Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Damn You Weekend Warriors.

I ran into a neighbor recently and she was excited to tell me about a new tile store she had found that morning on the way home from her kids' soccer games. She went into detail about their amazing selection and what she had bought there to start on her home project that afternoon. I listened in amazement, not because of her hand-carved Tunisian quartz backsplash she was describing but because she had managed to attend two soccer games, shop for tile and plan for a home project in the time it took me to roll out of bed, pour a cup of coffee and scratch my butt.

We've all heard of the over-scheduled child, but I think an equal menace to society is the over-scheduled mother. Obviously put here on earth for just one purpose: to make all the rest of us feel like lazy sloths. I can't go to a birthday party these days without hearing this conversation:

I have to leave right after cake. We have another birthday party to go to.

Just one? We have three parties after this. And a bar mitzvah.

Ha. That's nothing. We're going straight from here to a Christening. Then we have two birthday parties and a barbecue. After that I'm checking myself into Cedars for some lipo, but it'll be outpatient. I have to be in Venice by nine for an aura cleansing.

And so on, until by the end of these exchanges the competition has reached a fevered pitch and they all sound like a bunch of frat boys at Hooters competing to see who got laid the most times. I don't even join in those conversations, wanting to avoid their icy stares when I tell them that after cake? I'm taking the kids home, making myself a cappuccino and taking a nap until dinner.

I like to sleep in on the weekends. If Rigel does the same then the girls are usually up before us and get themselves a bowl of cereal. Then they play with matches or talk to strangers on the internet - whatever kids do when they're left unsupervised - until we get up and make breakfast. After that we spend an unhealthy amount of time laying around, reading the paper and drinking enough coffee to give an elephant an ulcer. I've tried doing a weekend "To Do" list as I've seen some of my Type A friends do but by Sunday night when I haven't crossed off a single thing it sends me into a panic. Maybe I should do a more realistic list with activities that I know for sure will get accomplished, things like, 'Breathe air' and 'Shrug shoulders.' I think that may just give me the triumphant feeling of accomplishment that I need to start my week off right.

Don't get me wrong - I'm all for productivity. In fact, I've been known to get a few things done, especially when faced with the imminent arrival of guests. But the stakes seem to have risen in the Look How Busy I Am wars, and it's making it hard on someone like me. How can I sleep peacefully until noon on a Saturday when I know that the rest of you have been up since dawn, atttending sporting events and renovating your homes? How do you expect me to stay in my pajamas all day after I've seen you, all perky and glowing as you're returning from your brunch date and your five-mile run?

My plea to you: knock it off. Try getting really crazy and sleeping until ten. Skip a birthday party and lay on your couch. Resist the urge to re-sod your front lawn, do nine loads of laundry, pre-cook eight days worth of meals or fly to Belize for a bikini wax. Instead, stay home and do absolutely nothing . Or if you run into me, at least have pity and say that you did.

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58 comments:

  1. I'm with you! I cannot wait until my daughter is old enough to actually make her own breakfast and turn on the TV. Then I can sleep in on the weekends.
    I spent the afternoon with two mom's who were sparring about who was busier. It was hell.
    Onward ho! To some coffee and a nap!

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  2. I'm teaching the 9 year old how to do laundry, so I have insurance that when the 15 year old graduates I will never have to have a Saturday "GodfatherI,II &III" marathon dirtied with going down to the basement to do laundry. Or anything else.

    I think we need to do an intervention with some of these women. We could force them to lay on the couch, watch movies, read and play on their laptops.

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  3. I am so with you on this. I am so NOT a person with any kind of schedule outside of work.

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  4. I am a busy mom. But what I'm busy with is stuff I LIKE doing rather than what other people say I should be doing. I LIKE painting and doing home improvement stuff - weird, I know - but I do it on my schedule, which can get pretty damned lazy. I'll be moving out of this house in two months and I'm STILL painting it. It's taken me 6 months to get this far...

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  5. Your life sounds not only lovely but wise. Why miss enjoying life because you are so busy chasing it?

    My sister tells me that these moms who seem to have everything perfectly together and perfectly scheduled have a painful secret: crippling anxiety attacks. I don't know if it's true, but I think I believe it.

