How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then to rest afterward. ~ Spanish Proverb
Weekends are busy in our house. We work like crazy all week long and look forward to the beloved weekend…time for rest and relaxation, right? Not so much: clean the house; yard work; grocery shop; meal plan; laundry; organize for the week to come; schedule in some ‘quality’ family time; and, be the most engaging and entertaining mommy that you can be. No rest for the wicked, right?
As “Entertainment Director” of our family, I take it upon myself to plan fun and engaging experiences for my daughter throughout the weekend: music class; art class; trips to the swimming pool; play dates; park adventures; and, beach trips. When we are at home, we have puzzles and baking and reading and hours of pretend play (tea party anyone)? I am exhausted just writing about it. And you know what? I recently had an epiphany. My daughter is exhausted too.
Why am I doing this? Guilt. As a working mother, my time with my child during the week is limited to the mornings and evenings. When we have a full day together, I want to squeeze in as much fun and quality time in as possible. But it is not fair and it is not working. For anyone.
What is missing from this picture? Down time. Time where there is no place to be and nothing to do. Time where we should rest, reflect and take care of ourselves. Time for peace and quiet.
My daughter is also tired on the weekend. She has had a long and busy week. Daycare is a demanding space: both mentally and physically. Learning to connect and engage with her peers; running and climbing to her hearts delight; and, exploring new experiences and activities. She is tired and I am tired. So what is the answer?
Stop feeling so guilty and breathe. Remember that by taking a step back and ‘planning’ a quiet afternoon, I am giving my daughter the tools to take care of herself; and, by finding pockets of time to care of and nurture myself, I am teaching her that mommy is important too. It is also acknowledging that it is more important to rest, than to finish the laundry or have a perfectly tidy home.
This is not to say that I will not plan some entertainment over the weekend or run around trying to get all of my chores done; but it is to say that it is important to limit it and commit myself to more quiet time for our family – for everyone’s sake and sanity.
What are your thoughts?