I’m sure you’ve seen these e-cards popping up on your Facebook newsfeed periodically. This one is particularly fitting for me. I’m a stay-at-home parent to my eighteen-month-old, and weekends don’t really exist anymore. The problem is that I still (after a year and a half) haven’t managed to absorb this new reality.
All week, I look forward to Friday. I think, “Friday’s almost here! Woooo!” And then Friday arrives and Pete and I are both exhausted. We put C to bed, have a beer, watch Marketplace (and The Fifth Estate if we’re staying up really late) and go to bed.
Before you feel too sorry for me, we sometimes have date nights. We will often visit with friends during the day and we occasionally go away for the weekend.
But typically, weekends are very similar to weekdays around here. They involve making meals, cleaning up after meals, dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, errands, and more laundry. I’m starting to forget what a real (read: childless) weekend is like. I’m a modern-day, non-fictional Dowager Countess of Grantham.
Of course, the Dowager Countess doesn’t know what a weekend is because she doesn’t associate with anyone with a profession, but that’s neither here nor there. I have something in common with the inimitable Maggie Smith. Glass half-full!
I think the solution is going to be letting go of the concept of a weekend. Weekends no longer exist. They have been abolished by a small, semi-benevolent dictator.
The problem hasn’t been that I have bad weekends. They just don’t live up to my old expectations of relaxation and rest. In order to avoid the disappointment I feel every Sunday (when I’m more exhausted than when I started this weekend business on Friday) I have to make myself forget about the existence of the forty-hour work week. If I just conceive of Saturday and Sunday as days when Pete happens to be around more, I think I’ll be able to enjoy those days for what they are now, rather than what I think they should be.
And besides, weekends are terribly middle-class, dear.