Whether you’re a working mother, a stay at home mom, or something in between you’re busy. You’re always so busy, especially during the week. You’re either at work, running the carpool, taking kids back and forth to various practices or appointments. Once you’ve finally made it home for the evening you’re cleaning house, making dinner and washing dishes until you run out steam and crash. There’s just no time to hang out with your kids or spend time with your family. It’s taking all of your time and energy to just get through the week. Then the weekend rolls around instead of taking advantage of that time you feel like you should be catching up on everything you didn’t get to during the week. Again, you’re left with no down time. So stop doing it.
I’m fortunate enough now to work from home, but it hasn’t always been that way for me and don’t let that title fool you. Working from home still takes a lot, if not more, of your time and concentration. I don’t even have the option of “leaving the office” because my office is here. I’ve been known to work until 2 or 3 in the morning, just because my work is constantly right in my face. I was getting that same feeling; after work, kids and household chores there just wasn’t any time left. So, I stopped doing those things on the weekends.
During the week it’s inevitable to have to keep your home half-way put together. If you don’t do a little here and there through the week you’ll end up with Mount Everest in your sink and a gaping black hole of laundry in your washer. It’s part of the weekday routine; work, chores, dinner, baths, bed. It’s part of being a grown up, no matter how much we don’t like it from time-to-time. But there comes a time where you have to step back and decide what’s really important for today.
I seemed to be spending my entire weekend trying to play catch up on all the little things I didn’t get to during the week only to turn around and start it all over again on Monday. It just wasn’t working. I wasn’t getting to spend the kind of time I wanted to with my kid and my family. I started feeling like I was just running in circles trying to keep all of this stuff done and to get myself “caught up” through the weekend, and for what? Those dishes weren’t going anywhere. They would still be there Monday evening after dinner. That laundry could wait until Tuesday night while the kids were in the tub. Nobody said it HAD to be done today. The weekend is meant for downtime and I was going to start treating it as such.
Of course, it drove me a bit crazy at first. I constantly felt to urge to get up and get something done. But, eventually I settled into it. I started making simple dinners on weekend nights; pizza’s, crockpot dinners anything that didn’t require a lot of effort, and I invested in some paper plates. We started chilling on the couch as a family and Saturday nights became pizza and movie night, instead of catch up on chores night. We started taking trips to the park or just going on a short walk instead of fighting our way through laundry all day. I was finally able to spend some time with my family. Those few dishes in the sink were worth it.
When it comes down to it, those dishes will always be there. That laundry will not sprout legs and run away (no matter how badly we wish it would sometimes). It’s OKAY if your kids grab their school clothes from a basket Monday morning. But today, right now, this is the only time that you will get this particular moment with your kid. Next weekend they’ll be another week older. Dishes will be there forever, this time with your child won’t be.
So, do your thing during the week. Get that laundry done and tackle those dishes. Keep those kids on schedule and work that job or carpool like a boss. But, this weekend try to take a step back from all of it for once. Spend a whole day just playing with your kids, or doing something fun with your family. Let those dishes sit; they will still be there Monday night. Buy some paper plates and cheap pizzas and camp out in the living room floor binge watching Netflix. Introduce your kids to E.T or Grease. (They’ll love it. Mine did.) Don’t worry about that laundry and ignore the big Kool-Aid spill in front of your refrigerator. Just for the weekend, be present. Spend time with the ones you love and stop expecting so much from yourself. You are a mother well before you are an employee or a housekeeper and sometimes certain things are just more important.