaped right after work (car pre-packed with needed gear the night before), grabbed a quick bite to eat, and headed for the nearest mountain/lake/cabin/ski slope.  It meant that you seized the weekend and all of its relaxed luxuriousness.

Um, not so much any more. 

Now that we’re parents, we seize the weekend by (unfortunately) cramming as many errands and household chores as we possibly can within the 2,880 minutes that we are allotted.  It’s a bit of a whirlwind, not exactly relaxing and hard on your back, but that’s just life these days!  The good news is, with some efficiency, organization and a helluva lot of teamwork, we always have time to get outside and enjoy the Alaskan outdoors with our kidos (pending any crazy weather and illness, of course).  

Without further ado, here are a few things that help us to be a bit more efficient in completing our To Do list so we can maximize our fun during the weekend:

  • MAKE FRIDAY NIGHTS FUN:  On Friday nights after the boys eat their dinner, we pack ’em up and head to Costco!  Fridays are a bit less hectic than going on a Saturday afternoon, yet they still have the usual array of food samples.  A double bonus!  And, as all MoMs know, Costco (BJ’s and Sam’s Club, too!) is one of the only places that has twin-friendly shopping carts (as referenced by Finn & Reid below).  The boys love riding around in the cart, trying out the massage chairs and looking at the huge TVs during our Costco trips.  Some good people watching for the boys and one less item on the weekend To Do list for us! 
  • Costo Kids

  • BE EFFICIENT DURING NAPTIME:  We try to complete most of the household chores while the boys take their naps. That way, when they wake-up, we can head out the door for a fun activity instead of hanging around the house while the kids play and we finish up the breakfast dishes, bills or laundry.  
  • STAY ON TOP OF THE LAUNDRY:  Now that our boys are feeding themselves, it seems like the dirty laundry is multiplying!  I try to start a load of laundry after I get home from work at least twice during the weekday.  Before we bathe the kids, I transfer the clothes from the washer to the dryer.  Then once the kids are in bed, the clothes are ready to be folded.  I don’t mind doing laundry, but I really dislike folding clothes, so spreading the laundry throughout the week helps cut down on the piles and piles of clothes, bedding, towels, etc. that build up by the weekend. 
  • DO A CLEAN SWEEP AFTER BEDTIME (EVERY NIGHT):  Every night after the dudes go to bed, we do a sweep of their main play area.  We place the 15,000 books back on their shelf, throw the blocks and stacking cups back into their holding containers, gather the toys that were hidden in drawers, baskets and behind stereo speakers, and clean up their booster seats for the next day.  It’s nice to spend the rest of the evening in a semi-organized and less “circus-y” state, as well as wake up to a fresh play space, even if it only lasts 1.25 seconds before the kids destroy it once again. 
  • PAY BILLS USING AUTO-PAY:  Before becoming a parent, I actually enjoyed doing bills.  Writing out checks, placing address labels and stamps on envelopes then sending them on their way really helped me know where our money was going.  After the boys were born, however, this (sick) enjoyment that I once had lasted all of about 2 days.  I barely had time to change out of my spit-up stained sweatshirt, let alone write a check!  Now I’ll all about Auto-Pay.  Not only does it save us money (stamp-wise) and time, we are also saving trees because we don’t receive those pesky monthly statements for half as many bills as we used to. 
  • TRADE OFF:  When the kids are sick or the weather is crappy, it’s obviously going to be an indoor-kind-of-day.  When this occurs (and it happened to us a lot this winter because of well below-zero temps and multiple illnesses!), we trade off playing with the kids every 30 minutes or so.  While B watches the kids for 30 minutes, I can focus on making the boys’ beds, chopping veggies for dinner and cleaning the bathroom without having to refill a sippy cup with water, change a diaper, or break up a fight over the stuffed monkey.  When the 30 minutes are up, I feel like I got a few items checked off the To Do list and I can focus 100% of my attention on the boys while Brook picks up the dog poop in the backyard!  :) 
  • FEED ON-THE-GO:  For quite a few reasons, I used to be adament about being home for the boys’ mealtimes.  But in the last few months, I’ve got I bit more relaxed about feeding the boys while we are out and about.  Although it’s a bit of a pain to pack up the boys food, it’s certainly worth the extra time and effort so that you don’t have to rush home when you’re out running errands or enjoying an afternoon hike.  The past few weeks, we’ve also got in the habit of stopping for lunch at a little cafe across the street from the grocery store.  All four of us eat lunch (although the boys mostly people-watch) and then head over to the store to do our weekly shopping.