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  6. OMG, if only I could sleep till 10! Someday the three-year-old will stop rising at dawn...

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  7. I think ballence is key.
    I like my house to be presentable so that I don't have to go into a panicked cleaning frenzie when my MIL says she is stopping by. (Talk about anxiety.)
    But I totally agree that "we" overschedule ourselves and then complain about how busy we are. I think a lot of those moms just don't know how to say NO!

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  10. I had my kids when I was way too young. How do I [now] know I was way too young? Well, weekends found my husband and I taking turns sleeping in [when the kids were too little to get their own cereal...and fry their own eggs and bacon] not until 10 AM but until noon or 1 PM. I was a growing girl and still needed my sleep. My husband was probably just hung over. Whatever the reasons, we slept on the weekend and loved it.

    I can well remember the distaste I felt when Colin (son) became a soccer player and had early games and Jane (daughter) had obligations...like she had to be at ballet at 8 AM. WTF?

    I still love sleeping in but the older I get, the earlier I awaken. Friends still know, though, if they call me before 8 and say, "Oh god I'm sorry, did I wake you up?" I will often as not say "yes."

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  11. NorCal Sistah3/13/2007 9:46 AM

    AMEN! For some unknown reason I am no longer able to sleep in (even when I want to -- curse from my mother I believe), but getting up in the morning and jumping into an activity is not going to happen -- I like the lazy mornings. Weekends are for rest and recovery. And, Marsha, you deserve your rest (as does my brother) -- don't ever think you don't do much -- I am usually exhausted after my visits with you watching all the things that you have to accomplish in day. Now go take a nap!

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  12. I am proud to say that I'm NOT one of those mom's. I'm more than happy to have 'lazy time' and find no need to brag when I'm busy.

    Yay for those that don't pretend to be super mom's.

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  13. ha! last weekend I stayed in bed 'till after lunch and then I got up and napped after which I took a power nap and went back to bed!!

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  14. Even though my daughter is only 2, I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to teach her how to make her own breakfast and turn on the tv. So far, it's not working.

    Thankfully, she's a decent sleeper and seems to have an innate sense of when Daddy has a hangover. Most weekends, she lets me sleep in until 9:00. I'd kill to sleep in until noon.

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  15. my three year old knows how to turn on the tv and get her own chocolate milk out of the fridge. just don't wake me any earlier than necessary.

    i have a lot of friends that go to 30 soccer/basketball games, schedule parties galore and still have a clean house.

    i'm thinking they don't sit around staring at the computer until 2am while drinking their 4th redbull and vodka, praying that the kids have clean underwear for the next day. i'm totally fine with my sub-par performance in the super mother contest.

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  16. You are my idol, but my children wake at 5:23 a.m. and start beating on the front door yelling, "GO OUT NOW!!!"

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  17. Two bar mitzvahs? Pick one. Three parties? Pick one. Jebus! I can't deal with people who feel that they have to say "yes" to everything.

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  18. I'm SO with you. My neighbor gets up at 6am every Saturday to do her gardening. I end up hiding from her all weekend because I don't want her to see me walking around all day in my pajamas.

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  19. P.S. What tile store?

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  20. Gosh I'm crushed. I was going to come over this weekend at 6am with some tile samples.

    -annie

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  21. I work during the week. That's enough for me. Weekends are for doing house stuff at a leisurely pace. If I get 2 loads of laundry done and a trip to the grocery store, I'm satisfied.

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  22. You're my kind of mom. We are pretty much the same way as you guys. In fact before I go to bed, I set the tv to pbs, put an open Nutragrain bar on the snackbar, and lay out clothes so when the boy wakes, he can get dressed, eat a snack and watch tv. It usually buys us an extra glorious hour. I like to think he's building self-reliance. Or some other character he's gonna need someday...

    Yeah, don't get why people feel the need to overschedule their kids and themselves...

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  23. Okay, I'm guilty!

    I'm one of those with a long to-do list because it motivates me to get things done. And its for me alone! I wouldn't inflict my neuroses on my poor husband!

