A question I have been asked quite frequently of late is “What do your weekends look like?” I have shared on the blog before what my week days look like, but not my weekends, so thought I would share a little bit of behind the scenes in terms of what my weekends look like.
After picking up the youngest two kids from school, we have afternoon tea together. Monday to Thursday they don’t have any device time other than what they need for homework, so the kids are keen to get online and play Fortnite! Before they go online they must have their room tidy, so there is generally some action from them in this department.
Once the older kids get home from school, if I haven’t shopped for my weekly prep session, I will head to the shops and get what I need. Whether I do any meal prep on Friday night depends on what I have on over the course of the weekend. During winter as most of Sunday is spent out at kids’ football matches, I do usually spend about 1 – 2 hours in the kitchen.
I do my long run on Saturdays, so Friday nights I aim to be in bed by 9.30pm unless I have a social commitment.
Depending on what activities we have on for Saturday, I will start my long run anywhere from 5.00am – 6.30am. This is usually two hours or so and I actually prefer to do the run early. I really love being out when the sun rises and find it is such a beautiful way to start the day.
The 17 year old has school sport on Saturday mornings and as my husband still plays football himself on Saturdays, I usually come in from my run, shower and then take him to his sport. I will then drop the 17 year old to his dad’s football where he has a paid gig as boundary umpire for two games. Our daughter runs water for those games too. I will watch some of my husband’s game and then take the younger kids with me back home.
The kids and I will have lunch and generally do our 20 minute time blocks. The kids will then tidy up any of their mess and start their technology time. I will then pop my headphones on, start my podcast play list and begin doing meal prep. I will prep for the week and also cook dinner for the evening. Mixed into this will be some washing and some breaks reading the newspaper in the sunshine (if there is any) with a cup of tea.
If my husband and I go out on the weekend it is usually on a Saturday night, so after dinner and getting the kids settled we might head out. A benefit of having older kids is that we no longer require baby sitters. On the drawback side, is even if we aren’t going out, very often we still have to be out later as we have teenager picks up on Saturday nights. My husband and I will share this between us depending on who is more tired and what each of us has on the next day. We also have a couple of other families that we car pool with as well which helps share the load.
There have been many Saturday nights where I have gone to bed, set an alarm for 11.30pm to get up and go do the pick up!
Winters are our busiest season in terms of sporting activities. We have two football games and one soccer game. My husband coaches the 12 year old’s soccer team so he is always at that game. The times of the games vary each week but the youngest football matches were generally earlier in the morning and our daughter’s football matches were generally 1pm or later.
It would depend on timing, but my Sunday morning would look something like, football match, then mass, the often my daughter’s game of football if it clashed with the soccer time.
We tend to all chip in to tidy the house and get ready for the next week on Sundays. I will remind the kids that before they can have their tech time for Sunday they need to have completed their tasks and finished any homework they have. So the kids will tend to do these jobs when they have time between activities and I will vacuum and mop the floors. My husband will spend some time working in the garden, doing washing and ironing the shirts for the kids for the week.
Depending on the timing of sporting activities, I try to fit in another 20 minute block each with the younger kids.
If I still have food to prep for the week, I will do it at the same time that I start cooking dinner. Every few weeks, my husband will cook dinner on a Sunday so I have a day off cooking which is always a nice change!
Sunday dinner tends to be a time where we spend more time at the table talking and sharing what we have on for the week or dissecting sporting results from the weekend! As the older kids are quite social, this may be the first night in a couple of nights that we have all been together for dinner, so it is great to have the opportunity to all be together.
After dinner, everyone starts getting themselves ready for the week. I will make the lunch boxes for the younger kids and as my daughter will do hers too we chat some more as we do this.
Once the younger kids are in bed, I will hop online and post my weekly prep photos. I then write my master list for the coming week and tidy my desk. My husband and I will then spend some time on our own with general chatting and discussing any pressing logistical issues we have for the upcoming week. Then I get my gym gear out for the next morning and it is off to bed ready for another week!
Across each weekend, I am to have time:
- with the kids on their own (younger ones)
- on my own (usually running, but a cup of tea in the sun always does me wonders too)
- with my husband
- together as a family
Over the years I have learnt that “what” we do isn’t as important as the quality of time we spend together. For us when the weekend is already full with sporting activities, to feel compelled to have to take the family out so we do “something together” actually makes life more stressful. Our kids like downtime, so I am better to channel my energies into cooking a meal that everyone will like with a nice dessert and we can spend more time together at the table.
Likewise some weekends, my husband and I won’t feel like going out, but we will take the time to take the dog for a walk together and chat on our own. Or if it is non football season we will run together which I love.
Of course not all weekends are like this. This past Saturday I went away for the night with girlfriends which was amazing. The rest of the family which are massive Collingwood fans went to the footy to see the Pies win a semi final!
School holidays are soon approaching and I always take a break from doing a full on meal prep to mix it up and change the routine. As they say change is as good as a holiday and I find taking breaks on school holidays gives me time to rest and relax a little more.