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It’s late on Sunday night and another weekend has come and gone. It was a good weekend, but when I head in to work tomorrow and have the obligatory “what did you do this weekend?” conversation with my coworkers I know I will have the same reaction as always – I will stare at them blankly and say “I honestly can’t remember”. And that will be God’s honest truth.
I actually feel a little scared in those moments, like my memory is reallyyyy going. Then I find comfort in this rationalization – it’s not that my memory is failing (well, maybe a little bit), it’s the fact that we didn’t do anything memorable.
But hey, it’s winter. Wait, it’s actually spring. But winter is hanging on for dear life.
Ugh, ok, ok. You got me. Winter weather is not the reason. It’s a year-round phenomenon.
The issue is that we aren’t the greatest at planning fun family activities. Once in a while I’ll plan something in advance, and I become so wrapped up in the actual details of the plan, carrying it out, and the vision in my mind of what the experience is going to be like, that it’s a complete disaster. Alas, I’m left with feelings of disappointment and mom guilt, a husband who gets to tell me “I told ya so” yet again, and two cranky kids.
If that scenario isn’t the case, then our Saturdays usually go something like this:
7 AM: Kids wake up which means we wake up. We are not happy about it. Three year old flies downstairs. I carry the baby downstairs while Adam and I grunt at each other. Adam turns Disney Junior on and we try to decide if one of us is willing to make the trip to Dunkin’ Donuts or if I should put on a pot of coffee.
7:30 – 10:30 am: I have no freaking idea what we’re doing during this time, but I do know that it’s not anything productive.
10:30 – 11:30 am: We engage in our weekly convo of “what should we do today?”. As usual, I state “I want to do something that the kids will enjoy.” We run through our tired list of ideas. Playground? Too cold. Is there an inside gym around here? Nope. Sky Zone? Toddler hour was at 9. We are defeated.
11:30 am – 7 pm: We count the hours down till bedtime. We change diapers, wipe poop butts, feed the kids, squeeze in a bit of cleaning and laundry, watch Jake’s many performances, play on the floor, squeeze in a bit of day drinking, wipe tears, wipe boogers.
7 – 7:30 pm: It’s game time… Bath, pajamas, bed time for the kiddos.
7:30 – 10:30 pm: We finally change out of last night’s pajamas, take showers, and change into clean pajamas aka our Sunday Best. Spend some time together and go to sleep. Wake up on Sunday and repeat.
I wish I could write a post for you about what to do with your kids on the weekends, but I can’t because I have no idea what I’m doing. Good news though – there are tons of them online. I read them multiple times a month. For some strange reason though, most of the ideas aren’t appealing to me, and if they are, they never seem to work out.
What I can give you advice on, however, is what NOT to do with your kids on the weekend.
- Do NOT take your hyperactive 3 year old to the movies for the first time to see a boring animated movie, specifically “Sherlock Gnome”. You will spend a good chunk of time running to the front of the theater to retrieve him until you’ve burned off all the calories from the bucket of popcorn you devoured, give up and leave.
- Do NOT decide to go to an outdoor Easter Egg hunt on a rainy day. Also, do not show up 15 minutes late to the hunt. Your kid will cry. And then you’ll cry because he’s crying.
- Do NOT take your 2 year old and your pregnant self to the local zoo on the one day a year that they offer free admission. You will sweat your ass off, barely be able to move among the crowds, and discover that your kid doesn’t give a shit about animals.
- Do NOT take your 2 year old who doesn’t listen and your pregnant self to the beach. You will spend most of your day trying not to puke as you chase him all over the beach and drag him away from strangers while he chats it up with them.
So yeah, I try. Once in a longggg while, I get it right, but usually not.
When I get it wrong, I realize that we would have had a lot of fun just staying home and spending time together. To my kiddos, those days are actually the best. It doesn’t matter where we are or what we’re doing, as long as we’re together.
I need to stop trying to keep up with the Facebook Jones’ and know that I’m still a damn good mom even though I’m not taking my kids to 10,000 activities every weekend.
I’m going to choose to enjoy my weekends with them, no matter what that looks like. I’m going to slow down. I’m going to [continue to] stay in my jammies all day with them. I’m going to sing and dance with them. Bake with them. Sneak in a glass of wine or two. Oh, what? Watch movies with them. Nap with them. Chase them around the house. Just be with them without distractions.
Because one day soon, when they’re a bit older, they won’t want to stay home with us. They’ll have sports games and birthday parties and much better things to do. They’re so little right now and this time is so fleeting (so they say. Today alone felt like 7 years).
So here are my real tips for what NOT to do with your kids on the weekends – don’t jam pack their weekends with tons of activities. Don’t plan things for them just because you see Perfect Mom’s constant pics on Facebook of all of the wonderful things she has her kids do, or because you think it’s what you’re “supposed” to do. Don’t feel guilty because you stayed home with your kids all weekend. Don’t get upset if what you DO plan doesn’t turn out to be fun – just call it a day and take everyone for ice cream.
And if you do take your kids somewhere and you make some family memories, that’s awesome!!
The takeaway here is – make happy memories. Whether it’s at home or somewhere else.
Oh, and do us moms all a favor and comment below with your favorite activity to do with the kids on the weekend 😉