The question Justin and I ask each other every friday night

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The weekends used to be the farthest thing from restful and relaxing. With two little kids under 3, the term ‘busy’ was a serious understatement. To me that wasn’t a bad thing, I really like being busy, multitasking, and getting a lot accomplished in a day, but it was a bit harder for Justin. Our weekdays look pretty different, and he really likes to use a bit of the weekend just to sit and rest. The rest of it is spent doing a million things just to try to keep up with the ever-growing list, but I’ve learned he really benefits from some quiet, alone time.

At some point during the year, and I can’t remember exactly when, we began to look at our weekends differently. And we started by having a little pre-weekend conversation on Friday nights to set ourselves up for success.

“What are your goals and expectations for the weekend?” became the general question we would ask each other. Usually one of us had something we had to do, whether it was a planned lunch date with a friend, or hauling off a load of recycling to the city dump (you would NOT believe how often we do that, and that’s a “he” we if you know what I’m saying). So we’d each share what we needed and wanted, and then figure out a way to give that to each other.

And out of that came my sacred and precious Saturday Morning. That deserves two capital letters, folks. Justin began to regularly offer to get up with the kids and be “on duty” until about 11:00a most Saturdays. It’s been months since he started that, and they have a little routine now. They usually go get a greasy breakfast somewhere, and either eat it at the location, or take it to the mall to eat and then play in the play place. Or they go to a toddler friendly trampoline place. And oftentimes Justin will extend that invite to his dad friends with kids, and it became titled “Men’s Breakfast”, again with the two capital letters because we like things to be official around here.

And I was left at home, alone, to do WHATEVER I WANTED IN THE WORLD. It was the best gift he could have given me after long weeks of working, mom-ing, and doing the other thousand things I take on.

To return the favor, I either give him a good chunk of time in the afternoon or some time the following day to do whatever he wants to do too. It’s a “no questions asked” time, so whether he wants to run errands and work outside in the yard or fix something in the house, or just sit on the couch and take a nap, it doesn’t matter. It’s his time, like Saturday Morning is mine, to do whatever in the world we want.

After having two kids nearly back to back, “you” time is rare. Especially “you” time before 7:30pm.

We always have pizza on Saturday night, and usually try to watch a movie too. Sunday greets us with busier mornings getting ready for church, and then usually ends up being a housework day for me and an outdoor work day for Justin during nap time.

But the weekends feel so restful, intentional, and we both are pleased that we got some time to ourselves, as well as family time together.

Read some thoughtful ideas for house guests and 3 tips for family photos with little kids!

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Comments (48)

  1. Trudie says
    Posted January 6, 2017

    Does your 3 year old still nap?

    • Kate says
      Posted January 6, 2017

      Most days, yep!

      • Thais says
        Posted January 6, 2017

        My 4 year old still naps half the time! If not we do quiet time! I’d highly recommend looking at how to transition from nap time to quiet time. I believe Everyday Reading Blog had a post on it!

  2. Emma Kirsten says
    Posted January 6, 2017

    I love this piece Kate. Time is so precious, not just with family but with yourself. Restful, ‘intentional’ time is something I need and really must schedule. Even if that’s two pages of a book!

  3. Bev says
    Posted January 6, 2017

    First off, I LOVE your blog-over. It’s very chic and you!

    Secondly, great post! The hubs and I have a 15 month old, and one baking in the oven. If things are cray cray now, I can only imagine how much more cray will be in our household when baby #2 arrives (all in a good way of course). I love the Sat traditions, from the boys leaving you behind, to your pizza and movie night. I think 2017 is the year of building traditions, especially as we expand our family.

    Thank you for sharing and giving some food for thought in my own personal life.

    xo, Bev

  4. Laura says
    Posted January 6, 2017

    In the spirit of formal capitalization, I LOVE THIS!!!!!! Seriously, love this. Never would I have understood how vitally important alone time is until we had kids, and I really like how intentional you and Justin are about making that happen. I think hubby and I will start a new tradition this weekend! Thanks, Kate!!

    • Kate says
      Posted January 6, 2017

      great!! I hope you both enjoy it!

  5. Maura says
    Posted January 6, 2017

    I love this!!! We are new parents and I know that simple question will help so much. I just texted it to my husband to think about on his way into work (: thank you for sharing! Enjoy your Saturday Morning tomorrow!

    • Kate says
      Posted January 6, 2017

      I will! Although we may have about 5 inches of snow on the ground in the morning! 🙂

  6. Posted January 6, 2017

    We haven’t quite mastered the restful weekend but this is exactly how we structure our vacations. We have a family camp in Maine and the mornings are mommy’s time off to read a book or just sit on the beach and stare at the lake (no questions asked) and the afternoon is when Daddy gets to go off fishing by himself. We are both happy because we get to do what we want and still get our family time! Kudos to you for finding some serenity 🙂

    • Kate says
      Posted January 6, 2017

      nice! Sounds fun for everyone!

