Hey, it’s the weekend! That used to mean something. Before I had kids, Friday meant a lot of delicious things: two evenings to enjoy by myself with friends, two mornings to sleep in, and long stretches of time to read, clean the house, cook a nice meal and exercise. I could do all of those things in just one weekend! It seems like a faraway dream, doesn’t it? Now I’m a mom, and when Friday rolls around, I don’t really think, “Hey, great, I really could use a couple of days off.” No, the weekend is not as, shall we say, restorative as it was back in the day. Below, 13 reasons why there’s no weekend when you’re a mom.
1. You’re still rousted out of bed at some ungodly hour by a human alarm clock—an alarm clock that doesn’t shut off for the next 14 hours.
2. Your list of things that must get done is just as long as it is on weekdays.
3. Attending a 3-year-old’s birthday party is a feat of endurance, worthy of hazardous-duty pay.
4. If you’re an introvert and are already finding the social demands of parenting rough, the various sporting events you have to attend will sap your strength. Your small talk is like, “So, is that your son…in the bathing suit, swimming?” “That one over there, in the bathing suit, swimming, is mine. Yup.”
5. You can’t really start drinking heavily until the kids are in bed, just like the weeknights, lest you pass out too early and the kids trample your drunk self to get to the snack cabinet and the TV like happened that one time.
6. At 10 p.m. you start thinking nervously, “I really should shut this off and go to bed, or I’m going to be a wreck tomorrow.”
7. There are still three meals a day to be made, same as, say, Wednesday. And there are children who have a few critiques of your cooking.
8. You’re probably checking your work email and communicating with the same people you talk to all week.
9. Your “you” time, to read or watch TV in peace, is still the last four minutes of the day.
10. You spend the day thinking, “Just as soon as I get this done, I’ll sit down for five minutes and take a break,” same as you do Monday through Friday.
11. Your kids give you as much lip on a Saturday afternoon as they do on a Tuesday.
12. I don’t care what anyone says, grocery shopping with two small kids who grab every single thing off every freaking shelf is work.
13. You get to Sunday night, and think, “Man, I could really use a couple of days off.”
Someday, the human alarm clocks will sleep in a little and have their own plans with their friends. And these days—the days of chock-a-block Saturdays and Sundays—will seem like a faraway dream. Someday we’ll get our weekends back, full of fun plans and lots of alone time. But in the meantime, I’ll settle for grocery shopping alone.