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24 January 2013

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Melanie B

In the spring, summer, and fall Saturdays are family days. We go to the farmer's market. We go out to lunch. We go to a park or to the beach. We leave the house.

In winter it's harder. We sometimes will make a trip to Ikea or take a drive but we tend to hole up more.

On Sunday after Mass we either eat donuts at church or Dom makes pancakes and that means I don't have to deal with getting lunch for everyone. He often makes dinner on either Saturday or Sunday too, giving me a little break from meal preparation. It's a small thing but it does make the weekend stand out.

Also, recently I declared that Sunday afternoons I will take an hour or so to do a little sewing. I'm hoping that once I feel good enough that sitting at my sewing table doesn't sound like torture Lucy will be cooperative and let me have a bit of sewing time.

The idea of getting off by myself on Saturday mornings is really, really attractive and I may try to do that some time in the future, but for now this is when we do fun things as a family and I think that's important too. I'm just not enough of a morning person to get up and out early in the day to do stuff before our family outing. Perhaps when we no longer have afternoon nappers we can shift some of our outings to Sunday afternoons. But that's a few years away at least.

Bearing

I am the only morning person in my family, so I acknowledge that I am a bit spoiled there!

Kim (from IA)

I am energized by time with other women, sans children. I have, on occasion, suggested a 'Mom's morning out' rather than a 'Mom's night out' to my group of friends from church. We meet at or after the 7am Mass and go out for breakfast. We are generally back home by 9:30 or 10(which is about the time E. and the kids are getting out of their PJs). It works well in our family schedule and I am re-energized.

Jenny

I totally fail at weekends. I work full-time so the scenery changes, but the stress level doesn't. I spend most of the weekend desperately trying to catch up on all the stuff that didn't get done during the week. If I go 100% all weekend, the house is almost liveable again by Sunday night. Then it is Monday and it starts all over again. I need a weekend after my weekend.

JMB

I'm home during the week alone from 8:30 to 3:30 so the weekends are a HUGE adjustment for me. First off, I love Friday nights. The inner college girl comes out and I want to go to Happy Hour and hang with husband and friends and drink, laugh and not cook. Sat morning rolls in and it STINKS with four kids doing sports or what not. It usually involves lots of driving and texting and carpooling. Then I have to clean the house ALL day long because it doesn't magically stay cleaned. If kids are around I will assign jobs for them to do, but I have to be there to enforce it. In the meantime my husband is off at the gym and doing his thing on Sats so I have to hold down the fort. Sundays are more or less the same but I try not to do any laundry for a day of rest and we usually eat out or at my mom's house for Sunday dinner so that makes it special, of course we go to Mass on Sundays if we don't tag team Sat night with the kids. Suffice to say, the weekdays are my weekends....

bearing

JMB: "Suffice to say, the weekdays are my weekends...."

Well... at least you do get a weekend... on the weekdays...

I also have an inner college girl who wants to go out on Friday nights. Usually this does not happen.

I am working very hard to discourage my children from playing team sports. So far it has worked great.

Barbara C.

Well, on weekends we don't do school. I try to make sure that my oldest does her homework from regular school on Friday afternoon. And I do try to observe the Sabbath with no laundry or any hard labor that can wait for another day. So, I do take it easier on Sundays, even though I usually stay home.

Every other week or so I go out on a week night for an hour or two. I'll either go to the library or Starbucks, get some dessert, and read or watch a show on my tablet.

I don't count the time I spend grocery shopping by myself as "me" time. I do usually count the time I spend at basketball practice with my oldest because it gives me a chance to socialize with the other parents.

But those of us who do get to get away should be thankful that we have husbands who are willing to take care of the kids so that we can go out. I've known of many husbands who flat out refuse or make the mom feel miserable for "inconveniencing" them to where she feels it's just easier to stay home.

bearing

Seriously, Barbara, you're right about being thankful. Thankful that I'm not a single parent; thankful that we can afford to have me not work for pay; thankful that my husband supports me in the going-out bit.

Jenny

JMB,

Respectfully, why are you spending all day Saturday cleaning house? If everything is in pretty good order by Friday afternoon, surely you can let the major stuff slide until Monday.

I mean there is cooking and dishes and maybe a load of laundry, but I don't see doing anything beyond that on the weekends if I had all week alone to get it done.

JMB

Jenny,
I'm very orderly and neat and I'm so accustomed to pulling the house together after the children leave for school and it stays that way untouched for 8 hours, that when I see clothes strewn on their bedroom floors or the shades drawn in the middle of the day, or wet towels hung over the bannister, I get annoyed. I'm also not good at relaxing if there's a mess to be dealt with. So it's me, not them.

bearing

I was just going to guess "I bet she's used to the house staying clean while she's home alone, so when the kids are home leaving a trail of mess behind them, she feels the need to constantly repair it."

I see I'm right!

I'm the same way about not relaxing in the presence of mess, but since I'm a homeschooler I have to find a middle ground or there'd be nothing done around here but tidying.

I'll say one thing, though - you should just close the door to their bedrooms until Sunday night.

Jenny

Oh I feel you on being an orderly type of person. I am actually a very orderly type and clutter stresses me out, not that you would believe me if you saw the disaster area that is my house, but I don't have time to keep it like I would prefer.

The worst is the first half of pregnancy when I literally cannot spend the weekends cleaning. Oh, the mess that builds up over the weeks. But what else can I do? I just learn to pretend it isn't there and then slowly dig out when my energy returns.