  7. Posted January 6, 2017

    What a thoughtful gesture! My husband also gets up with our little one on the weekends because I’m so tired from the week of getting up early for work. We are very lucky ladies!

    Blush & Pearls by Angela

  8. Jennifer says
    Posted January 6, 2017

    My husband does this quite frequently too. Our boys are a bit older now (5 and 8). They go out for breakfast and then they go for a hike or do one of the building projects at Home Depot/Lowe’s. Sometimes they don’t make it home until lunch or after. It’s a great break for me to have some down time or really get some house cleaning done without little ones under foot destroying everything I accomplish. 🙂

  9. Gturn says
    Posted January 6, 2017

    Great post! Communication ALWAYS results in a win.

  10. Laura LaToof-Martinez says
    Posted January 6, 2017

    I absolutely love this idea. What a great way to set your weekends up for success. We have 2 daughters (2.5 & 11 months) & I think this is just what my husband and I need. HNY & cheers to a more intentional life.

  11. Lisa says
    Posted January 6, 2017

    That sounds like a wonderful way to spend weekends. Our weekends usually start on Friday nights as my husband Doug has his weekly card night at our local gaming store (he’s really into Magic!), while the kids and I have a weekly movie night (and then I usually get crafty after they go to bed and make handmade greeting cards for my small business). We usually take turns sleeping in on the weekends too, with Saturdays being my day. We always try to do something as a family on Saturdays if neither of us have anything planned and then Sunday is spent getting things done around the house and maybe a family outing if we can squeeze it in.

  12. Posted January 6, 2017

    i have a child and i know that the ‘me’ time is rare especially before 8 pm. You guys are so lovely ! I really enjoyed reading this post 🙂

    http://www.clairetalksbeauty.com/

  13. Shana says
    Posted January 6, 2017

    As a new mom this post could not be more timely for me – thank you!!

  14. Posted January 6, 2017

    I love this! “Men’s Breakfast” made me laugh – we’re not close to having kids yet but will totally keep this in mind for later use.

  15. Gevay says
    Posted January 6, 2017

    This is a great post! Clear and defined expectations make it a win for both partners. We have done this for years. We don’t always get it right, but we try! Enjoy your Saturday morning. Oh, and I love the new blog design!

  16. candy l. says
    Posted January 6, 2017

    Great ideas. My boys are 9 &7 so a little easier to manage, but our weeks are so full with both of us working, kids homework and activities. Love!

  17. Chrisandra says
    Posted January 6, 2017

    So smart! I don’t have kids, but I think this conversation could be a benefit to me and my husband too! He’s a crazy extrovert and I’m a serious introvert and that often leads to two different weekend expectations!

  18. Becky says
    Posted January 6, 2017

    Great post!
    PS I especially loved the part about going to the local “dump”. I just asked my husband what we needed to do this Saturday and he said he needed to take a trip to the dump with recycling. My thoughts? Oh my, our life is just so exciting-LOL.

  19. Dana says
    Posted January 6, 2017

    This is a wonderful post! Love that you are also including marriage! Even with a 17 and 10 year old, this is a great question to ask your spouse. Definitely can change the dynamic of how weekends go! Thanks for this!

  20. kayla says
    Posted January 6, 2017

    love this! my husband and i started doing something similar to that awhile ago but ours is a little more tongue-in-cheek: what are your hopes and dreams tonight/this weekend/etc. it is SO helpful to know what the other person is hoping for this weekend– i’m exhausted so i really want to relax, i’m hoping we can tackle some house projects, let’s go out somewhere saturday night, etc. it’s a great example of how important communication is! everybody wins.

  21. Allison says
    Posted January 6, 2017

    Love this! Expectations play a huge part in how restful or productive my weekend feels. My husband and I are both big readers, but quiet time to read is hard to come by with a 3 year old and 9 month old. There is a coffee shop exactly one mile from our house, and we recently started trading an hour or two there on Saturdays while the other watches the girls. We use that time for bible study, reading magazines/newspaper, or sometimes I just meal plan and make a grocery list.

  22. Leslie says
    Posted January 6, 2017

    I love this. The Saturday mornings that my husband gets up with our boys and lets me sleep are just the most glorious things. I also love that you do pizza and a movie on Saturday nights–we do this Sunday nights! =)

  23. Laura says
    Posted January 6, 2017

    This post has inspired me! This absolutely sounds like something my husband and I need to adopt. Especially the Saturday morning alone time, haha!

  24. Kirsten says
    Posted January 6, 2017

    Love this post! Seems so simple. It will be a topic of discussion with me and hubby tonight. Thanks Kate.

  25. Sarah O says
    Posted January 6, 2017

    We also have the “what’s on the agenda” for the weekend conversation, either Friday night or Saturday morning. It’s like a negotiation. haha But it’s so important!

