It’s 9:00 a.m on a Monday morning and everyone in my life thinks I am at work. But I am blissfully sitting in a coffee shop catching up on my personal blog and other writing projects. I’ve got messy mom hair and leggings that are at least two days old. I’m sipping some sort of coffee concoction and enjoying the fact that nobody needs or wants anything from me. Cue the choir of angels.
It’s not that I don’t have a good support system. I have an amazing support system of people who, if I needed them, would move heaven and earth to take my kids and give me a break. But I struggle to accept help and feel far more guilt by burdening my family and friends than just sucking up whatever the issue is and moving on. (I know, I have issues).
So what’s a mama to do when she needs to not be needed? She gets sneaky.
My husband, kids, friends and family all know this as a normal Monday. Mom goes to work and picks kids up at 4:00. But I scheduled this day off long ago, and the only person who knows where I really am today is my boss (who vows not to call me unless something is literally on fire). Hubs takes the kids to gramma’s before work around 11:00, so I am huddling in the corner of this coffee shop waiting for stores to open because my boots have finally taken a crap, and not even the king’s horses or men can put them back together again.
After I treat myself to new boots I’ll grab my favorite lunch (I’m looking at you Vito sandwich with extra Jimmy Peppers) and head home. I promise myself to avoid catching up on housework or projects that don’t fill my bucket. I may stop off at the church on the way home to wail on the piano in peace without having small people nipping at my heels. I may not. I may take the world’s most epic nap.
My husband and friends know that these secret days off exist.
They fully support the need for absolute solitude, and they fully support the notion that the way to avoid feeling the pressure of actually taking care of myself is to let me do it in secret. They don’t take it personally that I want to be alone. That is a gift.
I look forward to this secret day off all.freakin’.year. All year. It’s the permission I give myself to be a human again and have some breathing room. It’s good for my mental health, it’s good for my physical health (ok, maybe not the salt and vinegar chips but work with me here), and it’s good for my spirit to be able to open just a little.
No pressure, no agendas, no worries. It’s a glorious thing.
So, have you ever taken a secret day off? Would you ever? What would you do with yourself? Share in the comments below, because this mama may run out of ideas someday!
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