Is there an official Mom’s Day Off? I thought I read that somewhere. I could be dreaming.
I love being a mother — truly. But sometimes you just need a day off — or even half a day. When you have a career and are working for someone else, you are typically able to leave the office without your colleagues coming home with you. Not so when you’re at home full time — whether you work some hours from home or are a full-time stay-at-home mom, your kids are right there with you, all the time.
I used to work full time for a large ad agency and dreaded not seeing the kids until I picked them up from daycare or preschool at the end of the long day. For the past 13 years, though, I have been fortunate to have lots of flexibility with running my own business and also working for my husband’s company — flexibility to see the kids more and be more involved instead of only seeing them early in the a.m. and at night after pick up.
BUT when you’re with your kids almost every hour, every day, you are rarely alone (though some days you feel like you are all alone). And sometimes you just need a break.
“Are you finished in there, Mom? Can I come in?” (Seriously, I just sat down on the toilet!)
“What’s for dinner, Mom? There’s no food in the house!”
“Mom, do you know where my shorts are?”
“Can I borrow some money, Mom?”
“Mom, can you give me a ride?”
Maybe if I hide in the laundry room I’ll have a few moments of silence without hearing “mom,” “mother,” or “momma.”
When I feel myself nearing that burnout phase, I know it’s time to hit PAUSE. To schedule time for me. Rally the troops to make it happen. Tap into that village of support. Trade with a friend to watch the kids. Get myself organized the day before by making sure the errands, shopping, laundry, and cleaning are taken care of. I schedule it. And I don’t break that date.
It’s important for moms to take time out of our nonstop busy schedules to spend time with friends or family members who add value to our lives. The sisterhood is really important for women. In every stage of our lives, we need friends — people whose opinions and thoughts we value. We can’t do it all if we can’t share or listen to others who want to share. Taking time for ourselves in activities we love or simply enjoy — and being with other people who are not our kids — is a necessity.
Of course, this is easier said than done. But if you don’t make it happen, it probably won’t. We may feel guilty about not doing something work- or child-related when we do get those moments away from our children. But put a priority on using that valuable time for what you need most, whether it be alone time to reset and relax or social time with a group of friends. Do what works for you.
What would you do on a day (or even half day) off? Here are a few ideas.
Read a good book in a bubble bath (lock the door) or in a park.
Go to a spa with your best friends. Or make it a home spa day or night. Send the kids off with dad or a sitter.
Hike the Blue Hills or climb Mount Monadnock.
Bike along the Charles.
Go to a wine tasting. Try Nashoba Valley Winery.
Go for a run and then to brunch.
Go out for a nice lunch somewhere with a view. Try Pier 6 Boston Waterfront or Lookout Rooftop and Bar.
Hit the cinema — it’s movie time!
Try a new yoga class.
Drive somewhere to catch the sunset. Bring some wine and snacks.
Go to the beach! (My fav!)
Drive up or down the coast and stop at your favorite thrift shops.
Hit the race track… or almost — try Supercharged kart racing.
Try your hand at pottery making or painting.
Go rock climbing.
Round up a few friends for a group psychic reading.
Soar to new heights on a zipline.
Paddleboard or kayak on the Charles.
Experiment with new foods at cooking class.
Visit a local museum — for you this time, not for the kids.
Get a massage!
Take a dance class.
Open your mind to all sorts of possibilities and take a break from the routines of motherhood. Save your sanity. Your family will thank you — and so will you.