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Ski, shop, sleep in and 6 other things I’d do this weekend if I didn’t have kids

Erin Zammett Ruddy

You guys know I am not in the kids-change-everything camp. I have two young people living under my roof and I still have a life—I work out, I go out, I get plenty of sleep, I have friends and fun and, yes, I still have sex. But let’s not pretend that some things were just easier—or more doable—before kids.


Of course before kids I probably would have wasted away a weekend without doing much of anything. But once you don’t have a ton of free time you look back and realize how much effing free time you had pre parenthood. And it’s fun to imagine the things you’d do with that time. Here’s my list:


1. I’d go skiing. I freakin love skiing and I haven’t been since before Alex was born. We used to throw our stuff in the car on a Friday and drive up to my aunt's place in Killington no problem. We can definitely still do this—I’m dying to get Alex on skis—but it’s just an undertaking we haven’t chosen to take just yet.


2. I’d sleep in—till 9:30. Like I said I usually get eight hours of sleep so I know I have no business complaining. But on the weekends I like to stay up past 11 (sometimes) and I do occasionally miss the leisurely mornings that didn’t start with whiny kids up in my grill.


3. I’d get a massage. I have four different gift certificates to spas that I need to use. Nick would have no problem watching the kids so I could run out but that just feels a little indulgant and like a waste of weekend family time to me. I’d rather go during the week when I should be working.


4. I’d clean my house from top to bottom. I actually like cleaning and I love organizing, I just don’t like doing it with kids underfoot. Particularly kids who'd rather I play with them. 


5. I’d go out to a swanky dinner without having to spend an extra $75 on a babysitter.


6. I'd see a movie during the day. I absolutely love seeing movies and I do still see them at night sometimes but I used to love going during the day—and drinking a giant diet coke and eating a vat of buttery popcorn. Yum. 


7. I’d go to the Pottery Barn Outlet with Nick and pick up some stuff for our house and then have a nice lunch with a good beer. Yes, PBO is fun for us. 


8. I’d workout in the morning. I like to workout but I also like to get it over with early so I can get on with my day. See number 2 for why that doesn't happen. 


9. I'd have a dinner party with friends. I absolutely love entertaining at my house and I do plenty of it (and plenty with kids), but it's been awhile. And the last-minute, everyone-come-over-for-some-good-food-and-wine thing is a lot harder to pull off when you have children to care for all day leading up to said dinner party. 


Oh, and here’s what I wouldn’t do:


18 loads of laundry


Clean my kitchen 15 times a day


Watch Puss in Boots for the 12th time


Go to swim class (oh wait, I never have to do that again!)


Obviously I love my kids and we’re going to have plenty of fun this weekend (and there are things on the list above that may actually get done). And, yes, life is so much better/richer/blah blah blah with them here, but that doesn’t mean we can’t reminisce about life before they existed. I think it can actually be fun. And healthy. So, what would you do this weekend if you didn’t have kids?