I’m really coming to appreciate sunny Saturdays at home with the family. They’re beginning to feel like mini holidays. Provided we have no plans, no kids’ parties or other places to be, Saturday has become the day we don’t leave home.
It’s taken eight months of my daughter being at school for us to have this real weekend distinction. It took me that long to train myself out of lazy parenting habits that were making my life impossible.
Before school entered our lives, the children only had childcare two or three days a week. For the rest of the time we did as we pleased. Some days would be busy; trips to the farm or the zoo. Others would be lazy pyjama days, when breakfast lunch and tea were picnics or in front of the TV. No wonder my children didn’t want to go to nursery – every day at home was a holiday, for them at least. No wonder, also, that the rigid structure of a school-plus-nursery week left me reeling.
Finally, though, I’ve figured some rules that help make life work, and much of it is about the distinction between week day and weekend. On week days children must be dressed before going downstairs. No exceptions. At the weekend they can wear pyjamas all day for all I care – it means less washing. On week days breakfast is eaten at the table, although programs can be watched on the ipad. As a result my daughter often gets her own breakfast and program before I’m even up. Weekends mean two hours of sofa snuggling, television, and pancakes if it’s Mummy’s early shift (dry cereal if it’s Daddy’s!)
That brings me on to the main reason why I love Saturdays at home. Hubbie and I divide and conquer. We’re both struggling with life at the moment, meaning all we want to do is sleep. On Saturday I get the early shift in bed, 7am-9am, to sleep/work/read. When I get up hubbie goes back to bed until late morning (lunchtime). I get out some craft, build a den, de-poop the lawn, and let the kids loose.
The rest of the day is spent doing our own thing. Ironing, working, lawn mowing, with one eye kept on the kids. I chuck food at everyone from time to time and pack all the mess away while the grubby kids are in the bath.
It’s a day when there is no rush. No, “we’re late”. No “should”. The kids learn to play, to be bored, to resolve their own issues. (The dog paces around and drives us all crazy, but you can’t have everything.) And hubbie and I get to potter, to just be.
Of course, rainy Saturdays are hellish. Summer, you are welcome!