A fresh new shiny weekend is ahead. Living in a divorce family I always look forward to my weeks and weekends with the girls. Every second week they live with me (and every other with their father). I secretly take in their scents, listen to their voices and try to cherish every second without making a drama out of it when they are here. I miss them terribly when they’re not. I feel like I live only half-ways, having to let go of the every second Monday. And I think it is so important to try to have a normal every-day life with chores and normal things do. So around here we celebrate normal and every-day.
Spice up your chores
We need to clean the house. We need to shop. And I think it is important that the kids are involved in that too and not just the fun parts of family life. But sometimes we like to spice up the chores a bit with a price for finishing them or making the chore and adventure. The top is a shopping list written by Ulrikke, 8 years. She wrote the list and had to find the groceries at the supermarket. The bottom list is a cleaning regime for the bathroom and the reward was…. nail polish with tiny dots inspired by Easter (easy-peasy, one base coat in a neat colour, let it dry and apply the dots in a contrasting colour with a toothpick).
We did that two weeks ago – look at the nails now! I have a thing for chipped nail polish. To me chipped nailpolish is the quintessence of childhood.
Involve the kids
Let the kids be part of the weekend planning. Let them draw, write lists, make suggestions. Do that during breakfast Saturday morning. Talk about how the things you suggest should be free or cheap, like a walk in the forest, building a blanket fort in the living room, go for a bike ride, chill on a sunny bench with a book to read aloud from. Make sure that both kids’ and adults’ suggestions make it to the list. Being a part of a family is also making compromises and being open to other people’s needs and wants.
Cook something healthy, tasty and colourful. Let the kids be part of the preparations. It may take a lot longer than when you do it yourself. Pour yourself a glass of wine and go with the flow. When you are relaxed and enjoy the process there’s no end to all the good things you’ll discover. Kids that handle food will get more curious about food and eating. Eventually they will stop being picky eaters (that’s what I hope for – I have two foodies that love to make great meals – but are a little less interested in actually eating them). And families that do something together start talking – about what happened in school, what make you sad, happy, scared. About dreams and desires. Don’t forget to involve the man in the house, if there is one. Or give him a free hand while you stand back and relax.
Make it pretty
Set the table with napkins, crystal glasses and candles. Serve the food on platters and in bowls instead of just putting the pots on the table – just once in a while. Cut corners often to not make this a race or a competition. This tip applies any day of the week – as long as you don’t try to do it every day unless it really truly makes you happy and doesn’t feel like pressure. Beautifully plated food is tasty food – it will lift any meal. Oh, and don’t forget: your aesthetics is not always right. Make room for the kids and their tacky, non-photogenic platings. They’ll come around – and the might be even more creative and artistic than you are.
Do not go for perfect – go for good vibes. Comfy pyjamas work well all day (except for on the bus or at the library. When the girls were small my ex took them to the library in their not so clean pyjamas right after breakfast – with breakfast bits firmly attached all over. Sometimes men are a bit more relaxed than women). Some tv-time or a movie or a computer game are perfect ways to create a bit of adult time for you and for you and your partner. Something you also need during the weekend. Make a play date for the kids with some friends for a couple of hours. Don’t forget that children need to be left alone sometimes, the need to be bored and think up their own activities. And you do too!
We have this on our weekend list:
train and walk the dog
hang out with grandma
clean the house
build something (why not this fort)
go for a walk with cameras and look for street art
What’s on your wonderful weekend list?