Taking Back Our Weekends

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Categories Attitude, Balance, Family, Organization, Parenting, Preschoolers, Routines, Time Management

So this is what it feels like to be a full-time working mom of three. My posts have been few and far between lately… because working has been seriously kicking my ass.

With a three-year-old and two ten-month-olds, attempting to do well at another job sometimes is just. too. much. I am thoroughly exhausted most of the time, both physically and mentally. Teaching 120 high school freshmen is both mentally and emotionally demanding. I am “on” every single moment of every single class period, and I honestly think it’s just as difficult as my first job as a mommy. I am flat out drained at the end of each day. And I usually don’t get help with bath/bedtime, so there is no reprieve for me until 8pm, when all the kids are down. But by then there is no energy left for anything else either.

Which is why we’ve been using our weekends as our catch-all. Laundry gets done on weekends, mail gets read on weekends, bills get paid on weekends, grandparents get visited on weekends, grocery gets bought on weekends, chores and errands and trips to the library and keeping in touch with friends. It was getting so that our weekends were busier than our weekdays. It was getting so that any time we had for a breather we were using as down-time. Much needed time to rejuvenate, to relax, to unwind.

But I started noticing that our kids were getting left to fend for themselves. Of course they were fed and cared for, and their physical needs were met, but beyond that we just had nothing left to give. With time at such a premium, we found ourselves arguing about how it should get allotted to each grandparent, how much of our weekends we could devote to any activities, and just to complicate things even further, we still had to account for all that baby-napping we have going on. It’s just really been stressful.

One day I had an epiphany. I don’t want to live my life this way. I don’t want it to be forgotten in a whirlwind of running here and rushing there. I want to spend it together, as a family, enjoying each other’s company, making memories. My children will never be this age again. Our lives will never be here again. I want to cherish our weekends.

So I sat down with Husband and had a serious conversation about how we could rethink the use of our time. By no means are we any less busy, and our time-budget issues haven’t all been magically resolved, but our mentality has since changed. We are now committed to spending quality time together, regardless of what we’re doing. We are going to be present, in the moment, for our children and our family. We do not allow ourselves to hide in another room surfing our iPhones while our children are awake. We eat together, as a family. No electronic devices during mealtime. Whenever possible, we gate ourselves in with our kids to roll around, crawl, jump, tickle, get slobbered on, and giggle with them in the playroom.

What a wonderful way to de-stress.

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lunchldyd is mom to 3 year old boy/girl twins and their 5.5 year old sister. She is now teaches part-time to juggle the needs of her young children. When not at work and the kids are asleep, she is addicted to watching TV and sometimes sacrifices sleep to read in bed. She lives in the Los Angeles suburbs with her husband, three kids, and two dogs.

4 thoughts on “Taking Back Our Weekends”

  1. lunchldyd, what a wonderful insight! It makes me so sad when I hear parents complain about what a burden their children are to them and how they can’t wait to get away. I feel as you do, that this time is so fleeting, and these memories and feelings are what are going to bolster our kids throughout their lives. Yes, things need to get done, but they can be done in a way that puts family connections first. Thanks for being such an inspiration.

  2. Thanks for sharing! Lying on the floor with babies and toddlers is such a fun way to play with them! My 3.5 year olds still love climbing all over me. And it is a de-stresser (most of the time). It’s when we are fully engaged, and not thinking about that to-do list, that we can actually relax and enjoy our kiddos, which is why we had kids in the first place right? To enjoy them! Good luck figuring out your time balances. Sounds rough. I haven’t worked outside the home since having my kids, but I can only imagine how stressful and taxing it all is!

  3. Yes girl, preach it! Parents working outside the home + twins = very intentional planning for the times together in the evenings and weekends.

    I’m so glad to hear from another twin mom being honest about time constraints. I’m currently writing about work-life balance and just feel “exposed”.

  4. Thumbs up for reworking your weekends Mom and Dad. I too am without help during bath/bed time and some days dinner. When I’m exhausted and drained I try to remind myself to enjoy every drop of this journey- we only travel it once!

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