  26. Christin says
    Posted January 6, 2017

    Great idea! I’m going to be sharing this with my husband 🙂

  27. Becca says
    Posted January 6, 2017

    Great post! My husband and I do not have kids yet, but on Friday nights we usually ask each other what our plans are for the weekend. This helps us be more intentional with time. Plus my husband is an introvert and it helps to give him advanced warning when social outings are on the horizon ;). This is a fantastic idea that I hope we can continue to implement when we have kids too. I hope you enjoy your weekend!

  28. Angie says
    Posted January 6, 2017

    Love this! I’m a stay home home mom pregnant with our third child. Every Saturday and Sunday my husband gets up with our boys (7&2) and let’s me sleep in a bit. It’s the most amazing gift EVER!!!

  29. Posted January 6, 2017

    I absolutely love this!!! I’m planning on getting up tomorrow and letting my husband sleep – he’s rarely off on Saturday and I want to treat him. Thanks for the inspiration!

  30. January says
    Posted January 6, 2017

    Oh my gosh, yes! My husband also has “Men’s Breakfast” with my two kids every Saturday. It gives me time to get ready or run errands I want to do. It’s fabulous! So glad you get that same time to re-charge!

  31. Tracy says
    Posted January 6, 2017

    It’s so important to work out what each person needs and then find ways to make sure that happens. It took me a very long time to understand that mind-reading is not a human trait, and that we need to actually say what we need, want or expect from others.

    And one day, you’ll get to leave your boys at home on Saturday mornings and the two of you can go out for breakfast together instead. Getting kids into their mid-teens has some clear benefits!!!

  32. Eri says
    Posted January 6, 2017

    This is a great read, Kate! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful idea! You seem to have found a great routine for your boys and family. Do you think you would add another little one into the mix? 🙂

  33. Amanda says
    Posted January 6, 2017

    What a great post and such a great and balanced approach to a healthy weekend! Love it!

  34. Posted January 6, 2017

    I love this! Great idea so that everyone has some time to themselves and gets family time! 🙂

  35. Ashley says
    Posted January 8, 2017

    You have no idea how perfectly timed this post is for me. My husband just left his job in retail management, this week, and we’re so estatic to have weekends off together, for the first time in our 11 years together. It’s uncharted territory for us and our boys who are 4 and 7. This is a great, thoughtful way to make weekends relaxing and special.

  36. First Time Mama says
    Posted January 9, 2017

    Hi Kate!
    Thanks for sharing this post! I love that you are able to go into your weekend with an intentional mindset, getting the best for mama, daddy and babies too!
    I am a stay at home mom with just one daughter who is just a couple weeks away from her first birthday! I really struggle with managing my time effectively between baby and “to-do’s.” I would be the first to say that things like multi tasking and schedules are just not my strengths. I am curious if you can share a little more about your typical daily routine with the boys. How do you manage to get it all done and finish with a smile? I often feel depleted and worn down and almost like I don’t have enough left to pour into my sweet girl.
    Would love any advise or insight you may have to share.
    Thanks so much!

  37. Nichole K says
    Posted January 9, 2017

    I needed this post today. We’re going to be embarking on a new chapter in our lives that comes with a new schedule, and I so easily get bogged down in the “must-do-kid-stuff” that it’s easy to forget to take time with my hubby and see what HE needs to get done too. It might be different from what I need to get done. As simple as that sounds, it’s a reality that I go into survival mode too easily and forget to be intentional.

  38. Ashley says
    Posted January 11, 2017

    I really love this post so much. It’s something my husband and I are still navigating, especially now having an 18-month old. Thanks for sharing a bit of your journey on this!

  39. Cris says
    Posted January 16, 2017

    I love that picture of the two of you!

  40. francyface says
    Posted January 23, 2017

    This is so great! We have two babies, close in age (1 yr, 4 days apart) and it can be a struggle to find “me” time. My husband almost always has some sort of project going on, so he will take time to work on whatever that is on the weekends. I usually do not have that sort of thing going on and would like some time for myself, but feel like I need to justify it in some way. I love the idea of having no-questions-asked time for yourself!

  41. Rebecca says
    Posted February 3, 2017

    This is such a great idea, Kate!!! It’s wonderful, all the way around!! You each get your alone, “ME” time and the kiddos get their separate “Mom” and “Dad” times with y’all too!!! What a great plan!! Thanks for sharing with us! 🙂

  42. Nina Vest says
    Posted February 3, 2017

    I love this post. Thank you for sharing I know I get so caught up with everything we “need” to do we lose sight of ourselves. Just as a husband and wife needs time so do mom’s and dad’s. Thanks for the great idea and reminder to keep your love one in mind.

  43. Jaclyn Chorzewski says
    Posted February 14, 2017

    I love this!