As I face the weekend ahead I wonder how many others dread their weekends the way I sometimes do? For me, the weekend can be filled with challenges of a new kind, sometimes more difficult than the ones I face during the week.
The family dynamics are different during the weekend, expectations are different during the weekend, and my work load is increased because of the nature of my personal schedule making Saturday my biggest “work day” of the week. So, while it feels like the rest of the world is gearing up for relaxation and good times I am gearing up to be glued to my computer, feeling all at once like I am doing my family and myself a service by earning money and simultaneously doing a disservice by being unavailable.
The feeling of a Friday afternoon is one that I will always recall fondly. It’s a feeling of excitement and energy, one of anticipation of the good things to come. That Friday afternoon feeling begins to develop even as a young child, once you realize that you can sleep in, watch cartoons, and anticipate that fun activities will be held like birthday parties, family outings, etc during the weekend. It’s a feeling that is so embedded in my memory that I still experience it every Friday afternoon, even when the weekend ahead doesn’t look too appealing. There is a song by Better Than Ezra that I think of immediately when I recall this feeling: “This Time of Year”. Take a listen if you would like, it’s brings back fond memories for me…
When the Friday afternoon feeling fades I am left with the reality of what my weekend holds. It’s sometimes a very unpleasant experience. I dread the feeling of frustration I experience during the weekend as I am limited by what I can do physically because well, you know, I am not superhuman, and I live with a chronic illness that limits my energy levels. My spouse is looking for relaxation during the weekend intuitively, too, but he finds himself dealing with the kids and assisting in household chores that he would rather not be attending to. There is often a tension that fills the house that is just, unpleasant. I know my kids want to play and enjoy their time away from school and the person who is most likely to take them to do something fun is holed up with her computer, unavailable to them. It’s an icky situation really.
So, I wonder, do you perhaps deal with extra challenges during the weekend? I know that I must not be the only person who struggles with a sense of unmet expectations at the week’s end or faced with different burdens to bear?
Now for the good news! You knew there would be some, right?
Sunday has turned into a favorite day of the week for me. It’s my day. I try to allow myself to be free of pressure, to be free of the urge to work, to be free of any guilt over what I have not accomplished. I allow myself to sleep in. I allow myself to just be me. Sometimes, I am so exhausted from the previous week that I truly have to use Sunday as a complete recuperation day, but I am most grateful it is there. Even if I have to focus on recuperation I can be present with the kids and I can be more available to them.
Additionally, we are blessed with some fabulous family that often take one if not both of my children on Saturdays to do something fun and entertaining. It is such a joy to me to know that my kids are in good company, in the company of those who love them and take good care of them, when I am unable to do so. It does not occur every weekend, but it is frequent, and it’s an enormous burden lifted from me when I know that the kids are enjoying time just “being kids” and further developing their relationships with their aunt, uncle and cousin. It would be most ideal if I could participate with them, but the next best thing is that they are with family who they truly enjoy. It has taken me a while to come to terms with the fact that fibromyalgia might interfere with the activities I can be present for, but it does not have to limit the activities my kids can participate in. Instead of refusing an opportunity for my children to enjoy an event or activity because I am not up to taking them, I now allow them to go with family or friends, when appropriate, to enjoy activities that I am not able to take them to. This has been part of my parenting with a chronic illness (fibromyalgia) learning curve.
One thing I’ve learned: Often the fear of what’s to come is worse than the experience itself. I frequently fear the weekend based on previous experiences, but once I get into it, it isn’t always as bad as I thought it would be. I truly hope that if you fear your weekend ahead, that it isn’t near as bad as you thought it might be. Please remember, you are not alone! I am here and I understand.
- Marriage + Chronic Illness = Guilty As Charged (ohmyachesandpains.info)
- Coping with kids when you’re sick too (kleenexmums.com.au)
- Helping a Friend or Family Member Cope With Fibromyalgia (everydayhealth.com)