I have weekday mommy guilt all worked out. The Hero and I have wourked out a morning routine, I have started cooking for Chotu and I have set expectations at office so that I get about 3 hours of very quality time with Chotu each morning. I also come home in time to play with him for a little while and then snuggle and tell stories with the lights out. This system works (frantically knocks on wood). What I haven’t worked out yet, however, is weekend guilt. Hoo boy! That is some guilt.
Take a look at what’s on the ol’ todo list on weekends:
- Grocery shopping
- Vegetable shopping
- Deep cleaning
- Tracking down the ironing guy
- Miscellaneous tasks ranging from getting the water tank cleaned to heading to the RTO because our car loan’s paid up
- And so on…
However, Chotu tops the list and we end up postponing most chores until his nap time or until after he sleeps. That’s a terrible strategy because the only couple time we get is on weekends after Chotu sleeps. However, there are so many listicles out there telling you you’re never going to regret the state of your closet when you die* that you end up sorta, kinda, maybe believing them a little and feeling guilty you’re not out doing more awesome things.
Someone has to do it so I’m going to call bullshit. Sure, it’s possibly overkill to organize spoons by size when you have a toddler in the house (or even otherwise) but there is a bare minimum that has to be done, no? So we do the best we can.
Some of my friends do fit in their chores during nap times or they work out some sort of childcare/timeshare agreement with their spouses. Another friend occasionally drops off her child at daycare for a couple of hours. Some end up becoming supermoms who multi-task even more during the week and keep their weekends free. It’s madness!
Why do we go to such lengths to keep our kids away from the grocery shopping and ironing and tidying up? I don’t just mean taking them along to the store and teaching them (or bribing them) to behave. I mean engaging them in the tasks we are doing. Do you do that? That has got to be the only solution to this weekend scheduling guilt problem, right?
How much do you teach your kids about cleaning up and putting away clothes and buying vegetables and that sort of thing? Do you count that as quality time spent with your child? How old do you think a kid needs to be before they can put away their toys once they’re done? What do you do about the unending stream of housework?
* Conveniently overlooking the fact that you do care all those years you’re alive