Weekend Blueprint Approach
Before having children, I never went into the weekend with much of a plan. Sure, there would be a restaurant reservation here or a dinner party there. But the rest was pretty much freestyle. I’d run, do laundry, blog, shop leisurely for groceries, read, do some work, watch tv — admittedly, it sounds pretty nice to me right now.
I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy my weekends at home with A&C — to the contrary, there are so many cozy moments and fun times. There are definitely more smiles per hour, but there is much less down time. And it can also start to feel monotonous, especially when I’m doing it solo. I know I’ve definitely woken up on some of Josh’s weekend call mornings (at 6 am to a rousing round of “Mommy, mommy! I woke up!”) and thought oh dear GOD how am I going to fill the next 13 hours?!
A few months ago, I decided that I just needed to plan more. The cure to everything, right?! But seriously — having just a little bit of structure in our weekends goes a LONG way. And with 2, I’m finding it even more valuable. All I do is sit down with my planner sometime during the week and make sure that each day has a morning and afternoon activity. Done, and DONE. Then I mentally fill in the gaps. I also hire a babysitter for 2-3 hours during one afternoon when I’m going to be alone all weekend. This way, I can have time to catch up (work, work out, whatever) and breathe.
This weekend, as an example:
~9 AM: grocery store trip (my first with both! I know I do not deserve a medal for this but I was still pretty proud of myself. and it went well 🙂 )
~10:30 AM: playdate! I met up with one of A’s school friends (and her mom) and we all went to the park. Lovely.
~12:30 PM: lunch, then nap routine + nap for A ]
~5:00 PM: 4 block trek to the grandparents’ for play with A&C’s cousins, dinner, and to watch California Chrome win the Preakness. (this may have been the first horse race i’ve ever seen, but it was pretty exciting. I’d watch again!)
~7:30 PM: bedtime for C, then A
~8:30 PM: ahhh, ME TIME.
~8:30 AM: lazy morning watching Sesame Street for an hour
~10:00 AM: swimming + playtime with the cousins + grandparents again
~12:00 PM: home for lunch and then A’s nap
~3:30 PM: babysitter R arrives! I worked on patient charts for an hour, paid bills, cleaned up, and showered. Not terribly exciting, but if I hadn’t done that then I wouldn’t be relaxing and writing this now 🙂
~6:30 PM: R leaves. Dinner, bedtime, and me-time progress similarly to Saturday.
I realize that this is probably such a DUHHHHH post. But it took me months to figure out that I really had to have an ‘anchor’ for each AM and PM to keep me (and A, and probably C) sane and happy. Sometimes we’ve done even simpler things (AM: playground trip).
Usually I also have a rough idea of dinner plans for both nights and workouts for me. (This weekend I did nothing. I just needed a break.)
This weekend in particular ended up being really nice. I felt like Annabel and I had good bonding time, which hadn’t happened in a while. In fact, by the end she started acting almost too clingy, but I missed that so I didn’t mind too much. C was his gentle, chill, and charming self. I am so glad that he is content to just sit and watch what’s going on around him most of the time, and will be sorry to see this stage end. Really, my only complaint about the whole weekend is that I got 4 mosquito bites — I happen to a total magnet AND very very itchy (i.e., they’ll wake me up for nights on end). Off to borrow some of A’s prescription-strength steroid creams and hope for the best!