This week, Moma Rock chose the topic: What is your favorite day of the week, and your least favorite day of the week?
First, read what everyone else had to share on this topic:
I had to give this question a lot of thought. I know it's easy enough to say Monday is my least favorite day, but knowing that How I Met Your Mother is there to greet me at the end of it makes my case of the Mondays slightly more bearable. Tuesday is commercial free country music and The Mindy Project. Wednesday is Modern Family. Thursday is Glee (for now). Friday is a short day at work and then Shabbat. Which brings me to Saturday...
Saturday fits this question in both ways. It all depends on the time of year. When it's daylight savings time and we fall back, I love Saturday. Shabbat is a short day. By the time lunch is over, there are only a few hours left until Havdalah and then the start of a new week. We get our nights back and can go on dates, have family movie nights, hang out with friends, etc. Sometimes we like to just have our own quiet movie night or TV show marathon. However, we can start it at a reasonable time.
Don't get me wrong...I still love Shabbat. However, during spring and summer, Shabbat takes up most of the day. Sometimes it doesn't end until closer to NINE P.M. After that, it's hard to make any plans to go out and do something fun. Most shows would have started by then. The kids want to stay up late anyway and by the time they're in bed, it's even later.
In the past, I've tried to make the long days of Shabbat fun by hosting gatherings. After a few years of doing this and ending up with a lot of mess and riled up kids all over the place, I've scaled back to small get-togethers with close friends. Usually, the guys (including my sons) end up playing Magic: The Gathering. That leaves the women to chase after the babies and toddlers because the men are so engrossed in their games. We get interrupted almost every two minutes when we're trying to chat with each other.
When it's nice out, we try to go to the park, but the parks out by us are long walks from our house. If it's too hot out, we don't bother at all. Given that the kids don't nap on Shabbat anymore, we have to take turns with our own naps. (A Shabbat nap is too hard to pass up...of course it makes us less likely to go to bed later at night.) Of course, by later in the day, they're wound up, cranky and bored. You'd think with all the toys they have, this wouldn't be a problem.
As for being "unplugged" during Shabbat, I actually don't mind it. It's nice to have a day where I don't have to answer phone calls, e-mails, text messages, etc. I get a lot of reading done, as a result. And if I want to connect with people, I go to shul or I take walks to their house. If I arrange a play date for the kids, they're happy to play with their friends.
This past spring, we became friends with a family that lives nearby. We've hung out with them on most Shabbats and we always enjoy their company. Their kids get along well with our kids too. We have some other friends we try to spend time with on Shabbat every so often. The one downside of short Shabbat afternoons is less socializing time before getting back into routine. If you're not having a meal with friends, there's not much time available to spend with them after lunch.
As you can see, Saturday plays two different roles in my life....the endless days of Shabbat in the summer and the blissful stretches of evening time in the winter. If you have ideas of ways to keep kids entertained on Shabbat in the instances when we're stuck indoors, I'd love to hear them.