The weekdays are a constant marathon of school to class to play dates and on and on. Then the weekends arrive. We run around from activity to errand to birthday party. Weekend and weekdays start to blur into one long endless obligation. But Dad is home on the weekends, so shouldn’t the load be cut in half? Why are we still so tired? Why do the weekends not give us the break we keep expecting?
A girlfriend recently left the working world to become a full time SAHM. She had feelings of anxiety and was overwhelmed by them before her first week even started. I encouraged her but didn’t gloss over SAHM challenges. It’s tough and tiring but, of course, extremely rewarding.
It was a tough first week when she had one baby with croup while trying to get into a groove as a SAHM and acclimate her toddler to a new schedule. Finally, the weekend arrived. Her husband was with the kids. On his watch the baby nibbled the toddlers poop while he was trying to change a diaper. She texted me in frustration and exhaustion, “How is it that we’re more tired when we have help!!”
That was just her first week as a SAHM! It’s true though, we are just as busy on the weekends as we are during the week days. Shouldn’t it feel a little lighter if there are two parents home to divide and concur that to do list? The weekends often times feel like more work.
Didn’t You Know?
After stewing about this a little… One of the biggest problems I noticed in our house is that do to’s are not always verbalized. It’s more along the lines of me thinking, “The bedding needs to be washed, my other half should wash the table and counters while I get on top of this,” or “That indoor playground sounds cool, maybe a play date with our friends together!” When I’m rushing out the door to get to the play date on time my husband is clueless and wondering why I’m rushing everyone out the door to do our usual Sunday morning grocery shopping. Or, I’m ticked off when I finish up the laundry and the kitchen is left for me to still have to clean. Can’t you read my mind?!
Even though it’s the same amount of work, it almost feels like more because there’s an assumption that I won’t have to do some of the things on my list. The (un-communicated) list will be split up.
No Rest for the Weary
The other big chuck of it is, it’s hard maintaining the same momentum of your busy life constantly. More downtime is needed than what we give ourselves and our family. Saturday morning arrives and you just want to check out. Can I check out on the weekend when we are finally all together? Isn’t this family time? I really want to get caught up with cleaning, or maybe sleep. Am I a bad mom and wife for not wanting to spend quality time together when we only have the weekend to do so?
My mom guilt gets the best of me and I end up either continuing on with the constant go go go, or I take the break I need but feel bad about doing so most of the time.
Break Up Break Time
The past couple weeks, we have been doing less on the weekends and splitting up more. Thursday nights my husband and I try to have a mini house meeting and review what we want to do over the weekend. If shopping needs to be done, most of the time I will go off on my own while Dad and the kids go to the gym. We also say no to a lot more birthday parties. If we are going to a birthday party it has to be someone our kids are close with or one of my mom friends. No more rando class mate parties, sorry not sorry.
Our mini house meetings help to keep everyone in the loop of what we will be doing on the weekends and also helped reduced an overstuffed schedule. Doing less on the weekends has decreased the pressure to get to the next activity so we can enjoy the activities we are at while we are there. I’m sure there are other steps we can take to lighten our weekend load. Open to ideas, please let me know how you reduce the weekend overload!