"...and how to make sure you get one." A post at SteadyMom.com that I heartily endorse.
There was a time, especially when my children were much younger, when my weekend days mostly matched all my days. Steve stayed home from work, which we loved, but the basic rhythm and routine of life for the most part stayed the same....
I've shed that load now, and I want you to be free, too.
why you need a weekend:
* because moms work really, really hard
* because resignation from motherhood is not an option
* because a burnt out, exhausted mama isn't a good one
* because having your weekdays and your weekend look mostly the same is a recipe for frustration and resentment
I am right on board with this.
(I've never felt this thing that so many other moms claim to have felt, this idea that it was wrong to take time to oneself to recharge, this idea that you were supposed to give and give and give and that you should feel bad for wanting to get away from the children once in a while. Sometimes I feel vaguely guilty about not feeling guilty, but only for a minute.)
(I've needed time away from people in general my whole life. Even the people I love most. So it is not particularly surprising that I should need time away from toddlers, preschoolers, and tweens.)
(One thing that did surprise me, delightfully, is that I never felt a need to get away from the little ones until they started talking. Handy for a nursing mom.)
+ + +
My method for having a weekend is to leave the house. For years I have taken Saturday mornings as a sort of mother's sabbath. Mark stays home with the children and I slip out the door before anyone is up.
Rarely are they filled with relaxation; I usually cram a bunch of errands into them, errands that I don't want to do with kids along -- I shop for clothes for myself, or I get my hair cut, that kind of thing. I take myself out for breakfast, and sometimes for lunch, too. I go to the gym. I go to Mass and Confession on first Saturdays. I sit in a coffee shop and catch up on email and blogging.
This is something I look forward to ALL WEEK. Lately, if Mark has to be out of town on a business trip over the weekend, I have taken to hiring a babysitter for a few hours -- can't usually do it first thing in the morning Saturday, but I can put it off till Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon if I want. It's that important. I told Mark that his life insurance policy has to have enough money in it for me to hire a babysitter at least once a week if he ever gets hit by a bus.
+ + +
Not everyone wants to spend their weekend (even if it's just a few hours of it) out of their house. There are a few suggestions over at SteadyMom's post for making weekend days look different from weekdays even if you don't leave home.
Obviously, if you're churchgoing, that's one thing that makes the weekend "look" different (because you're going someplace you don't go the rest of the week) but it strikes me that it may take some doing to make the Sunday-morning out-the-door-rush feel a little different from the Monday-morning out-the-door-rush.
How about you? What steps do you take to make your weekend really a weekend?