Saturday, 9 March 2013

Sucky Saturday

In general, for a Rev's wife with children, Saturdays tend to suck.

It's not just because TheRev works at the weekend, though of course he does. Nor is it just because he works harder on a Saturday than most other days, preparing for Sunday.; though of course that is true too.  I can accept that a clergy family simply needs to get used to having Daddy home on a different day.

The thing that really makes Saturday so much more sucky than other days is it doesn't afford the same distractions that the other days do.  During the week, I can fill our time with toddler groups, meeting up with people, leaving at least one child at the childminder, errands, shopping and visiting local attractions.  On Saturdays, however, everybody else is having their family time, so there's no-one to go and see; no regular groups are on; shops and local attractions are crowded and sometimes doubly expensive.  So, while everybody else is having fun and relaxing, The Rev's Family tend to have a stay at home day, performing mundane tasks and failing to do any housework that actually shows. The children go mad from containment and over-exposure to their exhausted mother, while I attempt to prepare songs, puppet sketches, performance poetry and visual aids for Sunday, all the time entertaining and feeding the children and clearing up the mess that they are constantly creating.

(Of course, once children are at school, perhaps this is what Saturday is like for everybody?  Except that in plenty of other families, there are two parents, or at least an extra adult somewhere, freed from work and present to deal with the extra demands of the weekend.)

I have a bad cold at the moment too, so I had a feeling that today would turn out to be a train wreck before it even started.  However, there's a technique that I have learned as a parent that keeps me sane.  It's called perspective.

I could easily say that we did nothing and achieved nothing all day and that it was miserable, and from my perspective, that would be true.  After all, we began the day with four back-to-back episodes of Show Me Show Me and we never left the house.  But from the children's perspective, today wasn't so bad.

We had a singing session with Nicky, my puppet, and all the musical instruments.  Abigail made lots of cups of tea in her kitchen.  Jeremy practised standing up by himself, even managing to stand and wave a flag at the same time.  Abigail did some of her Bob The Builder activity magazine and drew her very first person with arms and legs sticking out of the face.
(Just to be clear about this achievement, I drew the round shape under the helmet and she added eyes, mouth, hair, arms, legs and a chin.  She was very particular about the chin.)

We ran round and round the kitchen table for no apparent reason. We danced to loud music.  We built towers and knocked them over.  We tidied away all the toys in the playroom and then got them all out again.  We started to tidy the airing cupboard and got distracted by using old curtains as cloaks and wearing half a shape sorter ball as a crown and then trying to walk without the crown falling off.

My children are fun to be with.  Even though it was Saturday and the pre-child me would have crawled back under the duvet - today was an OK day.

All the same - I'm glad I have a week to recover before next Saturday.


Anonymous said...

My Rev husband takes Saturday as his day off so he gets a day with the children. Means he has to be organised & get work done by Fri but it's good to have a proper weekend day off work. My bruv-in-law Methodist Minister does the same. May be worth considering.

Anonymous said...

Oh Amy, I'm so with you! Al used to have Fridays off, under the guise of potentially being able to have a Friday-Saturday weekend on the rare weeks when he can have two days off. But what actually happened was that a) those weeks never happened, and b) he'd have a Friday with us, then we'd have a long and boring Saturday without him. So now he tends to have Saturday off and we play with friends on Friday. However, on the Saturdays when he needs to work (weddings, conferences, etc), I'm fortunate to have a few friends whose other halves either work on Saturdays, or have other commitments - e.g. one friend's hubbie plays rugby on Saturday afternoons, so they're kicking their heels anyway. Yesterday was a day like this, and we enjoyed two lovely play dates with two different friends. But your Saturday sounds infinitely more exciting and creative than ours usually are, so a massive well done!