Thursday, March 16, 2017

Learning to Relax and Get Lazy on the Weekends

Raising kids is hard work and the weekends don’t care if you need a rest. The grass still needs to be mowed, the laundry still needs to be washed, and the kids still need to eat.

One single dad advises dads to grab a cup a coffee first thing on Saturdays, sit on the porch and watch the kids play. It has a way of re-organizing your day so you're not focused on chores.

Often allowing yourself just be lazy is exactly what you need. Too many times guilt drives us to start projects instead of lying in a hammock with your kids on top of you.

No time to relax? That’s okay. I exercise regularly and alone. I love losing myself in my playlists and talking to God. I recently realized the bonding that happened when I invited one of my daughters to accompany me on my 2-mile route.

At first I was hesitant. I didn’t want anyone to break my groove. This was my “me” time. But I noticed topics came up that wouldn’t normally be discussed around her sister or even her mom. I’m now learning to love those early morning workouts.

Still having a hard time letting chores go? Sometimes with a little creativity, you can get errands done while still spending quality time with the kiddos. Try a few of these ideas:

·      Help your daughter clean up her room using show and tell. Rather than handing her a trash bag and telling her to clean up—sit on her floor and ask her to tell you the stories behind each drawing or piece of string she’s trashing. Sure it will take longer but all she’ll remember is you entered her world and it was wondrous.

·      You could rake the leaves yourself or you could include the kids and a camera. Then let them play in the piles before bagging them up. Less will get done and you’ll have to rake them again, but you’ll have some great photos.

·      Gotta work on the minivan? Let your son hand you the tools you need while you’re under the car. He’ll learn what a wrench is and you’ll have a helper. Let him get a little greasy too. It’s only dirt.

Don’t get me wrong, whether it’s groceries or gutters, including the kids can go two ways—really bad or really good. Often it’s our attitude that dictates how the outing will go. I have to loosen up if I’m ever going to include my kids in my chores and errands. Too often I'm more worried about keeping up appearances and what the neighbors think, instead of being a good dad. But it’s either bring them with me on errands or stay on the back porch with my coffee and get nothing done. Which was my point to begin with, I think.

That back porch is usually the best option. Grouting and grass-cutting can wait. Keep those pajamas on, grab another cup of coffee and in the words of a famous princess “Let it go.”

How about you? What ideas have worked to keep chores from pulling you away from the kids? Share your ideas with us you lazy crud!  

Written by Tez Brooks, author of The Single Dad Detour (Kregel)