Monday, January 15, 2018

weekend report / weekend thoughts

NOTE:  It's MLK day today, which is so important in times likes these.  Hoping to explain to the kids what he did and why there is a day in his honor. 
"The time is always right to do what is right." -Martin Luther King Jr.

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I have come to the conclusion that to really enjoy weekends with kids (and I'm hazarding a guess that this might apply to many with children under the age of say, 6) planning and even some negotiation is essential.

There are three potential scenarios that I've seen play out over the course of a weekend at home with kids:

1) Everyone does everything all together.  Neither parent gets any time for themselves.  No one works out.  No one really gets anything done.  Maybe one or both parents manage to 'sneak in' time, which is unsatisfying AND leads to resentment from the opposite spouse (um, did someone just disappear for an unannounced nap or -- worse -- mindless insta-scrolling!?).

2) One party does what they want and the other plays the role of martyr.  (You can guess which gender typically takes which role).  Actually, this really doesn't happen in our house, but I've seen it play out over and over again with friends and blog readers/podcast commenters.

3) Parents discuss what they'd like to do, creating a concrete plan that includes:

- personal time for each adult (exercise, reading, cooking, working, napping, insta-scrolling - whatever the person wants!)

- family time - with some fun activities thought of in advance, because staying home and lazing around with kids A&C's age just doesn't work (G would be fine in her current stage, but she barely counts at this point).

- couples/social time, either a date night / extended family dinner / friend date / whatever.

Scenario #3 is the only one that leaves me feeling satisfied on Monday morning.  This is why I craft a weekend plan every weekend and send it via email, and I am lucky that Josh is very on board with this (I don't think he enjoys scenarios #1 or #2, either).

This weekend was a great example of this - he asked to do a long run + have a ukelele meet up with a friend (yes he is super into this currently, and is sounding great!).  I wanted some time to brainstorm/write and some relaxed time to cook/read/maybe nap.   So, here was my email (and again before someone accuses me of spousal abuse, he really does ask for this if I don't do it!):

saturday
s - ~8-9:30 am time to write, etc 
annabel ballet 10:30 then bday party.  go all together to ballet so we can drop off A w me
post ballet drive a to bday party
brunch near party
pm - playground - outside time, mobile library pickup
josh ukelele-  4 - 5:30?
dinner out all together early?  

sunday 
josh - run in am.  can go at any time but can you be done and showered by 10:30?
trip to jcc to swim
lunch at home
s - ~2-4 time to cook, read a little or nap
pm - playground possibly with friends
din at home


We actually did not end up following this plan to the letter -- it was too cold to swim on Sunday so we ended up going to the children's museum and then ice cream (all 5 of us) and then came back later than my 2-4 pm window.   So, I cooked dinner from around 4:30 - 6:30 and listened to podcasts (with G sleeping/just hanging out in the Ergo -- she eats frequently in the afternoon so it didn't make sense to send her with the others) while Josh took the other two to the park.

And though there were some hiccups (kids were so bad at the restaurant, though the food was great -- try Soul Tavern, locals -- it's a self-described "plant-based gastropub"!), I feel so happy with how we spent our time!  We had a lot of family time, but I got to do some things for ME, too.  Josh got in his desired workout and music time.   There is such a difference between having some time (even if limited) to use at one's discretion versus having none.  And when there are many moving parts, I am not sure how this can possibly happen without careful planning, communication, and discussion.

I am interested in others' thoughts on how they manage their weekends with kids.


Kon-Mari in process!
(during my Saturday AM 'personal' time :) )


growing rapidly


Tunisian lablali soup from Milk Street Magazine
Kids ate various components but not soup itself because sadly I accidentally made it too spicy!

(unfortunately not online, but I do love this mag and recommend subscribing if you enjoy interesting international recipes in Cook's Illustrated style - their former editor Christopher Kimball left that publication to establish this one)