Fat Saturday

Today’s Fat Saturday in our house. It’s the first Saturday in months where we don’t have any plans or commitments (read children’s birthday parties, extended family gatherings, school events and ballet lessons). I’m a homebody and love family time. The opportunity to spend the morning at home in my pjs with The Husband and The Girls, uninterrupted, with no plans for a whole day is very exciting. And the forecast is sunny. I mean, it’s the jackpot as far as I’m concerned.

The name Fat Saturday is inspired by the french, who faire la grasse matinée (have a fat morning) when they lie in. This turn of phrase has stuck with me since first hearing it in french class at school and has always conjured images of plump pillows, lovely loungewear, scented candles, bottomless coffees, books and lavish brunches in bed (basically, life pre-children). I mean, doesn’t it perfectly describe a lazy weekend lie-in? With the realisation that this is the first commitment-free Saturday in over 3 months and that actually, these days are few and far between, not to mention precious, we’ve decided to give them a name. We’ve been talking about Fat Saturday all week and everyone’s chosen a couple of things to do. Me: lie in beyond 7am and go foraging for blackberries and maybe even plums; The Husband: buy compost, eat sorbet and potter around in the garden; The Girls: eat pancakes, watch Netflix and make ice-cream sundaes. Isn’t this just the image of domestic bliss?

The Big One took my order this morning: 2 pancakes and a coffee 😍.

I’m sure the reality will be totally different. Our lie-in will probably end at 6.55am, when everyone’s starving. Breakfast in bed is a big fat no in our house. Too messy. And always descends into “monkeys on the bed” chaos. A trip to the garden centre with it’s promise of compost and ice-cream will probably end in hot tears and tantrums. Gardening will involve me entertaining sweaty, bored children whilst the husband shreds a pile of overdue garden waste. Foraging for fruit will no doubt be postponed for another day.  But the promise of cuddles with a pile of small snuggly, giggly people in our rumpled bed followed by a stack of pancakes as the sun streams through the kitchen windows and not having to shout “put your shoes on” 20 times to make it out of the house on time? The actual pot of life’s gold. This is what I’m really looking forward to.

In the past, we might have decided to go somewhere or book up a last minute break with a spare weekend. There’s a lot to be said for holidays and weekend breaks away. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the adventure. But family life changes the dynamic of “just getting away”. With small children, getting away from it all can also be as simple as turning your attention inwards, just focusing in on family; ignoring the rest of the world; turning off phones; and just making the everyday at home a little bit more exciting. No packing and no strange beds can mean rest and relaxation for everyone. Sticking loosely to the usual routine and creating family space can be just as, if not more, relaxing. Our girls love it. You can set a pretty table and suddenly your kitchen is a café. Make a smoothie and serve it in a jug for children to pour themselves or even set up a mini breakfast buffet and you could be in a lovely hotel. Set up an ice-cream or banana split station after dinner and leave them to make their own pudding. What child can resist a bowl of ice-cream and help yourself sauces and sprinkles? If you want to be healthy, 1-ingredient frozen banana ice-cream with a drizzle of honey, melted dark chocolate or nuts and fruits is a great option. Make a huge bowl of popcorn and watch a movie. Play a board game. Listen to your favourite album and tell your children why you love it so much or what it reminds you of. Take photos of life at home. Make a Fat Day scrap book. What could be nicer or more nostalgic than life in your own home that you can cherish in years to come?

Simple home comforts and time together: lighter on the planet, lighter on your mental load and an easy way of appreciating what you have.  Of course, you can make everyday special in little ways. But a completely free weekend is such a treat and planning to make it special can add a real sense of occasion to time that could so easily be frittered mindlessly or spent doing “jobs”. So maybe next time you have a completely free day or weekend, you could slow the pace, stock up on goodies and luxuriate in your own Fat Saturday.

Happy Weekend, everyone!

The Husband’s legendary dairy-free pancake recipe

2 eggs

100g plain flour

100g coconut oil (melted)

Water to loosen

Sea salt

Whisk all of the ingredients together in a jug to make a pourable smooth batter and cook in a smoking hot pan lightly oiled with coconut oil.

We serve ours with lashings of maple syrup, lemon zest, lemon juice and berries. And sometimes a small sprinkle of sugar for crunch.

How do you spend family time? Do you have any weekend traditions? Do you find that your weekends are always booked up? Do you ever earmark any time just for family?

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