As a working parent I look forward to those long weekends, but they are pretty hard too. However, if it gives me an extra day to have breakfast with my children, I’ll take it.
One of the real causes for celebration as far as I am concerned is the rare occasion when the type of holiday that closes your office lands right next to a weekend. The thought of getting a whole three, or even four, days off in a row is my idea of heaven.
I get more time away from work, more time with my kids and more time, theoretically, for me. As a full time working parent, this is what I imagine life is like all the time for my part time colleagues.
Five Days in a Row
Three days off in a row is really the minimum amount of time you need to recharge your batteries. When I am lucky enough to have this come my way I spend time with the kids; taking them to the local pool or park, baking cookies and doing all the types of activity we never get a chance to do on the normal weekend.
Instead of cramming the time with shopping and chores that need to be done when I’ve been out at work all week, paying visits to various family members and generally catching up, I actually get to do some fun things with my children.
However, this also has a downside. We are really lucky because we live within driving distance of aunts, uncles and grandparents and my children can take advantage of the extra time to visit them.
For me this means more time driving and sitting in traffic queues. Without daycare there are other tasks to be scheduled in like changing diapers and making meals. Organizing food feels like a never-ending task when you have growing children to feed.
More tantrums are the order of the day too once children step outside of their normal, predictable routines accompanied inevitably by more time spent taking a deep breath just to get through the next round of drama. And, of course, more time to dwell on what a terrible full-time stay-at-home mom I would make.
Although I often complain about my five-day working week, I do believe that if most parents spent three or four days working and then three or four days at home with their family, the guilt we feel when we are a working mom may start to fade away.
That said, when I do finally get that sought-after long weekend I always approach it with mixed feelings. On the one hand I am so happy to spend time at home with my children; on the other I suffer the stress that comes when you spend 24/7 with two very needy young children.
I still look forward to and cherish those long weekends; these bonus days can be hard, but the more I do it the better I will become at relaxing and enjoying them.