Judging from your Instagram profile, your family seems to be having a great time. What are your weekends like?
For us, our weekends are devoted to quality family time. It's our time to reset, and press pause on weekday worries, and really enjoy each other's presence. This means that we rarely set plans, and let our moods and needs that day decide our activities for us. There's no rush, no stress, and usually no schedule.
Sometimes we just need to stay in our pyjamas until 3:00pm, and then go for a picnic by the lake. Or wake up at the break of dawn to get donuts from our favourite bakery. Or never leave bed at all!
For Saturday's, we keep a small mental list of things we'd like to do, and new places we'd like to go and if the mood strikes that particular weekend, we take off. We might have one small project, or a few mundane chores that need doing - but even then we find a way to let our daughter, Ramona, be involved.
Sunday's are usually reserved for church in the morning, a long walk, maybe baking and not much else.
In the end, it doesn't matter much what we do, as long as we do it together.
When you became a mother, did your weekends change drastically? Do you miss anything?
I find that we spend our weekends now are very similarly to how we spent them as a young married couple - a little aimlessly, but always focused on being together. We don't stay out quite as late, have impromptu sleepovers at friends homes, or sleep in much anymore - but I always loved being home in my own bed at night and getting up early anyway.
I'll admit that in the early months of motherhood, I lost sight of that family-oriented weekend. Each weekend felt stressful to me, because it was the only time that I could get things done with the aid of my husband. We would race around trying to accomplish as much as possible, and missed a chance to just relax and enjoy our free time together as a family. Thankfully that frenzied feeling wore off, and we've reclaimed our weekends as our own.
We've loved this long season of being able to explore the outdoors with our daughter in the evenings and all weekend-long. Everything is made new when you have a child, even things you've done a hundred times before and thought you'd grown bored of. You see things through their eyes, explore things differently and at a different pace.
The perfect weekend, what is it like?
My favourite weekends are the ones where our days are long and full, and we do something new. They begin early on Saturday morning with all of us waking together, making pancakes for breakfast, and getting ready as we listen to some Feist or Coconut Records (or whatever we've been listening to on repeat that week). The sooner we get out the door the better for our daughter, who wants to be outdoors and on the go from the moment she wakes - so a long walk around the neighbourhood would follow, with a stop at the park, perhaps going to a few yard sales along the way.
We rarely eat out, but I find our best Saturday's are the ones that we do (we really, really love food). Ideally we've tired Ramona out from our morning outing, and she sleeps on the way to one of our favourite vegan joints (which are always a trek, but well worth the trip). After Ramona wakes up and we're all fed and happy, we would do something outdoors in the area - go to a beach, a hiking trail, a cascading waterfall, or botanical gardens. I find it's generally a successful outing for all of us if our daughter is able to explore freely.
The day would end with a late dinner, and a slow wind down to bedtime. After Ramona is asleep, my husband and I might stay up catching up on a tv show or watching a few movies.
As for the perfect Sunday - we want to feel refreshed come Monday, so we don't tax ourselves much. It would begin with a good prolonged family snuggle in bed, followed by church, a light lunch, and a long family nap. An early dinner, and then usually an easy stroll along a waterfront trail.
The perfect weekend would come to a close with us standing on the shores of Lake Ontario, watching the sun set.
Photography: Robin Kay @twentyventi