Spare time Saturday: Chicago family is done being busy

There have been times in my life when I have heard people say, “You have too much time on your hands.”

Yes, people have said that.

Some would say that is an insult and at one time, I was hurt by that comment.

Until I stopped giving BUSY such a powerful hold in our world.

I saw a quote once that said “Stop the glorification of busy” and it stopped me in my tracks.


Hellz yes.

Why do we feel like failures if we don’t have a crap ton of errands to run or one extracurricular activity after another lined up for our children?

When did doing nothing start equating being lazy?

And why on Earth do we make others feel bad for having spare time?

Saturday, quite honestly, used to be a really hard day in our home.

My husband works long and exhausting hours.

He also works every single Saturday from sun up to sun down.

When the girls were younger, this day was ETERNAL.

But as they have grown older and we have gotten used to Dad being gone on Saturdays, it has turned into my favorite day of the week.

Spare Time Saturday has evolved.

Monday through Friday, I am running the kids to the eye doctor, dentist and orthodontist.

To soccer practices and ballet classes.

To physical therapy and occupational therapy.

To school events and PTO book fairs.

I do most of these things without the help of my husband and that is OK.

It is part of my end of holding things down here in our life while he works those crazy hours supporting our family financially.

It isn’t the glorification of busy as much as it’s just life, and of course all of the above isn’t happening in one week, but rather over the course of a year.

But there is one day that is sacred.

Spare Time Saturday.

I don’t ever schedule an appointment or class on Saturdays.

In fact, the only thing scheduled on Saturday April through June and September through November are soccer games, because unfortunately they don’t observe Spare Time Saturday.

Spare Time Saturday looks different with the changing seasons but the main idea is the same. It means that some Saturdays we stay in jammies all day.

Apps that we have heard about are downloaded as are songs on iTunes.

Playlists are created . . . can you say 1990 Slow Jams??

Board games are played, bags are collected for the thrift store and movie marathons are run.

Lots of sitting on the sun spots in the living room and pretending we are cats.

Picnics on the front lawn with sandwiches from the local deli, riding our bikes up and down the street just breathing in the newly fresh outside air, picking dandelions and making necklaces.

“Massages” with cheap dollar store lotion that my youngest picked out because she had “money” while listening to music on our old radio.

Getting pedicures from my oldest and her best friend while watching Real Housewives of New Jersey.

It was on a Spare Time Saturday that I watched Finding Nemo for the first time. At age 43.

It was on this day that I learned how to order a good sandwich at the local sub joint . . . from a 10 year old.

It was also on this day that I once ate a Culvers Concrete Mixer with Heath Bar for late breakfast.

Followed by an order of fries.

You get the gist.

The point is, we get a free day every week.

A day to recharge, relax and reconnect.

No structure, no schedule, no nothing.

Some might see this as a waste.

And that is OK.

I see it as getting a day each week to be in the moment with my girls.

Making the best out of what can be a long day for me.

Just relishing the fact that we really have nowhere to be.

Nowhere to be.

What a wonderful thought.

Take it in.

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