I think I’ve finally figured out why weekends are so great

I’ll be the first to admit that I grossly overestimated the amount of time and energy I’d have at the end of the day when I went back to work.

I’ve always been fairly good at wringing a little extra time from every day and putting it to good use. I figured I could just get up, get my kid’s day started, head to work, watch her again for a few hours when I got home, and still have plenty of time for other things.

Well, during my first week back, that wasn’t the case. By the time I put my daughter to bed each night, I was having trouble keeping my own eyes open. So was my wife, who had actually spent the whole day with her.

Obviously, some changes are in order. Kate and I have been thinking of ways to support each other, but I’m also trying to find better ways to look after myself. An obvious solution would be to sleep whenever I’m tired, but at the moment, that wouldn’t leave much time for anything else in my life beyond my job and family.

Thankfully, I think I made some good use of my weekend. I got some rest, of course, but I also got the jump on a number of things I hope to do this week. I looked after the kid on Friday night so Kate could go out to Comedy Bar, and she did the same for me on Saturday so I could go out to Everyone’s a DJ. I also did a bunch of cooking, which isn’t something I often do, but it’s turning out to be a good way to relax on the one hand, and prepare for the week ahead on the other.

My wife and I are both adjusting to new and different routines, and I think it’s going to take a lot of fine-tuning. We’re not going to find a peaceful and successful rhythm right away, but I think we’re slowly getting there.

Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? How did you get on top of your routine? What small changes made a big difference? Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas.

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3 Responses to “I think I’ve finally figured out why weekends are so great”

  1. Leon says:

    I’m just starting to feel like myself and Leffe is turning two next week. It takes a while, but it’ll get better.

    I highly recommend trying to maintain your lifestyle as much as possible. She’ll adapt. For instance, just yesterday after his nap, Leffe asked to go to the “red door”, so off to Fionn MacCool’s we went! #badparenting

  2. Liz says:

    Hi Matt.

    I agree with Leon. Within the bounds of almost certainly temporary (although probably lengthy) exhaustion, it’s pretty crucial for everyone involved that you keep doing as much as you can of what you were doing, especially going out and about – with and without your baby. And it’s crucial to her that you both have a social life, even if that shifts slightly to be more daytime/early evening than before.

    Of course, the same productivity you had before will be impossible for a while. For instance, while writing this (at about 8 pm), I should really be putting both children to bed, clearing up from the day, preparing a pack lunch for Alex for tomorrow, ironing Olivia’s school clothes and making sure her after-school club gear is ready and, oh, doing a bit more work because I had to leave the computer early to take her swimming.

    By the time that’s done and the house is half decent again, it’ll be coming up for 10 p,.

    It’s important, I think, to be realistic, and not to beat oneself up about not doing things (as I always am). It’s a period of time – a few years – that you’ll be giving shape to a little life.

    Before you know it, she’ll be three and taking her grandparents to the children-friendly wine bars/cafes you frequent (Alex: “Can we go a white house [aka. Inn on the Beach] today mummy?”.

    And she’ll be three and having amazing and funny conversations with you both that will make you go off in peels and peels of laughter. That will feel just as rewarding as any writing or any of your other creative bents.

  3. Polly says:

    I found that the adjustment when my husband went back to work went relatively smoothly. Alexa is an easygoing kid, and we could take here pretty much wherever we went. However, my husband and I have both had a really difficult time adjusting now that I’m back to work after 13 months off. It’s a whole new world of day care drop-offs and pick-ups, work, meals, preparing for the next day, and cramming as much fun time into those remaining minutes as possible.
    After two months at work, I’m still trying to figure it out. So far, the best thing I did was hire a once-a-month house cleaner.