It’s Friday night, the kids are asleep and you have the whole weekend ahead of you. You can stay up late and watch a movie or read that book that’s been collecting dust on your nightstand. The possibilities are endless! But, you’re so tired. So very tired. What time is it anyways; it must be at least 11:00. (Glances at clock) What? 8:33! That can’t be right. You are old. Remember when you used to start your night at 8:30? Those days are long gone. Oh well, if you pull the shades down on the bedroom windows you can be asleep by 9:00.
2. Start a Project
A late night perusal of Pinterest turns into a Saturday morning trip to Lowe’s. You think to yourself, “We have the whole day to work on this!” But you don’t. Because one hour into building swings around the campfire/making a headboard out of covered foam board/making a wine rack out of pallet wood/organizing your kitchen with dollar store items, one of your kids has a meltdown. This requires one parent to tap out of the project to preside over nap time. Thirty minutes later, the other kids are hungry. After preparing food, eating food, putting away food, and cleaning up the kitchen, the “whole day” is now three hours. I said start a project, I never said anything about finishing it.
3. Take Turns Napping
The best part of the weekend: tag-team napping. This deal is negotiated mid-week and executed with practiced precision when the weekend arrives. While one parent takes a guilt-free snooze, the other parent entertains the kids. The sleeping parent must not be bothered at all costs. Parent on kid-duty does whatever it takes to ensure uninterrupted napping for the other one – sugary snacks, movies, trips to the park, threats...nothing is out of bounds. Because that parent knows that soon, very soon, it will be their turn to rest their eyes in the heavenly oasis of a down comforter.
4. Search For a Missing Item
“Mom, have you seen my flip flops/bracelet/Xbox remote/plastic McDonald’s toy/picture I colored two days ago?”
“Honey, do you know where I put my earbuds/phone/wallet/sunglasses?”
Do you know that black hole in the washing machine that steals all of the socks? I swear that vacuous field has expanded to encircle our entire house.
5. Regret Plans Made During the Week
Remember on Tuesday, when you still had some energy and you proclaimed at dinnertime, “Let’s go to the beach this weekend!” The kids cheered and you patted yourself on the back for planning a fun, outdoor activity for the whole family. Well Sunshine, now it’s Saturday and you have to spend the early morning hours packing up all the necessary items for a family of 5 to spend the day in the hot sand. Suits, towels, sunscreen, extra clothes, blanket, cooler, beach toys, sandals, snacks, sanity. Don’t even think about backing out now. Have you ever tried changing plans on your kids once they’ve started a countdown (4 days until the beach, 3 days, 2 days, tomorrow!)?
6. Buy Food Prepared By Someone Else
It is a love/hate relationship we parents have with restaurants. On one hand, you have to control little children out in public who have access to straw wrappers, glass cups, and metal knives. On the other hand, you don’t have to prepare a meal. It can finally be your turn to place an order and have it delivered to your table. It might not be hot by the time you get to eat it (after feeding the baby and cutting up your son’s steak and taking your daughter to the bathroom, again), but the important thing is that you didn’t have to cook it and, even better, you don’t have to clean it up. And, if you choose your restaurant wisely, you can enjoy an adult beverage while yelling at your kid to stop crawling underneath the booth. Win!
7. Put Away All of the Laundry
Hahaha…nope. That job will never be done. And let’s just say if, by some miracle, you do find an hour of free time to put it all away, why on earth would you waste that precious time doing housework when you are still two episodes behind on The Bachelorette? Priorities!
8. Attend a Sporting Event
Pack up the lawn chairs folks; this is going to be a long day. Soccer in the Spring, baseball in the summer, football in the fall, hockey in the winter. Whatever the season, there are games to attend and children to cheer. You will spend a good part of your day at the field, but your children will learn valuable lessons such as teamwork, sportsmanship, and the necessity of snacking between every period. Seriously, can we stop with the snacks during sports? It is possible for my child to run down a soccer field for 45 minutes without an orange slice or bag of gummies. I’ll get him a Gatorade and a hot dog at the concession stand after the game and he'll be fine. And don’t even get me started on the decorated snack bags handed out after the games. You saw that idea on Pinterest, didn’t you? I’m just telling you right now, when it is my turn to bring snacks for the entire team, I’m unloading my pantry into plastic Wal-Mart bags and calling it good. What, you’ve never had soy sauce in your snack bag? Just sprinkle it over the ramen noodles I put in there too.