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Recently, I turned to my wife and said, “I think I should write a post about our lazy Saturdays.”
Her response was, “No one wants to read about that.”
Truth be told; she’s right (she usually is).
However, the more I thought about it, the more I felt that those new dads (or soon to be new dads) out there should have an idea of what constitutes a lazy Saturday when you have kids. I thought the best way to present that is to do a little comparison of the single guy, married guy, and dad version of a lazy Saturday.
As we know, it’s not a lazy Saturday if you don’t sleep in, so here are normal wake up times for those Saturdays when you have nothing on the schedule.
Single guy – Wake up time is anytime that ends in PM. This could be 12pm, 3pm, 6pm… Doesn’t matter, it’s a lazy day, there are no plans, you have no commitments, and it is your day to sleep away.
Married (before kids) – Typical wake up time is something that has double digits. 10am, 11am, or 12pm are all possibilities. This gives you an extra couple hours of sleep, but still gives you plenty of daytime to spend with your betrothed.
Dad – Wake up time is about 30 minutes before you normally get up on a weekday. So if you normally get up at 6am to get ready for work, plan on the kids waking you up at 5:30.
Aside from sleep, there are things you do to pass the time. The amount of time you spend on each activity varies depending on how long you want to spend. After all, it’s your day to do as you please.
Single guy – Video Games. Really, it ends about there, but if you want, you could take some time to do one of your other hobbies such as playing music, woodworking, photography, or whatever strikes your fancy. OK, seriously, video Games.
Married (before kids) – Today is a day to lounge around with your significant other. You’ll probably be cuddling on the couch watching HGTV or Netflix. Maybe, if you’re lucky, you can talk her into video games. If not, you’ll go see a movie.
Dad – Start your day at the indoor place with the cool climbing structures for kids. (I’m partial to Little Monkey Bizness) Sit off to the side with a nice drink and just watch the chaos unfold. After a couple hours, head out for lunch (more on that later). Next, take a walk around the neighborhood so the kids can burn off energy. After you return home, let the kids play for a while in the living room and sneak in a game of Angry Birds on your tablet. Finish your day with family movie night. (You haven’t seen ‘Frozen’ yet, have you?)
Even though it’s a lazy Saturday, there are still things to do. There’s enough time to lounge around and still feel a little productive.
Single Guy – Those last two sentences made you laugh, you’re too busy playing video games.
Married (before kids) – Some of the basic chores around the house will get done, such as dishes or a load of laundry. There may even be time for an errand or two out of the house.
Dad – You and your wife will work in loads of laundry throughout the day (probably 4 or 5). One of you will do dishes while the other does some cleaning around the house. Picking up and vacuuming is about all you’ll get to (it is a lazy day after all). One of you will probably run to the grocery store while the other stays home with the kids (this is where you get your Angry Birds time!). You will also squeeze in some errands between the play place and your lunch stop.
Obviously, a lazy day means meals should be easy.
Single – You missed breakfast and probably lunch. You’ll most likely have a bowl of cereal over the sink. There will be a bag of chips next to you while you play video games. At some point, you’ll get hungry again and order pizza.
Married (before kids) – You will start with brunch. You’ll make Belgian waffles or French toast, with a side of eggs and bacon. While you’re out running errands, you will find a nice quiet restaurant for dinner before your movie.
Dad – Breakfast is Pop Tarts (untoasted). Lunch is a fast food place you stopped at while trying to get just a few errands done (most likely it has a play land, even though you spent the whole morning at the indoor play place). Dinner is some readymade prepackaged thing. Hamburger Helper or some frozen heat and serve meal (read: frozen dinner) is most probable. If you’re feeling really ambitious, it might be pasta with jarred tomato sauce.
Even a lazy day has a dress code.
Single – the most important decision is, “boxers or briefs?” Doesn’t matter, it’s whatever you wore yesterday.
Married (before kids) – Lounge around all morning in your flannel pajamas. For the evening you’ll wear a pair of khakis and a casual dress shirt.
Dad – Jeans and a t-shirt. Hopefully a t-shirt without spit up on it.
As you can see, things change once you add a spouse, and again when you add kids. I’ve lived through all three stages, and I can honestly say that while they seem very different on the surface, each of these has one important key element that runs true with all three. Simply put, the day is about relaxing and doing what you want. Yes, I want to go to the play place; I get to see my kids having fun. Yes, I want fast food for lunch; it’s quick and easy and doesn’t cause stress on everyone like a sit-down place would. Yes I want to get a few chores done; taking some time on a lazy day means I don’t have to do them on a hectic one. Yes, I want to dress casual and comfortable; it means I can be relaxed. Yes, I want to get up at 5:30am… OK, that’s a lie, but spending time with the kids is what being a dad is all about, so it’s worth it. So while there are times I miss sitting around in my underwear, eating pizza, and playing video games, the new definition of lazy Saturday suits me just fine.
What do you do on a Lazy Saturday?