One of the things I missed most after having kids was lazy Saturday and Sunday mornings.
It’s not like I used to sleep in all morning. I would just lie in bed till I felt ready to get up. Then I would sit on the back verandah and read the newspapers while having coffee. That was it. Nothing fancy. But that was how I liked to begin a weekend.
My husband would often sleep in all morning, and that was fine.
With kids, obviously, that changed. Even when they’re no longer babies, someone has to supervise them on Saturday and Sunday mornings, or you’ll find that one of them has been eating sugar from the sugar bowl for breakfast, and the other one has been dressing the dog inappropriately.
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That was me getting up, every Saturday and Sunday morning, while my husband slept in. But I would eventually find myself missing the pleasure of his company so much that I would encourage my children to gently rouse him by blowing plastic trumpets and leaping on his head. Or something like that.
Then I read, somewhere, in a mums’ group online, about the idea of parents taking turns for weekend sleep-ins. So one partner sleeps in on the Saturday – like, really sleeps in – and the other partner sleeps in on the Sunday. It’s so simple, so obvious, and apparently so common. But I’d never thought of it.
Immediately, it became our thing.
So my husband sleeps in on a Saturday, for hours, and I don’t care. No jealousy, no resentment, no plastic trumpets. Then on a Sunday, I sleep in.
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Well, I don’t really sleep. I just snuggle down in my warm, soft bed, revelling in that blissful feeling of not having to get up until I feel ready. Mmm… bed. My husband brings me a coffee and a newspaper.
Often I’m out of bed by 9am or so anyway, but the important thing is, I’m getting up when I feel ready to get up. That’s what makes the difference.
As a parent, little things matter. You need to have moments to yourself and small indulgences to get through the week. Just as importantly, you need to feel that your partner is doing their fair share (and this is where I bow down to single parents, because it must be freaking tough).
I know millions of parents are already taking turns at sleeping in on weekends.
I only wish I’d started sooner.