If you ask a parent how their lives have changed since having children, they will most likely mention the word “weekends” in the first or second sentence.
Before we had children, we were the ultimate lazy couple. We may or may not be out of bed by 11am, there would be at least one meal a day eaten outside of the house, and the endless hours of telly were quite spectacular. Yes, we were good old fashioned Couch Potatoes.
We would go “out-out” every once in a while, and we would bask in the hangovers the next day, doing good impressions of corpses, barely moving from one end of the day to the next only to satisfy the munchies.
Cinema trips were frequent, and I don’t recall ever having trouble staying awake until the end of the film!
We might take a walk around town, head to to the Whitewater for a browse, stick our nose in to Kildare Village to see what the rich people were buying. There was no rush to go anywhere, be anywhere, or do anything.
Special occasions were celebrated enthusiastically, there was usually a hotel room involved, imagine!
Housework was like…what? And laundry? Ah shur they have only been hanging there for 4 days they will be grand for another while…
Then we had children.
And for the first few months, nothing really changed. Once the eldest started to want more than just milk for breakfast, we had to accept the fact that lazy weekend mornings were a thing of the past.
We agreed early on that we would each take a morning to get up with the baby, and let the other sleep in, but even when you got your sleep in, you were still up at a “respectable” hour…!
I have so many memories of getting up early, securing the perimeter in the sitting room, baby crawling around with toys, channel 623 on in the background (if you know, you know!) and me full stretch on the floor drifting in and out of sleep. A regular whack of something plastic on the head made sure that I never got too comfortable mind you…
5 years later and it’s basically the same…
And no it hasn’t gotten any easier or less annoying! I am NOT a morning person and never will be.
Weekends now revolve around food shops, piles of laundry, and trying to keep 2 very active boys occupied and out of trouble.
We never really eat out, unless we go somewhere that we are guaranteed quick service (aka fast food).
Our weekend activities are less window shopping and more slides and swings, less evening cinema trips and more running after bikes around lakes, less boozy dinners and more frozen pizza and chips.
If an occasion presents itself to go “out-out” I am always torn between going hell for leather for maximum enjoyment, or taking it easy to lessen the torture of the following day. Cinema trips now happen literally once or twice a year, and I find myself yawning on the way IN to the theatre never mind coming out…
We have jumped our fair share of 5.30am rising hurdles. We embraced the magic of the GroClock (worth every cent and more) and we are at a stage where once the boys are dressed and fed, we can laze on the couch for a while, and they might even laze with us if the mood is on them.
We are not spontaneous parents; well I definitely am not, and my husband knows this! We have always worked around the boys, going with what works best for naps, feeds etc. This has been a saviour for us most of the time, but can get in the way when you want to do something out of the ordinary. Sometimes I feel like we are boring, we don’t do enough, we don’t go enough places. And then I kick myself and say cop on, because after all, weekends are for resting and restoring some bit of energy for the week ahead.
We rarely feel rested or restored come Sunday evening, but the boys are rested and content having had 2 days of chilling and not running out the door. So for now, that will do us.
Monday morning comes, and we hop back on the hamster wheel, and keep spinning.
People tell me that they will be up getting themselves their own breakfast etc. before we know it… a specific date or time for this would be very helpful!
The evolution of a weekend is a subtle, but significant change over time, and it is definitely one of the things we have struggled with the most since becoming parents.
One day, we will be Couch Potatoes again, or hopefully better yet, Globe Trotters!
In the meantime, I am reminding myself to enjoy the lazy mornings on the couch, early as they might be, because I know that not too far in the future, horrible words like “training” and “blitz” will enter the vocabulary of this house… and that I truly dread!