A Working Mom’s Weekend Curse


A Working Mom's Weekend Curse | Duluth Moms Blog

It’s hard. You’re tired, and your to-do list keeps growing, laundry needs folding, mouths need feeding, and those work emails keep pinging. When it feels like the weekend is miles away and the drive from Monday to Friday is set on cruise control, it’s hard. The weekend comes and you suddenly believe you can be Super Mom, Betty Crocker, and have the perfect Instagram-worthy weekend all in between the piles of laundry, grocery shopping, and dish washing that wasn’t done for the entire week. The working mom’s weekend curse.

I was falling into this trap every Friday, and by Sunday evening, I felt like a complete failure of a wife, mother, and housekeeper when not one thing on my Brunch Board on Pinterest was made, the school uniforms were being tossed into the laundry at 10pm on Sunday night, and I had no idea what we did all weekend. Where did those two whole 24 hours go? They evaporated. Something had to change to pull me out of this cycle. What could I do to set myself up for success? 

I began looking at my weekend schedule. I was pretty productive, so that definitely wasn’t my issue. I had all the right tools in place. Checklists and grocery lists, and time allocated to each task. I make a strong effort to keep my kids on the same daily schedule as to not set them off course in any way. My husband and I even make it a habit of discussing our weekend agenda on Thursdays, so we can jump right in the game in that first minute of freedom on Friday. All the right tools, and I still felt like my weekend world was just a spinning cycle of chaos. 

Then one particularity lovely fall weekend, I threw all those checklists out, partly in protest and partly in an act of surrender.  Turns out, I found the best way to break the working mom’s weekend curse is intentional rest. It works like this: Rest. Relax. Do nothing. Do not pass go. Do not let your to-do list take monopoly over your need for the basic human function of rest. I slept. I napped with the kids. I went to bed early. I laid on the floor while they crushed Cheerios under their feet from the low maintenance bowls of cereal I so lovingly poured for them. No Nutella-stuffed French toast was made, no laundry schedule was followed, and no grand plans were discussed in which we mapped out every hour of our weekend.

With my to-do lists scattered across the kitchen counter, we ran out the door and created time to recreate and reconnect. We took a leisurely scenic drive up to Gooseberry Falls. We sat under a group of pine trees for a good half hour while the kids pretended they were lost in the woods. We breathed the crisp fall air. We hiked along the beach. We spent time together as a family in the infinite beauty that’s right out our doors. The colorful trees framing the lakes and rivers were like eye candy for the soul. We spent time as a couple on the quiet ride home (the kids were exhausted from all that nature), and we regrouped mentally and physically for the week. We left space in between the doings. We intentionally took rest. We intentionally took some time to connect. When Sunday evening came, I was still throwing laundry in at 10pm, but I felt accomplished, connected, and all was well with my soul. I was ready to face Monday regrouped and rested. 

I changed my measure of a successful, productive weekend. Family time, connecting, rest and leisure time are now at the top of my priority list. Instead of using productivity to fit more stuff into our weekends, we need to use productivity to create more blank space in our days where we have permission to do nothing but enjoy the life happening around us.

It seems like such a simple cliché statement, but Mamas, we often fail to give our self true rest and leisure time. We fail to let ourselves lounge.  I mean really lounge. Laying on the floor and building block towers with the littles without trying to pay bills or pen out the weekly meal plan at the same time. Pajamas, chocolate, and couch time without also folding laundry. True intentional focus on connecting, on rest, on leisure and play. I still make my checklists, but they have lots of blank spaces. I schedule in “family time” and “rest time” and while this looks different depending on the weather and the day, and the general mood of our household, it is always focused on the goal of resting and reconnecting. 

Give yourself permission to rest and be still Mama. Your heart and head will thank you at the end of your long work week and at the start of the next.

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Kaila became a Duluthian four years ago after moving north from Minneapolis with her husband, Dan and son Haydn (5) to pursue adventure, a lifestyle change, and a new career for her spouse. The past few years have bought just that with the addition of two more to the family; Ada (3) and Ella (15 mon.). Kaila balances the demands of motherhood with working outside the home in commercial real estate. In her freetime she enjoys a good vintage furniture find, her coffee strong, and baking from scratch.


  1. I like this. It’s a good reminder of what’s most important — making memories with the kids and bonding as a family.

    I have so many things I need to do around the house, but I am SO VERY TIRED. Even as a stay-at-home mom, I always think I’m going to get stuff done on the weekend and have a Honey Do list for my husband and the house will finally be in some semblance of order, but that doesn’t happen. And I can’t regret it too much because it’s better to have recharged a little than gotten a bunch done.

    • Thanks Beth! It’s definitely hard to let go of “the list.” Recharging our batteries is very important self care for everyone in the family!

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