My Kids Have Hijacked My Weekends

There is a high level alert going on in our household these days. What’s terrorizing me, you ask?

My kids’ activities.

I recall the time BK (before kids) when my time off of work was my time. Time to plan and to do (or to not). Sometimes I just spent all day in my pjs if I was lucky enough to have a weekend off. No agenda. Just a day away from the frenetic pace that  was the hallmark of my day job (and my night job and my weekend job!).

IMG_4007Then came the kids. Okay, it was work when they were infants. They had to be fed and diapered and generally kept alive. But their needs were simple and if I didn’t need to be in to be at work on a Sunday, I could sip a cup of coffee and read the Times while the baby (and later the toddler and the baby) were in my proximity. I kept them from sticking a fork in an outlet but essentially got IMG_4006to do my own, grown-up thing that made me happy. And when everyone was old enough, I was even lucky enough to sleep past 8am–a true luxury for a surgeon.

No longer true. Every weekend is now consumed by my kids activities.

Whether it’s 8am baseball practice or a 9am Field Hockey tournament over an hour away, forget sleeping in even though no one is awaiting a soggy overnight diaper change. Then mid-day rolls around and there is likely a dance show, a classmate’s birthday party, and another practice that vie for my kids’ time. And they don’t drive yet.

IMG_3530

IMG_3656We are forced to divide and conquer (thus separating me from my awesome husband who I actually like to spend time with when I am off). We are forced to eat in the car on the run when there just isn’t enough time between activities to sit down to a meal. We guzzle gallons upon gallons of gas going to and fro from event to event, some of which are on opposite sides of the state.

I can’t remember the last time I had an unscheduled weekend for myself. I struggle trying find time to get together with friends who are experiencing the same level of terror in their homes. I literally have gone years without seeing friends who live in the same very small state because with our kids we just don’t have time to be with anyone else on the weekends. In fact, I was so pleased with myself heading into this weekend. I managed to arrange both a work outing on Friday and a Sunday BBQ with my Ragnar van mates. I planned this as soon as the call schedule came out. And wouldn’t you know, out comes the email that the make-up baseball game starts a half hour before the work event and the playoff coincides exactly with Ragnar reunion.

Aaaaaaaaaargh!

My kids have hijacked my weekends and it’s infuriating. I want to support their interests (trust me I’m no Tiger mom; other than encouraging physical activity and retaining some cultural interests these kids a choosing to over-extend themselves with extra-curriculars and parties and playdates) but I can’t say I would shed a tear if they up and quit dance or ball or hockey.

Well maybe I would. If my kids end up too unidimensional to get into college then they’ll have nowhere to go after high school and I really need to get my weekends back.

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5 thoughts on “My Kids Have Hijacked My Weekends

    • I would rather be spending time doing something with them than observing them. We haven’t managed a family bike ride or kayaking in lake as a group or hitting a local museum due to too many weekend activities. Actually, this is why a few weeks ago we took a whole weekend away together. To be with each other and not simply observing each other in organized events.

  1. AMEN! however, some activites are more bearable than others-relaxing post-call in the shade during a baseball game (where things go slowly enough to be able to snooze a little) makes up for the loss of me-time -from another mom/doc who really enjoys your blog!

  2. When my kids were younger, we knew they needed exercise, and socialization, and us. And we decided the best way to provide those things was NOT with torturing ourselves with their sports but rather driving to our weekend place every weekend we could. We made a deliberate decision to not allow them to participate in any activities with weekend games or practices. Instead, we spent hours together in the car, skied every pristine winter weekend, swam in the reservoir in the summer, had friends up for weekends and dinner parties every Saturday night. It was the happiest time of all of our lives. Now they are in high school, and they participate in all those weekend activities that high school demands. They didn’t play first string in their sports at first, but have progressed. They are nice people. They can talk to adults. They are able to entertain themselves. They can figure stuff out. They are each others’ best friends. No, they won’t get sports scholarships to college. but to be honest, they probably would not have qualified for those anyway. My point is, if you aren’t enjoying the weekends, why are your torturing yourselves encouraging the kids in activities you don’t even like? Teach them about your life, your interests.
    Eventually they will return the favor.

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