Recently I listened to a podcast on Power of Moms (if you are not listening to these fantastic podcasts and reading the articles on this site, you are missing out) in which a mom was telling about how she takes almost a full day off once a month. She and her husband have it on their calendar, and the morning of her day off she goes online and gets a last-minute deal for a hotel somewhere within an hour or so of their home. She books a reservation, then packs her bags and goes there for the night. She gets a full night of uninterrupted sleep, can shower whenever she feels like it, can sleep in as late as she wants, gets quiet time to herself to read, watch TV, rest, and recharge, and then the next day she comes back home in the early afternoon.
Now, for most of us moms this seems a little crazy. For one thing, not many of us could afford the luxury of a night away in a hotel. But also, just the idea of taking time off like this- just for us- just seems...well...selfish?
I did too. And then I knocked some sense into my head.
Guys. Just listen to me here for a minute. As moms, we work 24/7. We are on call in the middle of the night. We don't get enough sleep. We plan, we cook, we clean, we doctor, we coach, we shop, we nurture, we worry- we do everything. We literally have a full-time job, or, if you agree with most experts out there, the equivalent of TWO full-time jobs. And this mom takes one day a month off.
Most normal, rational people would agree that one day off a month for someone who works two full-time jobs seems not only reasonable, but woefully inadequate! How is it that labor unions and the government all agree that people need breaks from work but we- as loving, dedicated mothers- do not? And we wonder why we're all so daggone frazzled and exhausted all the time!
We have to stop this. I am here to tell you that I am writing this blog post on my morning off. After I came to this big, fat, hairy DUH of a conclusion that yes, I do need time off (after being a mother for 12 years- why did it take me this long??) I took it to my husband. I broke it to him gently. I told him about this podcast mom's day off and then I suggested I might like to do something similar.
He got kind of a deer in the headlights look.
I told him I didn't need a whole day- I'll just take a morning. But we needed to put it on the calendar. Just one morning. Once a month. That's all.
Slowly, he nodded. He agreed that sounded very reasonable.
Fortunately, he has every other Monday off (because he works every other Saturday, ugh) so we agreed on the first Monday of every month. All kid and household duties would be solely his responsibility. I would be duty-free.
And so here I am, sitting next to a nice, sunny window in the library writing this blog post. If I wanted to, I could get up from this table and go browse books for awhile. Earlier this morning I went to my favorite thrift store and took alllll the time I wanted shopping because I had no little munchkins begging for a snack or running and hiding from me among the clothes. It was marvelous. I'm already planning what to do for my next morning off.
Seriously, guys. It's time. If we make this the norm, it will be so much easier to implement for mothers everywhere, and we will all be happier and saner, which means our families will all be happier and saner (yes, believe it or not, they can survive without us for one day).
So please, please, take a day off already! You deserve it. And not only that, you need it.