Sleep isn't what I miss the most on the weekends—it's time with you

As they say, "You don't know what you've got until it's gone." And, oh boy, is this true with restful weekends.

Sleep isn't what I miss the most on the weekends—it's time with you

My love,

As they say, "You don't know what you've got until it's gone." And, oh boy, is this true with restful weekends.

I couldn't help but laugh about this recently when a radio announcer asked one Friday afternoon what listeners were looking forward to doing on the weekend. "I am planning to sleep in until noon," he boasted (to my ears) about his hopes for Saturday and Sunday. All I could think was clearly he doesn't have kids.

That's because while weekends with young children are a great many things, they are not relaxing. Gone are the days of lingering in bed, having an afternoon-long Netflix marathon and then getting the energy to go out on a date together.

Now it's a different kind of marathon—starting at 6:30 a.m. when our big kid calls from his room and continues non-stop through the day. If we're lucky, we can align nap times and juggle household responsibilities with entertaining the little ones. If we're good, we can all get out of the house together on a fun adventure to a local trail or festival or play date.

I cherish these moments. I really do. Unlike the hustle and bustle of the week that often sees us running off in different directions, the family time we're able to have on the weekend is truly a gift.

At the same time, I don't think I'm wrong to admit I also miss some of the ways it was before. I don't even need to sleep in until noon. I would just like you and the chance to have a conversation at, say, 10 o'clock in the morning without it being peppered by requests for snacks.

Maybe I'm asking for the best of both worlds: I don't want to give up any of these special moments with our kids and I'm really not trying to speed past them. It's just that other than those date nights (once in a blue moon) and evenings crashed on the couch, it can feel like our connection is limited to making goofy faces across the room as one of us rushes the toddler to the potty while the other feeds the baby.

Even when we're out and having real, good family fun, there's no denying it's different than the real, good couple fun we used to have while exploring new trails or taking spontaneous road trips. And while this difference is not "bad," it is real.

I think it's fine to acknowledge this not so we can commiserate or get down on the way things are now. Rather, as all the years of our relationship have shown me, we are best at figuring things out when we're figuring them out together.

So, what if we don't plan a date that calls for full attention during a romantic meal at the end of a busy day—but instead go out to breakfast where the combination of coffee and the giddiness helps us tap into the magic of those weekends of old? (And forget about the fact we still got up before 7 am.)

Maybe this will even help us realize that as nice as it is to sleep in on occasion, there's a lot more potential for making memories when you're up before the crack of dawn. 😉

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My village lives far away—but my Target baby registry helped them support me from afar

Virtual support was the next best thing to in-person hugs

They say you shouldn't make too many major life transitions at once. But when I was becoming a mama for the first time nearly five years ago, my husband and I also moved to a new town where we didn't know a soul, bought our first house and changed jobs.

To put it mildly, we didn't heed that advice. Luckily, our family and friends still made it feel like such a magical time for us by supporting our every move (literal and otherwise) from afar. They showered us with love through a virtual baby shower (expectant parents nowadays can relate!) featuring the unwrapping of gifts they were able to ship straight to me from my Target registry.

Here's one piece of advice I did take: I registered at Target so I could take advantage of the retailer's benefits for registrants, which include a welcome kit valued over $100, a universal registry function and more. Fast-forward a few years and Target has made the registration perks even better for expectant parents: As of August 2020, they've added a Year of Exclusive Deals, which gives users who also sign up for Target Circle a full year of savings after baby is born on all those new mama essentials, from formula to diapers and beyond.

Honestly, even without the significant perks of a free welcome kit with more than $100 in coupons, additional 15% off coupons to complete the registry and a full year of free returns, registering at Target wasn't a hard sell for me: Even though the experience of shopping for baby items was new, shopping with Target felt like returning home to me… and the comfort of that was such a gift.

And of course, Target's registry plays a vital role right now, as expectant parents everywhere are being forced to cancel in-person baby showers and navigate early parenthood without the help of a hands-on village. A registry like this represents a safe way for communities to come through for new parents. If you're anything like me (or any of the other mamas here at Motherly), you certainly have emotional ties and fond memories associated with Target.

What to register for at Target was also an easy talking point as I began to connect with moms in my new community. I will always remember going on a registry-building spree with my next door neighbor, who had young children of her own. As we walked the aisles of Target back in 2015, she suggested items to add… and we laid the foundation for what has since become one of my most cherished friendships.

Even as I made connections in my new hometown, I was nervous that expecting my first baby wouldn't feel as special as if I were near family and friends. But my loved ones exceeded all expectations by adding the most thoughtful notes to gifts. They hosted a beautiful virtual baby shower and even encouraged me to keep the registry going after my baby made his debut and new needs arose.

In the years since, "community" has taken on a wonderfully complex new meaning for me… and, in these times of social distancing, for the rest of the world. I've come to cherish my newfound friends in our local community alongside those long-time friends who are scattered around the county and my virtual mama friends.

Now, as my friends' families grow, I'm so grateful that I can show them the same love and support I felt during my first pregnancy. I sing the praises of Target's baby registry—especially in light of the pandemic, since I know mamas can do everything from a distance thanks to Target's website and the added benefit of getting trusted reviews and helpful registry checklists.

And now that I'm on the gift-buying side of the equation, I've found new joy in picking thoughtful gifts for my friends. (Because goodness knows Target has something for everyone!)

For my friend who is a fellow runner, I teamed up with a few others to give the jogging stroller she had on her registry.

For my friend who is a bookworm, I helped her start her baby's library with a few books that are also well-loved in our home.

For other friends, I've bundled together complete "sets" with everything they need for bathing or feeding their children.

I know from my own experience that, yes, the registry purchases are so appreciated, but the thoughtfulness and the support they represent means even more. Because although my village may have been distant, the support they showed me was the next best thing to in-person hugs.

Start your own Target Baby Registry here to experience a Year of Benefits including a Year of Exclusive Deals through Target Circle to enjoy for a full year following your baby's arrival, a year of free returns, two 15% off completion coupons and a free welcome kit ($100 value).

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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