Saturdays around here, with three older kids, go like this:
1. Friday night, Mike and I basically rock paper scissor-it to determine who does the early morning crew run. Spoiler alert: HE ALWAYS DOES.
2. Saturday: One kid to crew; another one up for a Girl Scout hike, one home from crew, another retrieved from a sleepover, one off to horseback riding, post-riding discussion on Sunday's schedule, a birthday party, extensive whining.
3. We escape them.
Number three is my favorite. Not because I don't love all these things with my kids; but more so that I need a break from them to appreciate all these things. Children take and take and take. And we allow this and give and give and give, because we love them so freaking much. I'd give these kids of mine anything and everything I have; but I have nothing when I don't have a break.
And I am not talking about the weekday break--with them at school and me at home and work. I am talking about the break on the weekend when there is not homework or a game or work deadlines or meetings. This is the break, I look forward to and need. Even more now that they are older and I am older.
They are a lot.
I think it is important to acknowledge how much parenting takes a tool on us. My mother and father never once informed me that they were exhausted. They never said: "WE NEED A BREAK." So much of their adult lives was so separate from my child life--and later my young adult life. I literally had no idea. They always expected grandchildren; but I wish maybe they made it clear that I'd be riddled with guilt for the rest of my life because I missed one Saturday night snuggle watching something on Netflix.
And I wish they would have said: "I am escaping because I love myself and you."
Parenting is hard. Weekends are hard. Finding moments to escape is nearly impossible; but it is necessary. Escaping Saturday night is what makes Sunday and Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday and Friday possible.