Weekends don’t arrive with the same thrill for moms, especially single moms. For most, the weekends offer a reprieve. There is no alarm, no work, no noise. Girlfriends get together for brunch. Guys hang out with their “boys”. While parents, mothers specifically, get to take off one hat, only to put on another. In actuality, the week never ends. Saturday and Sunday are just 2 more days that fill up your schedule with minimal time for any fun or relaxation.
When the weekend rolls around, brunch with bottomless mimosas sounds good. Sitting in a coffee shop ( not Starbucks) and cranking out some writing would be nice. I would even go for enjoying a cup of joe on the patio while reading a great novel.
But the way my motherhood status is set up, these “mom-ents” were on pause. Up until about a month ago, my weekends usually consisted of cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, folding laundry, and meal planning. I got tired of not having any time to just chill. I’d be worn by Sunday evening, all the laundry wouldn’t even be folded. Something had to change.
Here are a few hacks on how to balance “chores” (as I call them) and chillin’ on the weekends.
Laundry is my least favorite “chore”. I take no issue with sorting it, loading it into the washing machine, then loading it into the dryer. The task I find abhorrent is folding laundry. Honestly, before I adapted this new way to do things, I would leave clean, unfolded laundry in the basket for days. Ok, maybe even a week. I know I am not the only one that has done this. My distaste for clutter throughout my room is what would get me to finally fold week old clean laundry and put it away.
Hack: Do not do all of your dirty laundry in one day. Face it, laundry is time-consuming. It can take you all day to do it from start to finish. If you space out your laundry throughout your week, that leaves some “me” time to work with on Saturday and Sunday. Do just one or two loads of laundry a day, if possible. This will also decrease the amount of laundry you will have at the end of the week.
Pre-COVID, I was in the ugly habit of grocery shopping just for the meal I was preparing for the night. I was in the grocery store at least 3 times a week. Horrible! Then I started grocery shopping on the weekends, blindly. No list, no plan. I would come home with a whole bunch of junk and would still end up in the store during the week.
Hack: Midweek, start planning your meals for the upcoming week. I use the ‘Meal Plan’ Half Sheet Planner Inserts for my Happy Planner to plan. One side of the sheet is for daily meal planning, the other is for the grocery list. Take that list to the grocery store. The list is accountability. It helps you only buy what you need. Having a list also keeps you from wandering, wasting time in the grocery store.
Bonus hack: If you really want to cut down on the chore time and are willing to pay a little extra, there is always delivery. That saves plenty of time.
In a perfect world, a cleaning crew would come in twice a week to do all the cleaning for me. I can just imagine how much time I would get back if I didn’t have to clean. Well… the world is not perfect, and I don’t have a cleaning lady, yet. So, I am the cleaning lady.
I became accustomed to waking up early on Saturday mornings to clean up our entire home. As an adult, I did the same thing, until it dawned on me. Growing up, I had help, my brothers and I would clean. Now, I don’t have help. It’s just me. And when I do it all on one day, I am drained after.
Hack: Clean as you go. Don’t wait until Saturday morning to do all the cleaning. I usually take an afternoon/evening to tidy up the kid’s play area. The bathroom gets cleaned somewhere in the middle of the week. It’s a must. I have a boy. Cleaning as you go condenses mess and time. Once the weekend comes around, there will not be as much to clean. Win!
Slowly but surely, I am moving away from the mom guilt I wrote about in The Guilt is Still Real. I am recognizing I need more time for me, and I need to do everything in my power to take that time for myself. While I have yet to perfect a routine for these hacks, I am noticing I have more time to just chill. Books are being read. Afternoon naps have become a thing. We go outside for walks more. Having spare time is allowing more quality time with my child, and I am thankful for that. What I am most grateful for is the extra time I have to spend with me.
What do your weekends look like? How do you balance it all?