5 Secrets to a Perfectly Balanced Weekend It won’t happen overnight, but you and your spouse can begin to take your weekends back. Here’s how. BY JAMEE TENZER, PCC
Remember when weekends were fun and relaxing? Take them back!
“ The two of you are engaged in the topsy-turvy relay race of parenthood—sprinting to the finish line just in time to kiss each other goodnight.”
Do you remember bike rides on Saturdays and lazy Sunday mornings with the paper? A typical weekend might have included grabbing a bite to eat with friends at a local bistro, taking in a movie or going out for brunch. Or perhaps you would have simply slept. Ah, glorious uninterrupted sleep. Where did those days go?
All of a sudden, your weekends are dictated by ballet, soccer and birthday parties. And your old system for managing life doesn’t work either. There is now a crushing need for that huge calendar hung on your kitchen wall boasting entries organized by color so that your partner can easily see what is happening without having to ask you.
And speaking of your spouse—who is he again? Oh yes, he is the one that you will be meeting at the soccer game later to switch children before heading off to another set of activities. The two of you are engaged in the topsy-turvy relay race of parenthood—sprinting to the finish line just in time to kiss each other goodnight.
And I know why you keep doing it, over and over again. A lot of it is fun! Hanging out with your children, watching them succeed at a sport, taking pride in their achievements and enjoying the community of parents that share all of it with you. But how much is too much?
What would it take to tap into your inner Goldilocks and figure out what is "just right" for you and your family?
Maybe there is a balance to be struck here? Perhaps there is a way to keep all of your little bears happy without the feeling that your dream of a restful weekend is simply a fairytale.
5 Steps to Balancing Your Weekends
1. Get used to politely saying "no." If you have a choice, make sure you are committing to an activity because it is something you will truly enjoy. Don’t give up a Saturday night to go to a party you don’t care about. Saturday night is precious real estate on your schedule, make sure you give it its due.
2. When committing to an activity, take a look at your entire weekend. Having your good friends over for brunch on Sunday is terrific, unless you are volunteering to chaperone the middle school dance the night before. Rather than making brunch, you will probably want to be soaking your feet. Make sure you give yourself the space for recovery and self-care.
3. Limit your children’s activities. Maybe your little ballerina can take two classes instead of three. Perhaps she doesn’t need to play softball, tennis and soccer. What does she love to do? This is your chance to help her make choices so that she can have relaxing weekends when she grows up, too.
4. Schedule in one family day per month. You can either plan a fun activity together, or you can all get up at your leisure and create your day together at the breakfast table. Enjoy the freedom to be spontaneous.
5. Remember to schedule in time for what you don’t know will happen; the last minute hairstyle for "crazy hair day," the trip across town to get the right jazz shoes and the birthday present for the birthday party you were never told about. It’s going to happen—why not work it into the schedule before it throws your entire afternoon into a tailspin?
Changing your schedule in the long term will take a series of small steps. It may take a couple of months to truly see the impact of the changes, but stick with it and you will love where the path leads you.
Jamee Tenzer, PCC, BCC is a Life and Executive Coach for Women. She specializes in coaching 50-something moms, women in entertainment and working mothers. She is also a Trainer for the International Coach Academy and mentors new coaches. For mom tips and lots of free goodies, visit jameetenzer.com.