Picture credit : Happy Socks
So how much have your weekends changed since having kids?? I know mine has done a full 180-degree turn since we welcomed our little critters into the world. Sometimes I look back at how much our lifestyles have changed and can barely wrap my head around the fact that we used to have the entire weekend to ourselves, to spend doing whatever the heck we damn-well pleased.
During our early years as a married couple, our lifestyle consisted mostly of after-work drinks, dinner parties, club galavants, sleep-ins, boozy Saturday braais, and sundowners in between it all. These were the days where we had zero responsibility and would literally take every opportunity to socialise and see friends. Life was busy and our social calendar crammed with plans that saw one event naturally morph into another. We certainly gave new meaning to the term “Burning the candle at both ends”! Truth is, even with all the hangovers and dreaded Monday morning wake-ups, we loved every minute of it. Weekends weren’t really spent recovering from the week’s stresses if anything it was the other way around. Mondays and Tuesday were spent recovering and catching up on missed sleep from the busy weekend and by Wednesday we were ready to go again. After work drinks anyone?
Of course, the great part was that if we wanted to spend the entire weekend sleeping and hibernating and binge-watching our favorite Series (Hello LOST!) we could. Those weekends were some of the best days of my entire life. The truth is I would give my left tit to go back for a day. Or two.
I can remember a few weekends when Brendon and I barely left the house. OK, we didn’t leave the house once, unless you count going to the downstairs restaurants for Take-aways and Sinful Ice-cream. We would spend the entire two days in bed watching movies, eating take-out and reading books. We were like those crazy people you see in movies who don’t wash their hair or have any contact with the outside world. The only time we would get up was to change a DVD or to move to the couch. AAAAAAGHHHH!! Those cozy stay-at-home lazy weekends that we enjoyed when we felt we needed to catch up on sleep and just recuperate from our busy weeks. So over-indulgent when I look back now.
Sometimes we got the balance juuuust right – Dinner at our favorite spot on Friday night followed by a razzle at the club. Getting to bed late didn’t matter because we could sleep in till noon. Which we did. Then we would head out for a stroll on the Promenade followed by some early sundowners before returning home to continue watching Series with takeaway sushi (you get the picture, we hardly ever cooked!). Sundays would be spent with family or braaing with friends before enjoying a lovely afternoon nap (remember those?) And we would end it all off with the Sunday night M-Net movie before getting a full 8 hours sleep.
Nowadays, after a long busy week, life carries on as normal. There’s just no rest for the wicked! We still have children to look after – you know! Feed and bath and play with and put to sleep and prevent from killing each other. It’s all 5 am wake-ups, cartoons on the couch (with strong coffee in hand), early morning outings to the shops (before the crowds start to form when the normal people get up), a million kids birthday parties (bless their cotton socks) and family commitments. We sit at the new restaurant that opened up down the street and watch the young people coming in for their social brunch dates (their first meal of the day) and realise it’s only mid-morning, although by your calculations it’s already lunch. So you carry on eating your kid’s leftover chicken strips and call the waiter over to order your third coffee only to ask her quietly if you can change it to wine.
Even when we do get out for dinner or host a dinner party at home, it’s usually met with regret the second you open your eyes and you are woken up with kids jumping on top of you screaming “Wake-up it’s breakfast time, GET UP!!!” There’s no regret like waking up feeling seven different kinds of shit from too much wine and too little sleep.
I’m sorry if I’ve gone and made every mother on the planet super depro with all my reminiscing. I’m sure I’m not the only one who returns to these days in my head from time to time.? Nah, you’ve all been there.
Whichever way you look at it, weekends as we knew them have changed since our kids. And of course, I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. Because we all know, our little humans add so much value and meaning to our lives, don’t they? As hard as it is, I know that I’m far happier now than I ever was then. My kids have given my life a whole new meaning and I can’t picture any part of my world without them in it.
But I do miss that feeling that would creep in on a Thursday night, that feeling that would rise in the pit of your stomach as you realised there was only one day till the weekend. A weekend that was already full of exciting plans and leisurely lie-ins with nobody to dictate to you what you need to do. 48 hours where we could switch off from all responsibility and just be. Whatever that was for you.
You see, my friends are heroes! We never ever rest. Despite long weeks at work and seeing to our families needs all week, this part of our lives just carries on going. Weekends mean spending more time as a family yes, but this seldom means rest. It seldom means throwing all caution to the wind and spontaneously heading into the Winelands with a group of friends or your significant other. We carry on doing what we need to do to keep our families functioning as they should. And I don’t know about you but I think we deserve and a massive round of applause. I’m here clapping for you my fellow mamas because I know it’s tough and yet we do it anyway, week after week after week. Give yourself a pat on the back.
Keep smiling xxx