I’ve caught onto a pattern that has settled in in my household & I don’t like it. I’ll call it weekend-itis.
Weekend-itis afflicts working moms whose stressful weeks lead to conflicts at home on the weekend, usually caused by the following simple equations:
child’s need for mom’s attention > mom’s capacity to give
exasperatingly long list of chores > hours in one weekend
The result? A cascade of whining, acting out, disciplining, more misbehaving, losing of patience, unhappy child, unhappy mama.
I look forward to the weekends, which T affectionately calls “mama days.” I mostly enjoy my job, but there’s nothing I love more than my time with T. T looks forward to the weekends, too, often asking me toward he end of the week if a mama day is coming up.
So I usually feel pretty rotten when weekend-itis strikes.
Luckily, weekend-itis usually hits its fever pitch late Saturday afternoons, leaving us with Sunday to recover & enjoy our time together. Unfortunately, though, I often find that it’s symptoms can linger at bedtime on Saturday night, leaving me cranky & short even with MFA Dad.
So what to do?
Simply recognizing the symptoms can sometimes stave off a bout of weekend-itis. Taking a few deep breaths before walking in the door on Friday evening can help, too. As can planning time for yourself (even if it’s just a long quiet shower), not planning too much (a party, a play date, the grocery store, Costco & ironing is too much!), & allowing for short periods of undivided attention for your child/-ren (and if you can’t avoid doing too much every once in a while, a cherished distraction like a grandparent, favorite uncle or special treat can sometimes take the pressure off you just enough to allow everyone to survive the weekend).
But, also, knowing that weekend-itis will strike can help me keep perspective when it happens. We protect our weekends fiercely, but I inevitably loose it at some point. It happens. When it’s appropriate, I apologize to my son. Then we move on. I find myself wearing T or carrying him a lot lately. I try to get him involved in chores. He nurses a lot on the weekends. We deal.
Please, someone tell me I’m not the only one who suffers from weekend-itis! Leave a comment below to let me know I’m not alone. And if you have tips, even better!