Make this weekend your best ever

Squeeze family fun and precious me-time into 48 hours with these clever tricks for managing your time.

Sometimes the weekend can feel like even harder work than the week, as the pressure’s on to keep everyone happy – and hardly any space for relaxing. But what if you could get everything you want to out of 48 hours – at the expense of just a few chores? Read on, and make next weekend one to remember for the whole family.

Start your weekend with an easy treat

Take an extra five minutes in bed to have a cuddle with your other half, or make it an unwritten rule that after 8.30am, mum’s available for hugs under the covers before breakfast. Alternatively, set yourself a weekly little win: the first cuppa of the weekend is always enjoyed in bed!

Set a time limit for chores

Household chores have to be done, but they have a nasty habit of hanging over the whole weekend. Move a few tasks around, maybe Friday night the washing is done while you’re watching TV and vacuuming is always sorted by Saturday lunchtime. Anything that falls outside that time gets left until next weekend. This will help you focus. Get everyone involved to get the jobs done faster, too – here’s how to trick the kids into tidying up – and use the most effective, multi-tasking products you can, such as Ariel’s 3-in-1 Pods

Skip the shops

Busy supermarkets and shopping malls are guaranteed to put a damper on your relaxed weekend mood, and they’re incredibly boring for younger kids. So if you’ve got shopping to do, keep it local where the queues are shorter and stock up on groceries online (it’s easier to stick to your budget online, too) – leaving plenty of time for family fun.
Mum’s tip: ‘When the shops are unavoidable for things like new school shoes for my girls, I make the most of late openings on Thursday evenings. So much quieter!’ says Julie, mother of three.

Get some me-time

Shuffling the kids back and forth to music, swimming and ballet classes? Use time spent waiting in the car to catch up on that book you’ve been meaning to read or keep a favourite magazine on the passenger seat. Buy yourself a coffee and sit on a bench for fresh air and a chance to unwind. Or plan a route where you can use the time to nip to the gym or go for a quick swim.

Leave some space in your timetable

You spend all week planning, so in between the birthday parties and sports fixtures, leave weekend wriggle room for the unpredictable.
Mum’s tip: ‘Once a month in my family we have a No Plans Sunday,’ says Rose, mum of two. ‘It simply means we go into the day with absolutely nothing already booked in. You’d be amazed how freeing it is just doing things on a whim.’

Get outside

The best way to feel great is to get outside, whatever the weather. If it’s raining, put a big pile of towels by the front door ready for when you return. Need inspiration for outdoor activities? Check out our all-weather guaranteed fun stuff.

See people

Spending time with friends helps you feel satisfied and relaxed. Maybe just arrange to meet up in the local park so the kids get a runaround with friends and you get to catch up with the latest news.
Mum’s tip: ‘My two brothers live really nearby, so every Sunday we take it in turns to host Sunday lunch,’ says Nicola, mother of two. ‘Not everyone lives that close to family but I’ve got friends who’ve copied the idea now. It means we’ve always set aside quality time without having to keep arranging dates, and I only have to cook a roast every three weeks!’

How do you fit in time for your family and yourself as well? Let us know your tips…