Everybody’s Working for the Weekend

"Working for the weekend" has a whole new meaning when you're a working mom. Cramming in all that quality time and housework makes it go by in a blur ...

“Got any big plans this weekend?” “Did you have a nice weekend?”

Such questions are innocent enough. Just office small-talk. TGIF, working for the weekend, “Somebody’s got a case of the Mondays,” and all that jazz.

But when people ask me, do they really want to hear my “big plans”? Do they really want a quick, punchy recap of my actual weekend?

Well, for those who think they do, my typical weekend goes a little something like this. It’s a lame, boring, but honest tale only a working mom (or dad) can truly appreciate.

Friday night
So tired. Can … barely … make it … home through rush hour. Jay picks up Cassie from the babysitter’s house (it’s his usual day at the office). He’s pooped. I’m pooped. Cassie’s ready to go, whoo! Let’s order a pizza. We’ll get healthy next week.

What should we do for fun? Watch Cassie crawl and pull herself up around the living room. Uh-oh, the carpet is furry with dog hair. I’ll vacuum it tomorrow. Add it to my to-do list. Feed Cassie while we wait for Mr. Pizza Man, whom everyone loves (even the dog doesn’t bark when he rings the bell). Is there a clean baby spoon left in the drawer? All the dishes are dirty. Must … clean … kitchen.

After Mr. Pizza Man has come and gone, and so has the pizza, it’s time to take Cassie to the “MamaSpa” (very exclusive–personal pampering and excellent service). All-keen! Bedtime stories and night-night. Jay and I thank the Lords of Kobol that she goes down without a peep. We are so freakin’ lucky.

Now what? Open that bottle of cabernet. Watch some Netflix, or see what’s on basic cable? We still lament the passing of SciFi Friday (a total geekfest: two Stargate shows, followed by Battlestar Galactica). Maybe I’ll just read a book until I pass out in bed.

Friday night is the fun part of my weekend.

Wake up, hopefully paying down the week’s sleep deficit a little bit. Cassie wants to get up at 7, of course. What’s Saturday? So we eat cereal, watch the news, play. I try to clean the kitchen and pick up clutter while keeping her happy. Daddy helps, but he’s had plenty of Cassie-time all week, so he’s ready for a break.

Her morning nap comes and goes so fast, I barely have time to shower and check my email. Now what? I know! Let’s visit Grandma and Grandpa!

In just 15 minutes, we reach the land of Grandma and are greeted with much fanfare. Cassie gets a healthy dose of kisses and laser-focused attention, while Mama gets to rest a little–and do some shopping if she’s lucky.

But unlike me, my parents have plans for the evening. So we say “bye bye” and head home to Daddy. What’s for dinner? Not another pizza. How about some Trader Joe’s? Yum. Cassie prefers mushy chicken noodle dinner and some cheese.

The night is young! We could crank through at least two, maybe three loads of laundry. Sweet. Not enough energy for grocery shopping or cleaning. That will have to wait for tomorrow. Once Cassie’s sleepy-sleepers, Mama and Daddy get a couple of hours’ break until we’re ready to go sleepy-sleep, too. Saturday night’s alright. We should really go out on a date sometime.

Good morning, Cincinnati! Cassie decides to wake up early. 6:14, people. Jay, please, please, please get up with her. I just can’t do it. So he does, and I “sleep in” (till, like, 8). I love my husband.

By the time I wake up, there’s a pot of coffee brewed (half gone) and a baby rarin’ to go. I make some waffles, and Cassie practices standing up in the Pack ‘n Play. Jay catches up with email.

After breakfast, I make BIG plans. I’m going to do our taxes. Clean the house top to bottom. Buy a week’s worth of groceries (after cutting and sorting coupons, of course). Fold and put away all that clean laundry. Take Cassie for a walk in the stroller and go on the swings at the park. Pay all our bills. Call everyone back and have meaningful conversations with them.

Essentially, Sunday becomes this magical catch-all day when I (theoretically) can take care of everything that piled up over the past week while I worked, mothered, and housewived myself into total exhaustion.

