I fall for the same lie every weekend. Come Friday, I get all excited, thinking, Yay, the weekend is here. Finally, a chance for me to relax, unwind and enjoy all the good things in life.
But come Saturday morning, reality hits me like a ton of bricks, and I realize that there really isn’t a weekend when you’re a mom. Weekends where I would sleep in, unwind and do whatever I please are a thing of the past — a thing of ancient history, really.
I work full time during the week. And when I’m not working, I’m in charge of my kids. They’re both in school now, but they still need plenty of attention. I mean, plenty. Between after school activities, homework and mealtimes (apparently my kids are starving from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.), there's pretty much no time during my week for anything besides kids and work.
When the weekend finally arrives, I'm left with everything freaking else. First, I do massive grocery shopping for my family. I have to get everything we need for the week because I rarely have time to hit the store any other time. So, that kills half of Saturday.
Then I have to clean the house, which doesn’t just involve dusting and mopping, but also decluttering all the junk that has piled up on every available surface throughout the week. Another few precious weekend hours down the drain.
Don’t even get me started about laundry. Laundry is actually the only chore our family outsources because our duplex doesn’t have a washer or dryer. Still, laundry means schlepping all the stuff (SO much stuff) to the laundromat and then picking it up and putting it away, which kills another hour.
And yes, if you’re wondering, my kids and husband help. Well, a little. My kids do some decluttering every weekend. My husband schleps the laundry to the laundromat. He also keeps the kids out of my hair while I grocery shop and clean (this is huge!).
It’s not to say that I'm ungrateful for my kids or my family, but that it can be really hard, demoralizing and downright depressing when you so rarely get a break.
But so much of it falls on my shoulders by default and I find myself feeling cranky AF during the weekend. Angry, resentful — you name it. It’s partly because I have an expectation that the weekend is when I will finally get a much-needed break — a few hours of peace and fun — and then I find myself sorely disappointed.
It’s not that there isn’t any relaxation during the weekend. Saturday nights, we try to do a family movie night or some other fun activity. While that can be enjoyable, it’s not exactly a break, if you know what I mean. Someone is always complaining about said movie, someone always needs another cup of water, a different snack, etc.
Date nights happen sometimes, but they are hard to come by. It’s difficult to find reliable and affordable babysitting around here, and we are usually too busy and overwhelmed to make it happen.
The only saving grace that is that my kids are finally old enough to let my husband and me sleep in during the weekend. Yup, that means throwing the iPad at my little one and probably running to get him a bowl of cereal at some point, but at least one or both of us get to catch up on sleep during those few sacred morning hours.
I don’t have any real answers here. I’m hoping that as my kids get older, I will be able to get more of my chores and errands done during the work week and not be swamped on the weekend. I’m also hoping I can figure out ways to pencil in some more adult time — date nights or “me time."
Until then, I’m just going to be honest and say that weekends when you’re a mom pretty much suck — or are basically nonexistent. It’s not to say that I'm ungrateful for my kids or my family, but that it can be really hard, demoralizing and downright depressing when you so rarely get a break.
Especially when you so desperately need one.