Friday, January 7, 2011

Family, Friends, & Fun Friday

Are you stuck in a cycle of working all day at home on the weekend, and dreading to see Monday, when you start all over again? Would you rather have fun with your family? Would you rather have some me time? Try the following five tips to help get your weekend in gear:

1. Try having a "cleaning day" on THURSDAY! If you have a typical 9-5 type schedule, this will help a lot. Avoid doing this on Saturday if you are a "working mom," and avoid Monday for this if you are a "stay-at-home mom." Doesn't it make sense for the house to be in order when everybody is more likely to be there to enjoy it? Don't spend more than an hour doing this. Before you start, survey the house for 5 minutes, and choose what absolutely cannot go undone. For example, even if you don't vacuum the whole house, those crumbs under the table have got to go; or even if you don't clean the toilets, wipe the rim with a baby wipe, and squirt some something scented in the bowl and flush. Let each family member who helps you know that they are making it possible for you to spend time with them doing something they love (don't forget to actually do that!).

2. Set yourself a planning trap. Get your cellphone voice recorder ready, put out a to-do list, magnet a paper or mini whiteboard to the fridge, or log onto your lists at (whatever you already have) so that when things annoy you and you want them to be different next weekend, you can make a note of it. An added bonus here is that you can "nag your notes" instead of blaming your spouse or children. (Number one way to miss out on a great weekend.)

3. Take a mental bath. Tell yourself that this is going to be a great weekend, and that you are going to be refreshed enough on Monday to hit the ground running, and that when you hiccups that you will be resourceful and follow through to completion. Check your calendar and add anything necessary on Thursday so you won't be rushing out on Sunday night to get supplies for an obligation on Monday.

4. Reduce future weekend obligations that interfere with family time. Be ruthless about this. For kids with homework, don't threaten: just entice. Would you like to play Wii together tomorrow? Would you like to go for hot chocolate and to the park?

5. Declare a theme for the weekend. This may be language and culturally based, or it may be activity based. For example, go to the aquarium, then out to lunch for seafood. Watch a fish documentary at home or a fish/ocean themed fun movie depending on your children's ages.

Now you may be thinking, "It's already Friday, and my home is a mess!" Or, "We are already supposed to go to that obligatory party/meeting/event this weekend! Never fear! You can do number two and three today, and even number FIVE! You can declare this weekend to be "Team Weekend," and as you whiz to and from your activities, find out the main thing each family member would like to change about the weekend, and come up with a name for your family team. This could be as simple as "Team Smith (family name)" if that works with your family, or elaborate, like Happiness Honchos. You get the idea. Now find SOMETHING you can enjoy this weekend!

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