A couple of weeks ago, my boss announced that our team would be implementing “on call” weekends. Not sure what his definition of “on call” entailed, I asked for clarification. Did it mean having our blackberries on us as we went about our regular weekend routines? Turns out the answer to that was a big, fat “no”. It meant staying close to our laptops, logged onto the company network for two days straight, checking in periodically to make sure nothing had broken.
My reaction, of course, was less than positive. Springing a lost weekend on us once a month was the last thing I wanted to hear. Plus, I was somewhat panicked at the thought of being responsible for evaluating and communicating statuses on things I had limited experience with. But to paraphrase Tennyson, mine is not to question why, mine is but to do or die. So I swallowed my bitter pill and re-arranged my plans for the dreaded weekend.
This past weekend was my first weekend on call. Rolling out of bed at 8am on a Saturday so that I could read work emails was hardly my idea of kicking the weekend off right, but that’s precisely what I did. Thankfully, nothing had fallen apart while I had slept. So with the business under control, I decided to skip the cold cereal and make a pancake breakfast for the family. After all, for this weekend, I had all the time in the world.
The pancakes were memorable...fluffy, buttery, and delicious. As was the warm pasta lunch I whipped up for the family and the crispy baked chicken I managed for dinner.
With nothing but time on my hands, I helped P with his Colosseum art project and M with his Student of the Week poster. We turned the tv off and listened to music as the kids worked on their homework. We watched Cool Runnings, Narnia, and Once Upon a Time. I surfed the web for Christmas ideas and shopped the weekly ads for the best deals on meat and produce. All this in between the regular check-ins with work. It was eye-opening that I could accomplish so much with so little stress.
Is this what it’s like to be a stay-at-home mom? I could totally get into this.
Imagine what it would be like to not have to squeeze a day’s worth of personal life into the 5 hours that fall between clocking out and hitting the pillow? And to use the weekends spending time relaxing instead of catching up. During the week, I’d be able to pick up the kids after school to get them started on their homework before dinner and basketball practice. And I’d also be able to clean the bathrooms regularly (clean bathrooms would no longer be a luxury reserved only for company).
This weekend gave me proof that I am capable of relaxing. Being forced to stay home the entire weekend gave me a glimpse into what life could be like, if I didn’t have so much crammed into it. I could relax. I could spend time with the kids. I could remember to tell my husband I love him. I could do all these things instead of getting wound up tight over all that needs to get done and all that will not get done.
I'm sure this is simply a case of “the grass is always greener on the other side.” That grass was looking pretty green, but I know myself enough to recognize that my crazy, hectic life suits me well. I'm not looking to trade it in. I'm just looking forward to my next "on call" weekend a little more than I was before.