Ahhhh… The weekend. A blissful respite from the work week, a time to relax, sleep in, and recharge. Unless, of course you are a Real Women. In which case the weekend can be translated into “Two Days to Get Everything Done That I Couldn’t Fit Into the Rest of The Week.”
There are household chores like cleaning, laundry, ironing, and grocery shopping; then yard work, social happenings, errands, child activities, transportation, and more… that’s a lot to ask of a mere 48 hours. In the summer, this list is multiplied tenfold. The amount of yard work, for example, seems never-ending; in the winter we are simply trying to clear ice and snow. But in the summer, the lawn needs to be mowed, gardens tended, weeds pulled, pools maintained. And our social calendars seem to be far busier during these warm months as well. It is more fun to get out and about, with more activities like beach time, pool time, boating, sports, bbq’s, getting together with friends, and of course travel.
And so it is that our weekends get jam-packed. If we take a full weekend off just for fun, we end up paying for it later, as all those chores and maintenance activities don’t just go away due to neglect. So our next available weekend for “catch-up” is a whirl-wind game of Beat the Clock, after which our backs are aching. We start to get pretty creative about getting it all done. Instead of a sparkling clean spotless home, I will often settle for “Good Enough.” I will make use of “off” hours, doing a load of laundry at 6:30am before work, or vacuuming at 9:30 on a Saturday night (what can I say, I’m that kind of wild woman). And I will start bartering with my son for higher allowance in payment for additional chores.
Of course, we Real Women are blessed to have these “first world problems.” I am thankful every day that I have family and friends to keep me socially busy. I am blessed to have a home to clean, an income so I can run errands, and my health to stay active. I don’t know any Real Woman who is not thankful for what they have. So yes, we are appreciative. But we are also exhausted.
At times we can grow frustrated, asking why we bother – after all, the house will get dirty again, the dog will shed his fur again, the weeds will grow back, and more meals will have to be prepared. But unless we want to end up starring in a bad cable tv reality show, we do what we have to do.
This weekend, as I was dashing around the house doing my Good Enough Cleaning, I took an extra step and stopped to wipe down the ceiling fan in our kitchen. As I was standing on the chair and looking at horror at the filth coming off the rag, I thought “I should get extra points for this.” And that is when inspiration struck.
Extra points, or reward systems, work well with children, employers, and certainly Retail establishments. How many of us carry around a stack of Rewards Cards in our purses for “valuable” points at our favorite stores? Well, what if we had a Real Woman Points Card? Whenever we go a bit above and beyond the norm during our weekend challenge, we would gain extra points that can later be redeemed for lovely little perks…. Things like going to bed early with a good book. Getting a pedicure. Having a day off from being the family chauffer. Going out for dinner. Buying a great new pair of shoes. Your rewards, your choice.
I would envision the points system working something like this: Clean the ceiling fan or vacuum behind the sofa = 10 points. Get the grocery shopping done in under an hour = 25 points. Fit in a visit to an aging, ill, or handicapped family or friend =30 points. Take your child to 3 different sporting/extra-curricular activities and actually stay at one long enough to cheer him on or assist with coaching = 50 points. Weed three gardens in one afternoon without getting heat stroke = 75 points (a higher level of points for this one, because if you were to get heat stroke and end up in the hospital, you would then render yourself useless for completing your other chores). Fit in at least 3 fun family activities and still get at least 80% of your chores completed = 80 points. Manage an emergency visit to the vet or child’s walk-in clinic and conduct yourself as strong nursemaid without losing it = 90 points. Get everything on your list done, and still manage to make a home-cooked dinner AND have enough energy for nooky with your husband at bedime = priceless.
You get the picture. We are Weekend Warriors – don’t we deserve to earn some bonus points?
Tell me, how many points can you give yourself tonight, and what will be your reward?