Saturday, May 30, 2009

Neverending Quest

I often feel that I am on a neverending quest.

What is it I am searching for?

I search for what all families with children and two full time working parents seek.

More time.

I have felt for several months now that my weekends are anything but restful, fun, or restorative. In fact I feel like the weekends are when I go into overtime to my second job, that being a domestic engineer, keeper of the house, do-er of the laundry, chore monger, whatever you want to call it.

With the change in expectation at my job, I really need some restorative time, and it just ain't been happening.

I have been pondering how to help my weekends be a bit more restful and fun for several weeks now.

This is not an easy problem to solve. See I can not simply give up the tasks and chores that have been taking up the weekends. There is no choice but to reassign some things to another day or evening to be more precise.

That is not excatly something that fills my heart with happiness.

Seeing as how by the time I get home, we have dinner and take care of the regular evening stuff I do not have much left over for anything else.

BUT... I have decided to suck it up and try to be more productive in the after work hours during the week.

This week I moved doing the laundry up a few days in an effort to get it done before Saturday.

This week I was successful and man it has been GREAT. Today I was able to go places and do things without fretting or feeling guilty that the laundry sits waiting for me.

Now this week I did not have the full loads I would typically have seeing as how a full week had not passed since I completed the laundy. So it was really quite easy.

This coming week may be another story.

I have to say while I have enjoyed my laundry free weekend, I have felt a bit off kilter, always feeling like there is something I should be doing.

Do I did.

Went swimming guilt free.

It was ass-puckering cold in that pool.

But I did not care.

Neither did the kids. At what age do you develop the ability to tell whether it is cold or hot? I do not recall this from child development class.

So my first attempts at creating a restorative weekend were a success.

How do you other working parents create restorative time?

Or am I just fooling myself that this is do-able?

(If I am fooling myself please lie to me because I am not ready to accept the alternative at this point.)


Shari said...

I am not sure it is do-able. We struggle with the same issues every weekend. How to find more free time for fun when there is so much to do is just overwhelming some times. It's comforting to know we all struggle with it, though.

Colleen said...

Missy, this was so timely to me b/c my older daughter just handed me a magazine in a waiting room today, open to a page with an article titled "Keeping the Sabbath" and said accusingly, "You need to read this, Mom! It says you should put down your to-do list and play Monopoly with your kids!" And I felt terribly guilty. But at the same time, I don't know how to do that. After all, the laundry still needs to be done, and like you, it takes me most of a day to do that while cleaning house! By the time you add in errands and birthday parties and t-ball games and grocery shopping and church, the weekends are anything but restful. In fact I might be tireder on Mondays than I am on Fridays!

The funny thing is, I don't remember my mom actually DOING that much with us. She was always there, working away, and we could talk to her whenever we wanted, but she didn't get down on the floor and play Barbies and I don't remember asking her to. I'm not that good at just playing with my kids. We go for walks and I take them lots of places, and read to them, but aside from the occasional game, I'm not the fun parent.

And restorative time for me--my kids have an early bedtime so I try to squeeze a little reading time before I fall asleep. But pretty much everything else I like to like quilting, etc., has been pushed to the side since I went back to work two years ago.

Thanks for writing this--at least I know I'm not the only one struggling with it!