I’m going to level with all of you for a second here. Being a working mom? It’s a lot of work, time, and more organization skills than you can imagine. It’s a lot of making sure all the things get done and that everything is ready for every day of the workweek… which leaves little time for family time during the week. My days often feel like one sprint of a marathon, and by the time the weekend comes, we are all ready to recharge.
The thing is, every weekend, there is still preparation for the week to come. Everything still needs to get done, so we have to work family time around all those errands. We find ways to squeeze it in wherever we can, even in the simplest of ways. Here are a few ways we fit in time together and make the best of the busiest of weekends.
Have a set Saturday morning routine. For us, this means our weekly Weight Watchers meeting, followed by Starbucks and home for Ella to eat and nap. From there, Chris or I take Abbie to dance class (she’s currently enrolled in a mini session for a month) so one of us gets time with her while the other gets time with Ella. If I’m the one home, I use that time to let Ella play or nap while I clean up the messy house the week left behind. I also use that time to meal plan and make a grocery list so it’s ready to go when I am.
Find a way to make errands family time. We usually all go to the grocery store together – it’s something Chris and I both enjoy and the girls are usually pretty well behaved. If we don’t go together, I often go with just Abbie – it’s great to get some one-on-one time with my big girl and I think she loves having that time too. It’s a small gesture, but so needed.
If there’s an event over the weekend, keep the other day clear. I will usually only make plans for one day of the weekend to allow us to get all our errands done and have some lounge time on the other day. If we’re overscheduled on the weekend, we don’t get everything done and it just sets a bad tone for the following week.
Utilize every pocket of time you have, and multitask. I have a ton of weekly prepwork every weekend. Rather than do it when the girls are awake, I tend to do all of that once they’re in bed for the night. This way I’m not taking away from our time together to do it. I also do things like prep my weekly breakfasts while I’m already in the kitchen making something else. Mulitasking is my best friend as a working mom. I’m always doing at least two things at once.
Savor the moments you do have. The quiet, simple moments are my favorite. Watching Moana for the 100th time with Abbie (seriously, she’s obsessed). Seeing Ella learn to scoot across the living room floor. Chris and I looking at our girls playing together. They’re so, so simple and hard to catch, but they’re my favorite.
One of the most important things about all this is that I realize that not every day is going to have a big chunk of family time. Some have only 5 minutes. Some days I get time with one kid and not the other, or with both kids but not all four of us together. It’s far from perfect, but it’s us, and I’m going to savor every bit of it I can.