One fear I have about homeschooling (if ever my husband went back to work and I stayed home with the children and we decided to homeschool) is that I would spend way too much time cleaning and not nearly enough time doing school.

bearing

Jenny: "One fear I have about homeschooling... is that I would spend way too much time cleaning and not nearly enough time doing school."

This reminds me, oddly, of the people who hear of my home births and then explain that they would never want one because they wouldn't want to clean up the mess. Not really a good comparison but it popped into my head.

Over years I've figured out that the way for me to deal with it is to schedule a series of quick everybody-helps tidying sessions throughout the day, followed by breaks (so that they're motivated to finish quickly). We tidy just after breakfast, just after lunch, at the end of the school day, and right before bedtime snack. And my husband and I clean up one last time before bed so everything's spic-and-span enough in the morning.

We concentrate only on the areas that *I* can see during the school day, because the ones I can't see don't drive me crazy. I couldn't care less about their bedrooms or the basement playroom, because I never go there. That kind of stuff we make them do on the weekends. I make them do one weekly laundry-sorting-and-putting-away session on Thursday mornings, and I think my husband makes them do it again on the weekends while I'm not there.

Jenny

"This reminds me, oddly, of the people who hear of my home births and then explain that they would never want one because they wouldn't want to clean up the mess. Not really a good comparison but it popped into my head."

I can't really do homebirths because my children fall out and it wouldn't be too hard to imagine having to deliver completely unassisted.

That being said, homebirth is interesting to me and I have wondered about the mess. To me the biggest perk of delivering in hospitals is having someone else clean up the mess. So how do you manage the mess? Does the midwife clean it up or do you have to do it yourself?

bearing

*sigh* The midwife cleans it up.

Kathy

I wish I were better at this; sometimes I hate the weekends. Not because I have the house to myself the rest of the week, but because I have all these expectations of fun! and relaxation! that never seem to come to fruition. I have quite a tirade, but typed out it seems a little petty. Suffice it to say, I support the idea that weekends should be different for Mom too.

Bearing

The thing about weekends I always hate are Sunday afternoons. There was such promise on Friday afternoon, all that time stretching before you -- anything could happen! And n Sunday afternoon you are struck with the reality that you didn't do it. And now it is time to make dinner and finish the school planning.

I should make Mark take us out for dinner on Sunday evenings. Maybe that would fix Sunday afternoons. Or maybe it would make them worse. Who knows. It might be worth the experiment.

Jenny

Ha! I guess it is a dumb question. It's just the hospital is set up for quick and easy cleanup and my house is...not. It's hard for me to wrap my mind around it. I picture massive loads of laundry left for me to wash.

Bearing

I have had four home births and I promise you that I have never personally put into the washer a single towel, sheet, washcloth, or diaper that was soiled with anything that came out of my body during the actual birth.

I expect that my husband and helpful friends might have, but I sure as hell didn't. Who makes a postpartum woman do laundry anytime in the first 2 weeks, anyway?

Bearing

(And if hospitals are so set up for quick and easy cleanup, where is all that staphylococcus coming from? Some of it nearly killed my uncle a couple of weeks ago, so I'm feeling a little bitter towards it.)

Amber

I once had someone ask if I had to buy a new mattress after each home birth! Really, a six dollar vinyl shower curtain, ten bucks worth of chux pads and a set of old sheets does the trick. I have never had to wash anything either, and it all cleans up very easily by bundling up the curtain, old sheets, and chic pads and sticking them in a garbage bag. Very simple.

And I have had an unassisted birth too - accidentally! The baby came very fast and beat the midwife by about 15 minutes. My midwife said that generally if the baby comes that fast, everything is going to be fine, just someone needs to be ready to catch!

But this wanders rather far from the subject... I find Saturday's to be pretty much like the week, sans schooling. We live on property so Saturdays tend to be days where the power tools come out and I keep a close eye on the littles to make sure they stay safe. I sometimes will go into town with them, but it isn't exactly restful! We do make Sundays totally different - a nice family breakfast, Mass, a game or walk, a leisurely and simple dinner (we are on a homemade pizza kick right now). We don't shop, we don't go out to eat, and we try to honor the Sabbath as best we can by not doing unnecessary work ourselves or requiring others to do it for us. It generally feels like just one day off, but it seems like enough. God only rested on one day, right? :-)

Jenny

Well, by quick and easy I was thinking more of surface choices, not infection control. You are definitely more likely to get an infection in the hospital.

I am the one doing laundry postpartum, but that's after a hospital stay. I guess the dynamic would be different if I had been home the whole time.

I would actually love to do a homebirth, but it scares my husband quite a bit. We don't live very close to the hospital. And I would need a midwife willing to move in at 39 weeks! :-D

I don't mean to hijack your thread, but I'm 22 weeks now and have birthin' on the brain.

bearing

No, that's all right, Jenny, I like the topic.

You know, if you have a history of precipitous labor, it's generally a good idea to be prepared for a potential precipitous labor at home -- it does happen (Amber is NOT the only one of my regular readers who has had an unplanned unassisted home birth due to precipitous labor).

LMK if you want suggestions -- the first thing I'd suggest is a slim little manual called "Emergency Childbirth" that our midwife recommends for all her clients.

Amber

I'll have to remember that - even though my husband did just fine when Justin was born, he is definitely nervous about doing it again!

Jenny

I would love some recommendations. When I first went to the OB with this latest pregnancy, she actually suggested my husband come in to get some birthing pointers, just in case.

My husband keeps plants in the tub in our bathroom (don't ask). During my last pregnancy in the last month, I insisted he get them out of there and clean up the tub. I was not going to be a happy camper giving birth unexpectedly amongst his plants!

bearing

Reader bleg for Jenny coming up!

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