Given that today is Friday, for many people that means it’s a good day. (You’ve all heard it… Thank Goodness It’s Friday! Right? TGIF.)
For some married single moms Friday brings relief: Whew! Hubby is coming home and I’ll have another adult here for the weekend.
For other married single moms Friday brings dread: Oh no… two days ahead of me without school and routine. How will I keep going?
Part of what helps me get through some rough spots is simply planning for them. I’ve already chatted with you about resting on Sundays. That is one thing I plan if I can. It just so happens that this Sunday is my husband’s birthday and my daughter voice recital. I’ll be able to rest until about noon…. maybe.
Planning for the weekend, though, means more than just resting on Sundays. It means what do I do Saturday, what chores get done, what do we eat, what down time do I get, who can have friends over, which friends can I handle this weekend, and so on.
I’m not sure if it was a spill-over from my single days or just culture’s teaching that led me to believe Fridays were for fun, Saturdays were for sleeping in (and a bit of housecleaning) and more fun, Sundays were for church and then more fun.
As a mom, there is nothing more fun on Friday nights than on Monday nights… at least for most moms. Saturdays are no longer for sleeping in unless your kids have flown the coop. So how can weekends become the joy and anticipated time of the week?
I think it comes down to what I want to get out of a weekend. What do I think I need? What do my kids and husband need?
Allowing the weekend to come without a plan means I’m more likely to get to Monday feeling like Friday never came.
• Decide ahead of time what the menus will be. Take out meat to thaw, stop and pick up any groceries you might need, and even do a little prep of the food ahead of time. This will mean you don’t have to stand in front of the fridge wondering what to make. You can keep your brain space free for more exciting things… like reading a book, or playing a board game, or taking a bubble bath.
• Choose your church clothes on Friday night. This is crucial unless you want to run around like a crazy person on Sunday morning trying to handwash a pair of undies and shrink them with your hair dryer. It’s also good to notice things like stains, rips or tears on Friday instead of in the car on the way to church. Planning this on Friday means if you don’t get the laundry done on Saturday – no big deal. You can make it through the weekend without worry. If you do need to do a load or two you still have plenty of time.
• Make a plan for what the kids will and will not do. There’s nothing like the plans of your kids to turn a peaceful sleep-in morning into a frenzied race-around-town dropping kids off and picking up others for playdates, practices and what-not. Scheduled activities are one thing… child planned activities without your knowledge or agreement are another.
I remember a day I had decided to sleep in. I had made it clear that nobody was to wake me. Not a single person could honestly say that they did not get the message. I also made it clear that I was not driving anybody anywhere… they had to stay home. Because it was brutally cold outside I didn’t have to worry about them leaving without the comfort of a warm vehicle. So I slept soundly… until I heard a male voice in the house that I KNEW didn’t belong to one of my sons.
I crept out of my room and listened at the end of the stairs. They were talking quietly and I couldn’t make out the voice yet, so I crept closer. The stair squeaked and three boys faces came to greet me. So much for feeling safe in my pajamas in my own home on a sleep-in day!
That’s the day I learned that just because they can’t go out doesn’t mean they won’t bring some in! So decide who will come, for how long and when. Unless of course you love to be greeted in your jammies, raccoon mascara face and can’t-beat-that-bed-head-look on your way to the privy by teenage boys.
• Give yourself space to refresh. Schedule at least a little time with a friend, a book, a quiet cup of coffee at Starbucks or a nice long bubble bath. Plan it or someone else will plan something and it won’t necessarily be your first choice!
• Spend time with God. When things are out of routine like Saturdays and Sundays often are, it’s easy to let it slip. Try something new and make a special date with God in a special place – like a coffee shop or the library or a comfy recliner. Set a Saturday/Sunday schedule with God and stick to it!
• And once again… pull out that slow cooker!
I’m including another slow cooker recipe – with a photo this time! This is easy enough for some older elementary kids to make. If you have a Ziploc bag of already browned ground beef liked SOMEONE suggested it’s even quicker to prepare.
So as you go into this weekend… plan. Plan it so that you can work it to your advantage. Make sure that when Monday comes you’ve been refreshed since Friday.
Slow Cooker Hamburger Soup
2 lbs ground beef, browned and crumbled
2 large onions, chopped finely
2 potatoes, chopped finely or shredded
3 large carrots chopped finely, or sliced thinly
¼ cup cilantro flakes (or parsley flakes)
1 can diced tomatoes (or 2 cups of your favorite salsa)
1 tbsp salt
2 tsp pepper
2 tsp minced garlic
½ tsp thyme
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
6-8 cups of water (or beef broth)
Add all ingredients to slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours, medium for 6 hours or low for 8 or more hours.
Garnish with sour cream, salsa or shredded cheese.