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5 Ways Weekends Change When You Become a Parent

Photograph by Twenty20

TGIF tends to lose its luster when you become a parent. I don’t even remember the last time I went out on a Friday night that didn’t involve getting pizza with the kids. It’s not that I don’t have fun with my husband and children, it’s just different—and with three rambunctious boys at home, it can get loud and wild. In fact, lately I find myself looking forward to Mondays, when my older kids are back in school and we're all back to a routine that helps me hold onto my sanity.

Here are just five ways weekends change when you become a parent.

1. Sleeping in is not happening

I'm always amazed how my 3-year-old never ceases to rise with the sun when the rest of our household is sleeping soundly on a Saturday morning. Little kids have an inner alarm clock that seems to be far more reliable than any other clock on the planet. Even when you’re hoping for a relaxing day at home and have little to nothing planned, your child will still be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at first light, waiting by your bedside and eager to start the day.

2. You have a full-time weekend job now: entertaining your children

I'm a stay-at-home (and work-from-home) mom, so it feels like my "work" is constant. Never is that more apparent than on the weekends. We try to have more downtime on Saturdays and Sundays, which I feel is as important for my kids as it is for my husband and me, but that can only go on for so long. The fact is, keeping my kids busy keeps them from attacking each other and the house, and that means planning lots of activities that ultimately leave me exhausted. Whoever said "Sunday is a day of rest" was forgetting about moms—especially moms of small children.

Before kids, my husband and I spent our weekends traveling, eating in restaurants and going to movies.

3. You no longer have much "fun money"

Before kids, my husband and I spent our weekends traveling, eating in restaurants and going to movies. We worked hard during the week, so we could play hard on the weekends. Now that we have three boys who eat as much as a high school football team, our spending money has significantly diminished, and most weekend activities involve Disney movies and burgers.

4. Your social life struggles

My girlfriends and I have been trying to plan a simple weekend girls' trip for months, and it's beginning to feel like it will never happen. Life becomes much more complicated when you and your friends have kids and getting together becomes something you only talk about doing but have a much harder time ever getting around to accomplish.

5. It's no longer about you

Before kids, weekends are all about doing what you want to do. When you have kids, it becomes about what they want to do. Yes, your hands will be full, but so will your heart as you watch them grow up before your eyes. One day, they will even start sleeping in on the weekends and you may find yourself longing for the days where the first thing you saw in the morning was their eager face greeting you, ready and waiting for the next adventure.

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