I’ve found a helpful trick to help our weekends go smoothly, while adding in a bit of fun: once the kids go down for their afternoon nap I get the diaper bag ready. It takes me less than a minute to add a couple water bottles, some snacks, check the diaper stack, and add in a blanket for Natalie. Then we have about two hours to ourselves while they sleep, which can be spent individually or together. When nap time is over we change diapers and get in the Jeep — and head off to a little adventure.
We usually go to the park to play, but splash pads, the Santa Monica promenade, or a family-themed errand (visiting “the camping store”), is also fun. Knowing we have a destination in mind, and we aren’t wasting minutes trying to figure out what we should do, is so helpful. Like, so very helpful. The kids are young, and while I don’t want that to be an excuse for not going out and doing fun things with them, I know it’s a little impractical to try to do too much with the time frames we have. (Every once in a while we skip Natalie’s morning nap and do something totally different, and I’m grateful she’s so flexible.)
Once we’re back home, dinner is on the table within 20 minutes because I’ve done some prep work beforehand. On Saturday we had crockpot chicken fajitas, so I made some Mexican rice while Zack bathed the kids. Then it was dinner, story time/quiet play, and bed.
That’s my plan: tire them out and feed them well, before sending them off to bed ;)
It works every time, and we all go to bed feeling so happy.