    But I like to think that I do have balance because I sleep for 11 - 12 hours every weekend! *shock*

    And the things on my list? Finish Amy Tan, go shopping for new handbag, and so on LOL

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  24. I keep myself pretty busy, but I like being busy. I know, I'm weird. I like getting up at 5:30 and participating in events that mean something to me, like LLL and sewing and knitting.

    But I totally understand what you mean by the competition. I never brag about being busy, or complain. And I do like to do nothing some days as well.

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  25. You are my idol! Amen to moms like us! My speech on a Friday night when putting the boys to bed is "tomorrow is no school, PLEASE PLEASE let mommy and daddy sleep! If you wake up early, play in your room or go downstairs. You know how to turn on the heat downstairs!" Wouldn't want them to freeze to death while we snooze!

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  26. I've noticed our weekends seem to be chock-full-of-activities or completely dead. I've found I enjoy the latter MUCH more. Nothing better than realizing at 3:30 in the afternoon that you are still in your pajamas. ;-)

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  27. I hear ya! We don;t get to sleep in because our little one is too too small to use the computer on her own to talk to starngers on the internet or to light a match, but we are known for putting her between us with Blue's Clues and Dora so we can dose a bit more before sitting up in bed, giving her some toys to play with it, catching up on some tv, reading the paper and finally rolling out bed in time for lunch! Oh ya and we make sure she eats breakfast somewhere in there and then roll back to bed.

    please make all the overacheavers stop! Or start closetting their obsession from all of us!

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  28. You are a beacon of rationality and hope for the rest of us that enjoy sleep and normalcy.

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  29. I think it's probably partly an LA thing, or maybe just a coastal thing in general. Here in the Midwest, people running crazily from party to party to tile store to soccer game are the exception rather than the rule. In our house, we try not to schedule anything before noon on the weekends, and it's rare for me to find I have more than one social event in the same 24 hour period. And that's just the way I like it. Weekends are for relaxing, not running yourself ragged.

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  30. I made a pact with myself a long time ago that I was not going to have my kids in every activity going because I refused to run around like a nut. They each do one thing. Birthday parties? I say "no" to most. Otherwise, it would be every weekend. I am protective over our weekends. That is when we spend time together. Oh, and my kids know to get up and turn on the tv until we are up in the morning. Although, these days, I can't sleep much past 8am.

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  31. I couldn't agree more!!!

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  32. I like to sit around the house and watch TV. I tell LA Mommy that I'm "writing" in my head. But I'm really just sitting around the house and watching TV.

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  33. Oh how in the world did you get in my head?????

    This is precisely why I whined like a toddler in my last post. I was over-scheduled for too many day in a row and I was slowly but surely loosing my mind. Oh, and the ability to breathe.

    I say bring on the naps and let the laundry pile up, at least for a day!

    Carrie

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  34. I'd like to comment, but I simply don't have a minute, what with my ironwoman training and charity work and novel and projects (I'm hand-crafting an 8 x 10 Oriental carpet, cultivating real grass for Easter baskets, and installing new wood floors throughout my house). And the kids have multiple, consecutive birthday parties both before and after their language classes (they study Chinese and Russian) - and thereafter we're expected at the Governor's home for dinner. My apologies.

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  35. OK - found you thru Mama Drama. Your blog rocks. And yet another to my list-o-reads.

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  36. This was just so funny.

    Seriously, there few bloggers that make me laugh out loud.

    I might keep a mental to-do list but I aim low (and unfortunately usually punt the list to the following weekend when nothing gets done).

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  37. Just another fine example of why I love you.

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  38. I so love you. I made my husband read this post(he reads blogs only when I insistently beg. He LOLed and said that could be us.

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  39. Preach it, sister!!!!

    I just got dressed. And yes it is 11:40. On a Thursday. Being a sloth is good and it is good for my family.

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  40. I spent the whole weekend in my pajamas and I'm not just saying that.

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  41. Um yeah. Add me to your list. I do not like getting dressed or leaving the house on the weekend unless truly pressed. As it is I consider the weekend a complete and total success if I get the laundry done and the house semi cleaned..all in my pj's of course! :)

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  42. I'm with you, girl. It's not even the weekend yet and it's been over 24 hours since my last shower. BOOYA!

