Every Friday evening Marc and I settle down and discuss our weekend plans. The weekends, to some extent, are fairly prescriptive. We have a routine we have to follow in order to pick up my stepson and get the usual chores out of the way. However, it’s essential that every weekend feels like a true break from the normal working week. Marc and I both work full-time and so weekends are precious. Here are our five tips for making your weekend feel longer.
Equal amounts of grown-up time vs. children time
The weekends for us are as much a time to sync back up with our children as they are to sync back up with each other. Marc and I have different personality traits and different habits. As with all relationships, ours takes work. I need Marc’s undivided attention to feel heard and Marc needs to have contact with me and a close proximity. This means we have to make time to ensure that happens. On the weekends we make sure we spend evenings (once the kids are in bed) playing board games, talking and using that time to have conversations that important. This time makes the weekend feel like we have achieved the same closeness we would have on a weekend away. To me that’s invaluable.
Make mealtimes special
We went out for lunch today, it was perfectly lovely and I thoroughly enjoy eating out with my family but I also believe that same feeling can be created at home. We can’t afford to eat out often and we enjoy cooking so it makes sense that the weekends become a time to spend a little longer on making our family meals. By encouraging the kids to take part in the menu planning and ensuring that they have a say in the food we make means that by the time we sit down to eat they are excited. The anticipation, making the food choices, having good food to eat…these are all part and parcel of the eating experience. If one or two meals on the weekend feel special this can help to make the weekends feel a bit more like a celebration.
Get out the house, come rain or shine
There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing choices. Ok…so sometimes it is pretty grotty out there but getting out into the countryside, visiting the beach, walking in a park, traipsing through the woods is very much a part of our free time (as you may have guessed from some of our previous posts!). There’s something hugely satisfying about a cold nose, rosy cheeks and aching legs. There’s a sense of accomplishment and time well spent when you get out into nature.
Be selfish, make time for yourself
Sitting reading, building a shed, paper cutting, gardening…whatever brings you joy set time aside to actually do it. Nothing makes your weekend feel shorter than getting to Sunday evening and realising you haven’t done anything for yourself. Whatever it is that makes you feel good, make it happen. Even if it’s just a 30 min soak in the bath. This time allows you to shake off the chores, shake off parenthood, shake off the week at work. It allows you time to intentionally focus on yourself. You deserve a break too. Weekends should provide that. Come Monday morning you will be thanking yourself for it.
It’s so important to play, it’s a brilliant way to connect with your kids but it also works as a great way to reconnect with your inner child. The weekend can offer you the opportunity to get down on the floor and join your kids’ world of dinosaurs or pirates or spaceships. I find myself all too often saying “no” to playtime. I have chores, washing, tidying, hoovering. We all know those things can wait but how can get the dull stuff done and still make time for play? Set a timer. A simple timer can help you do both. Spend 30 mins doing chores and then when the timer goes off…go play. Sometimes we just need a little reminder to stop and enjoy our kids.
When it comes to time we never have enough. The weekends are so precious and they are not always filled with the things we want to do in an ideal world but being intentional about the time when you can will help you ensure a more relaxing and fulfilling weekend.