TIPS TO MAKE YOUR SATURDAYS MORE ENJOYABLE

Saturdays, Schmaturdays!

[By Claire Chadwick]

Each Friday afternoon, I get that little buzz. The “yahoo the weekend is here” buzz. You know the one, don’t you? That amazing sense of freedom, that only a Friday can bring! But then that relaxed state-of-mind is quickly dumped out the window early Saturday morning, because Saturdays seem to be just as, if not busier than our weekdays.

We don’t get a chance to sleep-in or laze around on Saturday mornings – in fact our Saturdays are controlled completely by routine and schedules. And I’m sure many Aussie families can relate.

There’s ballet classes and swimming lessons. There’s co-curriculars and sporting events. There’s band performances and concert rehearsals. And there’s parties - so many kid’s parties to shop for, prepare for and attend. And then, if you’re a little crazy like me, you’ll squeeze a grocery shop in there as well as a coffee date with a friend and then return home to mop the floors.

Sundays usually make up for the chaos, as they usually bring a slower, more relaxed pace. Sunday is usually our family day.

But Saturdays have some explaining to do! I decided to look a little closer at my Saturdays and find a way to make them less chaotic and a little less busier for my family. This is what I came up with:

  • Be Organised.
  • Just like the weekdays, Saturdays need some preparation and organisation too. Although Friday evenings are usually about chilling out or going out, still find a few minutes to get prepared for the next day. Lay out the kid’s sport uniforms or clothes for the day. Pre-pack a few snacks and/or lunch. Make sure shoes are ready {because missing shoes are well known for making a family late to an event}. Think ahead of what is needed for each child and what preparations can be done to make the morning easier and less stressful.

  • Present Buying and Wrapping.
  • As soon as you get an invite to a child’s party and you RSVP yes, get the present. Don’t leave it to the day before or the day of the party. Have the gift bought, wrapped and tagged as early as possible. So many times, I’ve planned to ‘quickly wrap’ the present before the party – to then be left rushing, stressing and writing on the card as we pull up at the event. Simply think, plan and shop ahead of time.

  • Say NO sometimes.
  • Saturdays are already full enough with school co-curriculars, out-of-school sports, chores and parties. If someone invites you to catch up on a Saturday and you know it’s just adding to the stress of running around and getting from place to place on time – politely say no. Same goes for parties, play dates and extra activities – it’s ok to say no sometimes. Suggest other days that you could raincheck.

    The same advice goes when you’re child asks if they can join the local sporting club or start a new hobby {when they are already do several others}. Explain to them that they are already committed to other things and as a family, you can’t fit more in.

  • Prioritise.
  • Do you NEED to mop the floors on a Saturday and/or grocery shop? Could you shop online and pick it up on a Friday afternoon instead? Or could you squeeze in a mopping session one weekday evening after work? {Not fun I know – but it takes the stress off your already busy weekend} Make a list of what’s important and of high priority for the weekend and try not to cram in too much on top of that list.

  • ENJOY.
  • Although Saturdays can be busy, you still need to enjoy them. Remember that your kids are doing activities because they want to, and it’s usually a positive experience for them. Look for the beautiful moments in the day and hold onto them – your child’s smile as they walk into ballet or walk off the footy field. The excitement that brings them as they mingle with their friends or play at their buddy’s party. The way they rely on you to support them, cheer them and love them. The joy of being a parent!

    And then as Saturday night rolls around, you can relax and cherish and dig your teeth into a slower pace with your beloved family.

What are your Saturdays like? Slow and easy or go go go?

Claire Chadwick is a mother of two, a wife, a children’s Author and a life lover. She was a Primary School Teacher for ten years before she embarked on Motherhood, and freelance writing. She is a lover of summer, coffee, the colour pink and hearing her children laugh. Claire blogs daily about parenting and life from her Brisbane home at www.claireeverafter.com and has recently launched a successful and fun children’s book called So Many Sounds. You can find out more about Claire and her book at: http://www.clairechadwick.com.au. Claire believes in living a wholesome life full of rich memories and cherished moments. Her weaknesses: designer handbags, good champagne and a jar of Nutella.