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  43. Oh god, yes. I just want to fall in a heap on my sofa and not wear a bra all weekend. That's what gets me through the week, knowing I can be a sloth on Saturday. My goal for weekends is to be as useless as possible.

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  44. You and me, baby! I have been stomping around the house lately in a pathetic sort of ongoing tantrum, because my boys are now 9 and 5 and asking to have some scheduled activities. Damn them; can't they just watch TV like normal kids? So now Ben's in tae kwon do, and Jack is in swimming, to be followed by soccer, and between them Monday and Wednesday evenings are totally shot. All I want to do is watch Idol on Wednesdays. I am not.happy.at.all.

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  45. I don't know why e. said that people in the Midwest don't run around and compete over how insanely busy they are, but I wish she would introduce me to some of her friends so I wouldn't feel like such a lazy slob compared to all the other parents I know.

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  46. ha ha ha - what I hate is when the naturally lazy me is FORCED into busy-ness nearly every darned weekend - and we don't even have sports or birthday parties to complain about - but I have and EXTENDED FAMILY, and man, much as I love them I just wish I could have some time off soon!!!

    Oh, and it pays to be good at spin - so you are not having a cappuchino and napping - you have been invited to an exclusive product quality control test after!

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  47. I am *defying* you and telling you exactly how I spent my day -- posting on my blog, then mowing and weeding the front and back yards.

    And re-sodding the backyard, which consists of ripping up hunks of grass from the overgrown garden beds and pressing them into the blank spots that need help. It's like Lee Press-on Nails, only for the lawn. No, I'm not making this up.

    I also started the laundry, but the dishes are piled to the ceiling, if that makes you feel better. And the kids and I tracked mud all through the house. And in my own defense, I'm only doing this cuz we're putting the house on the market, so we can move to the Midwest, where life is supposedly less crazy (or more crazy, according to whose comments you read above ;) than the West Coast.

    Signed,

    Uber-Freak

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  48. Oh my god, I didn't even shower today until my 17-month old when down for a nap at 12:30. Even when I have more free time, I still will lack money, so it's no jetting off to Belize for some personal bush-whacking or redoing the kitchen or finding out the color of my aura.

    But hell, air is always free, so breathing and shrugging shoulders, without a toddler clinging to me, sounds downright heavenly. Also, drinking. I need to catch up on my drinking. Definitely on my to-do list.

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  49. God I totally heart you. One of my co-workers was telling me over lunch about her kids (both under age 6) and their ballet, ice skating, t-ball, soccer, AND gymnastics lessons.)

    I thought I was going to pass out.

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  50. amen sister. cannot WAIT til my kids are old enough to play with matches on their own on a sat. morning.

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  51. I ache for a weekend like the one you described. I want nothing more than the right to take my time to do the things that really matter to me without the "call of the wild". And I don't have young children....just a family that demands every last drop of my blood!

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  52. Relax to the max when you can!

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  53. oh wow - amen to that! LOL I see women like that all the time. They always look so damn put together, and then there is me - mother of five, who yes, when opportunity has presented itself, I will sleep in!

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  54. don't panic! don't panic! i'm over here, down by the river.
    x

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  55. I'm so with you. I think it's a status symbol to say that you're busy. The busier you are somehow the more in demand you are and that makes you important. I'm all for simplification.

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  56. Are these women on speed or something? I don't know how they do it. I'll take my relaxed - lazy - pace any day!!

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  57. damn straight.

    *pow-pow* (you, with your double barrels of truth)

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  58. Now that was my kind of post. Please know that if none of those moms are ever human enough to tell you they lounged until 10, at least you made someone else feel better - me! Today, I did laundry (after three cups of coffee). I put away the laundry that I'd piled so high in the garage (where the washer and dryer are) that it finally fell over, blocking traffic to and from the vehicles, thus requiring immediate action before Monday. Today was a very productive day just because of that one task alone, which is good, as it was the only task I accomplished (if by "accomplished" you don't count matching the socks, still in the basket to give a head start to the next pile).

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