How does your family fit in a little bit o’ fun on the weekend while still making sure you take care of those have-to tasks that always seem to be looming over us?

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7 thoughts on “Weekend Warrior!”

  1. I feel like I could have written this myself, with some details changed. One thing that has helped me with laundry is making a game out of it with my 2-year-olds. We talk about the colours of the clothing and what body parts they belong to. Once folded, they help me put away everything that belongs in the nursery. Sure, they have to hug every blanket, requiring me to refold them, but it’s great parent-and-toddlers time.

    Another popular game in our house is “Clean Up”. My girls like to take turns supervising. Beware my wrath, should you try to tell my children that picking up toys is anything other than a game!

    My other lifesavers are the Scooba and Roomba (robotic vacuum cleaner and mop) to clean our floors. Turn them on, walk away, and the floors are clean when I’m done with whatever task I’ve chosen.

    My husband and I love to cook, so we’ll do one huge kitchen session on Sunday to generate enough leftovers to last us until Wednesday. The girls like to imitate us in their toy kitchen. On Wednesday night, after the twins are in bed, I do another round of cooking (usually prepping a slow cooker meal) to last us through Friday night. Saturday is usually the one day we get a freshly cooked meal, every meal.

  2. Love love love this post. To maximize our weekends, we do a little bit every day during the week, just like you do. We also incorporate the boys into some of the chores now that they are a little older. They love to clean up toys, unload the silverware from the dishwasher, put wet clothes in the dryer, and “help” with yardwork.

    We also cut corners by having a cleaning service and ordering stuff online.

  3. Great post Carrie! I especially liked the 30 minutes on 30 minutes off approach…might have to implement that. I think my husband is in shock most weekends, as he usually only sees the kids for 0-60 minutes a day.

  4. This is a nice post. As you are probably aware (but nobody is really aware until it actually happens), this issue will only become more complex as the birthday parties and sports teams begin.

    We are a full-time working couple with three children (all under 13), and adding the issue of limited time to limited money leads to a very full life.

    Our strategy is to cram as many errands as we can into the week. I’ll throw in a load of laundry before leaving for work; pay bills after the children go to bed; go shopping late one night.

    There are two things we try, relatively successfully, not to sacrifice. First are our meals together. We have a sit-down dinner together almost every night. Second, is our “family activity” on Sunday. By cramming our errands into the other days of the week we make a real effort to get out and do something fun as a family on Sunday – be it a bike ride, a trip to the museum, ice-skating, a movie.

    The 30 minutes on/off might work for you, but to feel regenerated I need a larger block of “off” time. It’s not as if the weekends leave me refreshed and relaxed, but more often than not I look forward to them and return to work a little saner on Monday.

  5. I LOVE your idea about the 30 minutes and then switch out. Right now it’s mostly me, while hubby gets to do all his “chores” around the house since he thinks i have a break everyday all day! LOL…little does he know i keep this house going! I’m going to have to mention that to HIM today! :) Since i’m a SAHM things are a bit different but somewhat the same. We do the autopay stuff and love it. BUT we do our Sams trips bright and early Sat morning before most of the world is awake. We wake up early, feed kids, and go. Normally we get there about 8ish and it’s empty…we have a company sams club card so we get the benefits of going really early.
    We also do the clean sweep at night…and like you it lasts about 2 minutes..but i also have this clean feeling in the morning for a bit. We’re not big on feeding on the run…what do you feed them when you do that? Real food or just snacks?
    I also, fill bottles and sippy cups with milk at night or when the dishes are clean…that seems to help me some. When they were babies i’d make 8 bottles of dry formula per child and put them in the cabinet with the glasses…then when it’s time to feed just fill up with water and that helped a lot when they were babies. If your babies are on bottles and dry formula…that is the way to go.

    I do clothes at least once a day to keep up more like 2-3 loads and then 2 loads of dishes…between my twins and my 3.5 year old that thinks she needs to change 5xs a day(and then again when daddy comes home from work b/c he changes out of his work clothes) i have a ton of clothes! Cant’ wait to have two more 3.5 year olds going through this clothes changing thing! LOL!

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