Monday, May 9, 2016

Hey Moms, You Need a Day Off! (and not just once a year)

Happy belated Mother's Day! I hope you all got pampered, got a little rest, and felt totally and completely loved. Hopefully you might have even gotten the day off. If you did, and you liked it, this post is for you. Of course, if you're like most moms, the idea of taking a day off other than Mother's Day is laughable. A day off? You're a mom! You don't get time off!

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.


  1. Wow...what a great idea! This is totally doable. I hope you enjoy all of your future Mondays. You deserve it :O)

  2. As I read this I am listen to the podcast thing I have at times felt like I need to get away from my children and grandchildren and this is why I will enjoy the cruise I am going on at the end of the month. Also this is why when my girls here little I would take long ass baths it was my time to recharge. On Mother's Day I was busy doing stuff all damn day I cooked a hot breakfast and did washing and stuff

  3. A couple of years ago I read Essentialism by Greg McKeown. His wife was a SAHM, but he convinced her to get a babysitter one morning a week so she could get a break from the kids and/or do things that were hard to do with all the kids in tow. I don't know why, but reading this felt like permission. I was only able to make it work in the summer when my teenage babysitters were available, but I would go to the library to write, go shopping, take the car in for work, whatever I wanted or needed. I loved it. I just started it again last month when my babysitter finished her year at BYU and now has a little time before leaving on her mission. I'm going to be so sad when she leaves! But for now, one morning a week to myself is heaven.

    1. Good for you! You know, I think the other part of this is that even if you had the easiest job in the world, doing anything 24/7 is mentally and emotionally draining. We all just really need to get away from our day-in-day-out routine, whether that's motherhood or anything else. We need to step out of our routine and just breathe, get some perspective, and then go back to it feeling more prepared to handle what comes our way. We all need to give ourselves permission!



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