Wednesday, November 19, 2014

How to Measure Time on the Weekends


Every working mom knows the weekends are your catch-up days. We need these two days to be productive, not “restful.” Gone are the bored, nothing-to-do weekends of my childhood. Katrina Fernandez aka The Crescat published a humorous post on Patheos titled Sunday’s a Day of Rest… that made me roar with laughter and self-identification.

Time is a valuable commodity, not measured just by the available minutes but by productive minutes. In other words, sitting on the couch with your husband at 10 p.m. trying to watch Castle without falling asleep doesn’t count as productive time.  Take this weekend for example; there were only two productive tasks on my plate.
  1. Write two blog posts:  How to Plan a Paleo Thanksgiving and 3 Saints to Know in November
  2. Finish the last 50 pages of the latest “quick read” teen novel Four: A Divergent Collection

Day One:

It’s the last weekend for fall-ball and our three year old plays blast ball game at 9 a.m.  It’s 45F with a wind chill in the “why am I outside?” range. This is the weather that separates native Houstonians from the many transplanted Yankee-Mid-Westerners. We’re wearing tights, lined pants, two shirts, a fleece pullover, scarf, coat, hat, and mittens.  They’re strolling round in long shorts and a sweatshirt. 

Whatever. 

Thankfully, Blastball is only 30 minutes of adorable cuteness. We jump and run with the kids in a desperate attempt to make sure they’re warm and we’re warm, because no one wants to stand still in that breeze.  On our way out, I notice that our concessions volunteers are packing up the Keurig coffee maker.  They’re out of K-cups?! I run home, raid the house of any and all K-cups, no matter the fru-fru flavor. Then it’s back to the fields for Concessions duty where I dig my hands deep into ice-filled coolers pulling out bottled water to pour into the Keurig coffee maker while listening to complaints that the only hot coffee we have to offer is Donut House - Chocolate Glazed Donut flavor or HEB Texas Pecan.


Are you ready for some SOFTBALL!! 

Fastpitch 12U softball catcher coach
At 11 a.m. it’s time for the last fall ball 12U game with my husband coaching and my 12 yr old catching. Since our older daughter agreed to stay in the warm house and let her brother watch TV, I get to shoot some video, keep the official score book, chat with parents, laugh, and have a great time.  * Major Quality Time *


After the game, a hot soaking bath at home takes away the chill in my body.  Oh, so thankful for this Little Moment of Solitude! After warmed up leftovers for lunch, I ask the girls to bring down laundry baskets.  No answer. Ask the girls to pick out what they want to wear for family pictures tomorrow. No answer. 

It’s already mid-afternoon when I suddenly realize that the library is only open for two more hours. I need a new audio book since I finished listening to Dinner with Churchill: Policy Making at the Dinner Table,  but I can’t find my library card.  No one wants to go with me, so I score 30 minutes of additional “ME” time!

When I come home, there’s no laundry going and no one has clothes picked out for tomorrow’s photo shoot.  Explode into tornado mom of exasperated fury battling teen insolence, scowls of disdain, and laser eyes of “I hate you mom.”  Surprisingly clothes are chosen in record time.  The evening event is driving oldest daughter to visit with friends at their DeMolay Installation of Officers, dinner, and dance

Day 1 Tally -
Blog posts written:  0
Book pages read: 5 (albeit water spotted)
Personal Quality Time: 3

Day Two:

Sunday morning dawns with giggles and playfulness from the 3-yr old that included the whole family, but the quality time ends when I announce it’s time to get ready for Mass.  After church we run up to the grocery store for the week’s meals, planning on the fly which never helps my budget.


Sisters Selfie - Of Sound Mind and Spirit
For this year’s family Christmas pictures, my parents hired a local photographer to do a two-hour photo shoot with all four of the families  -- outside. I've been stressing over the potential weather all weekend, but miraculously it’s not too cold and the rain stops just in time.  Shooting with this photographer is a lot of fun; he brings a real creative energy to each of the separate family shoots smoothing over any anxiety. For my personal family portrait, we took a little latitude to have fun; no stuffy poses for us. I can’t wait to see the end result and share it with you! Unfortunately, ants attack my oldest and youngest while we're setting up the shot. Casually I strip the boy down to his superman underpants, find and kill the offending bugs. My brave daughter suffers many bites to her feet, but you’ll never know from the expression on her face in the picture.


The photo shoot is such an adrenaline rush that no one wants it to end, so we decide to capitalize on everyone being in a good mood and splurge on a nice dinner out; we invite my parents. The three-year old is fading from all the activity, then conks out in my husband’s arms. Later, he rouses long enough to give us a stoned look. Suddenly it hits me, DUH, and I ask my husband, “Too much Benadryl?”  (to counteract the ant bites.)  We burst out laughing. 

Talking with GrandpaWe barely make it back from dinner in time for my teen and I to turn around and head to the church for Life Teen/Confirmation night. By the time we come home, it’s time to get things ready for bed. In our absence, my husband started the laundry, but we won’t be able finish it. My daughters pack their school bags hoping that I’ll call them to watch “Once Upon a Time” on the DVR, but with a two-hour episode waiting and the already late hour, I tell them to go to bed. Much grumbling. But it's more important for Mom to balance the checkbook and pay bills.

Day 2 Tally -
Blog posts written:  0
Book pages read: 0
Family Quality Time:  3


What's Important?

According to my plan, nothing was accomplished this weekend. (The laundry is still sitting in the living room on Wednesday morning.) I did finish off the book late Tuesday night, but I still haven’t written those two blog posts. While I jotted this one out in record time, it still took nearly three days to actually post it.

However, this weekend taught me that maybe we shouldn't be quick to measure our time in terms of Productivity, rather we should measure our time in Quality for ourselves and with our family. 
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