When did weekends become as busy and stressful as weekdays? I used to have fun adventures on weekends. Now I spend weekends running around, doing errands and barely finding a free minute to relax.

When I was a newlywed, weekends were spent doing yard work (it was actually a labor of love building a beautiful backyard from dirt into a green paradise), it was hard, physical labor but we had fun doing it. Sometimes friends would help out and we’d all enjoy some beers, good food and board games in the evenings. When we weren’t doing yard work, there were house parties and fun events around town to go to.

When we moved to Australia, every weekend was an adventure. We’d either be at the beach, traveling to a new and exotic city or country, or exploring the fun events in the city we lived in. We never sat at home and had a boring weekend, we were always doing something, and the something was always fun. On Friday evening Monday seemed like a lifetime away – we had so much to do in the next two days that Monday was the furthest thing from my mind.

Of course I always had to do basic errands like grocery shopping, but I was cooking for two, and eating out often, so it wasn’t a big chore to shop.

Once we moved back to the US our weekends became more basic. They were initially spent shopping for and preparing for the baby. We spent a good portion of every weekend either at Target, Buy Buy Baby or Babies R Us looking at, testing or buying baby gear.

Once the baby was born we spent all our weekends at home with him, initially. We didn’t want to brave the crowds and go out into the world with him, plus we wanted as much bonding time as possible with our new baby.

Now that the baby is a toddler, we are braving the world again. But maybe we are braving it too much, I feel like we don’t do anything fun. We have to catch up on everything we don’t have time to do during the week. This weekend that meant two trips to the dump with some yard items we were clearing out, my son’s swim lessons (ok, this was fun for all of us…), compulsory Target shopping trip in which we spent (as usual) at least double what we planned and came home with much more than what was on my shopping list.

On Saturday night after doing some more house and yard clean ups, I decided we needed to do something fun on Sunday for once. I foresaw our usual Sunday: lazy morning and I’d cook a big breakfast (this is nice, no need to change this plan), meal planning and creating shopping list, trip to the grocery store taking over an hour, nap time, run any last minute errands, cook dinner, work on the blog, try to squeeze in a yoga practice, go to bed. That is our routine almost every Sunday, so this week I changed it.

We went to the zoo! We have a membership, but we don’t go often enough. My son loves to see all the animals, and my husband and I have fun too because seeing the zoo through a toddler’s eyes is a whole new experience. We had a great morning exploring, playing and visiting the animals at the zoo. I think we need to make a bigger effort to do something fun like the zoo or arboretum every weekend.

Sunday funday with a giraffe at the zoo

Sunday funday with a giraffe at the zoo

Although, I have to admit, the zoo threw off our Sunday routine a bit. My son took his nap in the car after the zoo (and it was much shorter than usual) and the timing of the nap meant he slept through lunch. In the afternoon, he was cranky due to a short nap and skipping a meal (we couldn’t get him to eat later). I still had to grocery shop and cook dinner in a tighter time frame in the evening. But we managed to get it all done, and I wrote a blog post too, whoo hoo! I think it was worth throwing off our routine to have a fun adventure, and I plan to start breaking our boring chores only weekend routine more often!

What do you do on weekends? Are most of your weekends spent running errands and doing chores too, or do you go out and have adventures?

I’m looking forward to sharing another interview for the Engineering Emily Interview Series this week, so check back later in the week for my next post.

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