If you are a working mom, then you know the weekends can feel like hell. You reach the end of the day Friday, thrilled that the weekend is finally here and you can enjoy it ... only to rush around like a certifiably insane person and do nothing even close to relaxing.
Sure, Saturday and Sunday may be your only time to get things done, but life isn’t supposed to be a never-ending to-do list and no play! You’ve got to strategically shed some of these crazy commitments below to have a weekend worth of wonderful memories and sleep—sweet, sweet sleep. Well, sort of. You do still have children …
1. Excessive Extra-Curricular Activities
Being an over-scheduled child (and parent) is so 2017! It's great to catch up on a few activities that you can't do during the weekdays, but you don't need to have your kid in every activity known to man, from chess lessons and soccer to karate and everything in-between. Besides, how can a child excel at any one thing if he or she has 50 irons in the fire? As a mom, you know what that feels like, and how successful does it make you feel? (Answer: Not.) Pick activities—and playdates—wisely.
2. Deep Cleaning Your House
You’re talking to someone who finds sweeping soothing and mind-clearing, but even so, using my entire weekend to catch up on cleaning is taxing. If you can afford it, hire someone to come for a deep cleaning twice a month. If you're like me and can't afford it, save the deep clean for twice a month and, otherwise, just make sure your home is livable. You don’t need to be ready to host Martha Stewart every Monday. Or, make like this mom, and tackle what you can Friday night, so you’ll have Saturday and Sunday free. Lastly, make sure your kids and husband are doing their fair share.
3. Schlepping to the Grocery Store
I hate groceries. Can I get an amen? If you can take care of groceries while your partner puts the kids to bed during the week (or vice versa), go for it! If you're partner-less like me, try to do it after work or on a lunch break. This way you beat the weekend crowds and picked-over produce, and get in a little more rest. Alternatively, order online and simply pick up what you need, or try a food subscription box service. Nowadays there are so many clever ways to take this task off your plate (pardon the pun).
4. Inordinate Do-Gooding
Learn to say no. Learn to say no well. You don’t need to volunteer your time for every community activity! Narrow your philanthropy down to what’s nearest and dearest to your heart. Yes, you should do good, but you should also do you, and do rest. So, let it be written. So, let it be done.
5. Lofty, 114-Step Projects
Do the baby blanket for your cousin. Make the scrapbooks for your kids. Paint that still-life that’s been waiting for you. Yes, do it on the weekend—but keep it in check. How do you decide whether to do it or not on the weekends?
1. If it makes you happy and energizes you? Do it each weekend.
2. If it’s a favor or a long-term project that is tiring? Do it once to twice a month on the weekends.
3. If it’s a major household task like cleaning the playroom? Save it for a long weekend you’re not going away or during a school break if possible. Just don’t shove a big project down the whole family’s throat. Instead, plan well for everyone.
6. Saying Yes to Every Invite
OK, you must go to your sister’s wedding shower even if you hate her future groom, but must you go to your cousin’s uncle’s sister’s baby shower? It’s all right to say no, especially to people who don’t know you that well. Because if they don’t know you that well, they just want the gift. Send the gift, and keep the weekend time for your kiddos or for some hot and heavy (or quick and easy) romance time with your partner.
7. Picking Up Dry Cleaning or Other Adult Items
No, not those adult items. I mean your dry cleaning, contacts, packages or what have you. Try to do it over your lunch break during the week. If you can’t, ask someone you trust to pick it up for you. Heck, college kids and high school seniors are always looking for ways to make easy money. Whatever the case, don’t push every errand under the sun to fall on Saturdays and Sundays. Give yourself some time to breathe while you’re not on the clock.
8. Half-Hearted Dates
It’s simple, really. You don’t have the time or money to squeeze in drinks with friends who don’t make you truly happy to hang out—so don’t. Same goes for dinner with potential partners, for all my fellow single moms. If you’re single and looking to mingle, date away, especially on a weekend. But—you knew there was a "but" coming, didn’t you?—only go out on that date if you are genuinely excited or trying to get yourself back in the dating game again. Make it a lunch date if you really feel compelled to go, but otherwise, if you’re not jazzed, repeat after me: Just. Say. NO!