As a household with two working parents, our parent/child time is limited. We’re out the door before 7 a.m. and home around 5 p.m. — just in time to cook dinner, eat, bathe, and get ready for bedtime. If we choose to order out for dinner, we may get a little extra play time where we would’ve normally been in the kitchen. Or on nights with ballet practice, we’re even more pressed for time. We have conversations in the car and over dinner and attempt to insert play as much as possible, but our main source of bonding is over the weekend.
Since our time is slightly limited with our daughter, we try to make the most of it and are constantly on the road. We try to take in all the usual venues, like the beach, strawberry picking in the spring, the zoo, museums, parks … and the list goes on. We also frequently travel to visit family and friends and capitalize on spending time with them and our daughter at the same time. We go nonstop — and the goal has always been the same: making memories with our child. I admit that sometimes we get worn out, but we always keep going.
Until last weekend.
On Sunday morning, our regular church service was canceled due to flooding in the area, and we had no other plans for the day. My daughter woke up and asked, “Mommy, what are we doing today?” I was sure she would be disappointed when I told her we’re staying home. Instead, she excitedly responded, “All day?!” And when I confirmed it was true, she gave me a huge hug and said, “Oh, thank you mommy!” It actually took me a minute to process that she was actually happy about the news instead of bummed.
Apparently while we were craving a little down time ourselves, our daughter also needed time at home. She wanted to stay in her room all day and play with her toys – and that’s exactly what she did. Maybe she was worn out from us being on the go all the time. Or maybe she was just tired of interacting with people and needed to introvert for a while, a trait her momma totally understands.
Either way, it really opened my eyes.
Instead of trying to fill our weekends with nonstop fun, we need to slow down a little. We all appreciate the chance to rest and recharge on the weekend – and we should definitely do it now before there’s a newborn thrown into the mix this fall. That’s not to say we’ll become hermits, as we still enjoy and value the adventures, but my lesson in this is to find a better balance for us all.