And still have to time and energy to watch Battlestar at 10 p.m. (SciFi Sunday? Just doesn’t have the same ring to it.) Oh yeah, and catch up on work emails so I’m not totally overwhelmed come Monday morning. Meanwhile, I’m going to play with Cassie, read to her, feed her, change her, bond, etc.

What actually happens is Cassie takes the #1 spot. I play with and care for her most of the day. In between, I get a few things done. Maybe hit Kroger (with a coupon or two if I’m doing really well). Vacuum the worst rooms. Taxes? Ha! Meaningful conversations? No way.

I may collapse for a guilt-filled, but totally worthwhile, nap while Cassie snoozes in the late afternoon. That wasn’t on my to-do list, but it sure feels good.

When Battlestar ends at 11 p.m., and it’s time for us to hit the sack, I’m beat. The bathroom’s not clean, and anxiety about the upcoming work week looms. As I drift to sleep, I think, “Can’t wait … for someone … to ask me about my weekend …”

7 thoughts on “Everybody’s Working for the Weekend

  1. Oh, that sounds sooooo familiar!! Especially the bit about the evenings. Hey! It’s Friday night! What can we do? We don’t have a sitter! We’re exhausted! Let’s get takeout Chinese and a movie! We’re the best thing that ever happened to our neighborhood Blockbuster and Chinese restaurant.

    One thing we do try to do is get out together each morning when the weather’s nice. We go to Starbucks for coffee, take Little One to the park, hit Findley Market if we have time, drive around and look at houses we could never afford. It’s nice family-focused time and I don’t feel guilty about it. Afternoon and evening is when the housework and the work-work gets done…

  2. Are we living the same life? I think so. I usually wait until the ‘Vi goes to bed on Sunday to start laundry/dishes/all household chores I’ve ignored for the past week, so I’m always up way too late on Sunday night trying to cram it all in before Monday. BTW – everyone needs a date night from time to time and I think you’re past due, so let me know when we can watch Cassie for you. It’s our turn. 🙂

  3. I can’t believe the similarity…sometimes I think that I’m in it alone and none else feels my pain. Then I remember to read the WMAG blog and I am reassured that others live my life too. Sometimes I take a day off, have the husband take the kids to daycare and I catch up on sleep. I get up in the noon hour, have a nice lunch, catch up on some soap operas and do a quick house cleaning. Afterwards, I feel refreshed and spirits are high that I accomplished several tasks during the day…I am now ready for the nighttime kid routine and the cycle starts again.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for your honesty… you can’t imagine how much better and less guilty I feel knowing that there are “others” like me.

  5. MiaConchita says:

    Merry Maids has been cleaning my house for years now. I have had many other cleaning services, and they just never “got it”. It was like they were coming in and picking and choosing what they want to clean or what they feel is dirty. Merry Maids has set procedures for cleaning and they have to clean them reguardless of if they want to or if they feel it is dirty, otherwise I can call and they have to come back and fix it. It was a little rought start but Merry Maids was the only company who worked to resolve my complaints, and eventually they went away, because they knew they would have to come back. As long as you get out all of your concerns out of the way from the beginning, it is smooth sailing after words. Remember they are humans and their minds have 1000 things on them too. As long as you are open and honest with everything anyone will get better as long as they are willing to please you, which I feel Merry Maids was the only company that was willing to try. I have had other companys big and small and also individuals and no one has ever tried harder to meet my needs like Merry Maids has.
    As for “feeling bad” about having a cleaning service yeah the cost is a little steep but it is up to you with anycompany to get your moneys worth and if they do your house right at some point, The one less thing off my plate is greater than the money. I have time to myself, and time to spend with my kids and husband. With all the other things in life that there is to worry about, I just dont havce time to get into all the details of cleaning my home. I know when I clean it is always longer than I figure. So I will spend that extra cost so I can deal with the things that really matter in my life like my family and friends. Quality of life is Key and money is not everything.

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