April 2, 2014

Is This What Normal Families Do on the Weekends?

Leigh enjoys the flexibility that being a work-from-home parent provides, but sometimes it means working on the weekends -- a lot. But even that can come with some perks ...

I’ve stayed at home with my children now for eight years. Wow! When I write it down, it’s hard to believe that it’s been that long.

My staying at home certainly crimped us financially, but on a positive note, it gave us some flexibility that working parents don’t always get to enjoy. A two-hour delay of a school day doesn’t really impact me at all. I really have no complaining rights there.

I can get groceries any day that I like, and if the weather is beautiful then I really could dine al-fresco on a Thursday if I wanted and not worry about getting back to an office.  My only true time commitments are to make sure I meet the school bus at 4:05 p.m.  and that I find some activities for my youngest child to do in order to keep her busy, or I would lose my sanity. 

However, as a mom who has stayed home for several years now, I will say that every day is really like a Monday for me and not a fun Saturday.

Not every weekend is reserved for full days of family fun. My husband does yard work, and I do most of my writing on the weekends because my husband is home, at least, a good part of the day.

It’s very difficult to write an article when you have to get up every 24 minutes to put a new Sheriff Callie on TV, at the demands of a preschooler. 

As my writing demands increase, I find myself hibernating on the computer even more when Will is at home on the weekends.

I know that it’s about time for me to get a weekday work schedule in place so that I can have more quality time on the weekends like normal families may do.  I still have another full school year before my youngest child goes to elementary school. My future goal is to draw boundaries between my duties as a working-at-home mom and my regular duties as mom.

Last Saturday, my writing obligations took me out to cover a story at North Hills. It got us out early on a Saturday, and we saw the new movie “Pirate Fairy” before the theater even opened that day. It was a rainy Saturday, so when we finished our press screening, the lobby was filled with families with kids of all ages.

Families were also filling the local restaurants. I decided to grab a later lunch in hopes of it being less busy then and dragged my son to a store to look for dress pants and dress shoes, which was more painful for him than going to the dentist.  But, with a dental office equipped with video games and movies, he never complains.  Searching for clothes, well, that apparently is just agony.

After a grueling 45 minutes of shopping, we all argued about where to have lunch. The oldest wanted Chick-fil-A, and my youngest wanted a burger. Considering the fact that I spent three hours at a Chick-fil-A on Thursday for my daughter to play with a friend, I refused to let that restaurant even be on the table as a suggestion. Then he argued for Bruegger’s.

We love Bruegger’s, but this was a day about experiencing something new. I think my son was craving some of his old haunts with me when he was still with me full-time and not in school.  But he’s got all summer with me, so he’ll get back to his favorites soon enough.

I suggested Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar. It opened last April, and I had never been there. I wanted to have a fun, out-of-the-box experience for a leisurely Saturday like other families do during the weekends. 

The youngest agreed with my choice because I think the name appealed to her. Besides, I’m not going to sugarcoat this. The dining was all about me and my desire to enjoy being out and about in Raleigh.  At the age of 45, my life is too short to eat in quick-service restaurants all the time, and my children have to learn to adapt.

It was almost 2 p.m., and there was a wait. We were given the fish name of John Trout-volta, and we (make that I) waited patiently for him to be taken out of the virtual fish tank for us to be seated. I’ll admit it was late for the kids to have lunch.  I don’t always use my best parental judgment when I’m in the moment, but I mean well. From what I gathered, our wait of 30 minutes was actually nothing. Our waitress told me that people wait three hours for dinner on a weekend night.

That’s right! You read that right. Three hours. That’s as long as the S.S. Minnow’s fateful trip.

It was worth our wait, and I fell in love with the restaurant. I think it has some of the best kid’s meals in town. I will be back … just maybe not on a weekend like everyone else.

Are you a family that eats out a lot on weekends?

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