How to take an utterly indulgent, guilt-free, rest day:
Step One: Work yourself into an anxious frenzy in preparation of watching your kids compete in a jujitsu tournament
Step Two: Travel to far away place to not sleep in a hotel and lose your voice cheering for your gold medal winning kids
Step Three: Unleash your inner ninja warrior at a germ infested trampoline park
Step Four: Drive a few hours out of the way for a nature enrichment opportunity and then when you get home, teach the kids the fundamentals of basketball real quick
Step Five: Feel normal for one day, i.e. take kids to school, gym, unpack, do laundry, clean floors, meal plan, grocery shop, do homework, feed, chauffer to sports, bed
Step Six: Take one kid to the emergency room for enormously swollen hands and fingers, then spend the rest of the day googling in a hypocondria induced mania
Step Seven: Cuss your new bra for pinching your side, oh wait, JK, that’s not the bra, ITS FREAKING SHINGLES AT 32 YEARS OLD. FOR THE SECOND TIME
Step Eight: Get on some giant horse pills and write yourself a script for Netflix and Ill.
All that just to allow myself ONE day of rest. And guess what, my house didn’t burn down because I wasn’t in constant motion. My kids’ intellect didn’t suffer. My husband didn’t get home and complain that he didn’t have clean socks. We happily ate pizza off a sheet of butcher paper which tripled as an art canvas and homework scratch paper.
I’m my own boss and I take my stay at home gig pretty seriously (unless it’s mimosa brunch day) No one else holds me to this high standard. My husband and kids don’t guilt me if I don’t put the laundry away as soon as the timer buzzes. They don’t even notice if the floors aren’t swept or the pillows aren’t placed perfectly on crisply made beds. I live with four guys; honestly, the only thing they notice is if we’re out of cereal or the TV remote is missing.
When I was a kid, and pretty much right until motherhood slapped its unrelenting realness right in my face, I didn’t want to do hard things. I didn’t feel a pressure to keep up with household chores, and I never felt guilty about not doing something. If the laundry pile morphed from molehill to mountain, eh, I’d get to it later. We didn’t even have Netflix way back then but that didn’t stop me from some old fashioned TV binges. Or some days, I would read all day; the whole dang day with a good book and a spot in the sunshine. I never felt guilty. I felt refreshed.
Sometimes I miss that girl but mostly not. I’m still her if I dig down deep and practice resting. Breathing. Enjoying doing nothing. Not feeling guilty for slowing down. So mamas, sick or well, overwhelmed or run down, take a day off. That mile long to-do list will keep, the kids will be fine, and your world won’t stop turning.