Reclaiming the weekend now the kids are older

Steve and I were chatting last night and remembering the days of having 3 kids under the age of 5. I say remembering when really I have barely any memories of that stage as I think you just kind of get through it on auto-pilot. Heidi was still a one year old when Jack was born and Harry was four. Seriously - how did we do it? Something I know got us through was using a strict rota system. We’d take it in turns to get up with the kids through the night, take it in turns having early nights whilst the other one stayed up with the baby for the last feed and we’d take it in turns to have a lie in over the weekend (if that’s what you can call it - it’s pretty hard to lie in with three under 5’s in the house).

Fast forward 7 years and things have changed so much. Our children are slowly merging into those teens you hear about who need to be dragged out of bed. Over the holidays they sometimes don’t materialise (for food) until 11am! and most Saturdays we’ll be up and downstairs before they are. A delivery guy actually knocked on the door forced us out of bed this morning! There is hope people. Steve and I are currently sat downstairs enjoying a pot of fresh coffee before we shout the kids down for breakfast. If you’d told me 5 years ago that this was going to be my life now I would NEVER have believed you. Don’t get me wrong, my three still have their moments but sometimes people will visit us and they’ll not believe there are three kids upstairs.
I remember our Living Room used to resemble some sort of Thomas or Peppa Pig toy shop with kids’ toys ALL OVER the place. Sometimes there was no point tidying them away when you knew the kids were going to be up in 5 hours and want to play with them again. These days, the toys are mostly all kept in their bedrooms as they can play unsupervised. It’s lovely to have my Living Room back!
There are other benefits to the kids being older too. Steve and I used to love going to the cinema (well Steve especially). Jack is almost 7 now and we deem him to be fine for most 12A films. We’re all off to see Thor this afternoon which is something we would not have been able to do a few years ago without lots of planning & organising babysitters ect..... The kids can also stay up later now so if we want to have a later meal in town with them when Steve finishes work, it’s not really a problem.
It’s our wedding anniversary next weekend (11 years!) and normally we’d arrange babysitters but this year we decided not to. We’re still going to spend the afternoon in the pub (yes!!) but now I’m confident the kids will have a good time too and won’t cause us any problems like an unruly 2 year old might which always used to put us off visiting the pub with kids back in the day.
So to all those parents who had to get up at the crack of dawn today, feel like they never get to go to the pub or the cinema and kind of feel like life has been on hold due to babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers, I want to tell you that this phase of parenthood will be over before you know it and you’ll honestly barely remember the sleep deprived years. Stick in there and your time will come.


  1. It's the early mornings I struggle with most. Regardless of what time she goes to bed, our daughter rarely sleeps past 6, 6.30 on a very good day! Looking forward to when she learns how amazing sleep is!


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