(Nothing feels quite as good as doing something slightly against the rules.)
“When I find myself reaching my limit with the monotony of day to day I start living vicariously through pages on Pinterest of beach escapes and cabins in the woods far, far away from car pools and basketball practice and school projects due the next day.”
Our days as moms can start to feel like one never ending groundhog day of routine and responsibility. We load the dishwasher in the evening. We unload the dishwasher in the morning. We pack the lunchboxes in the morning and unpack whatever the kids seemed worthy of consuming. Glad that apple got out of the house for a few hours. We start to feel enslaved by a never ending cycle of routine. Moms don’t get weekends. In fact, weekends are often even harder because there is no school to break up the day.
When I find myself reaching my limit with the monotony of day to day I start living vicariously through pages on Pinterest of beach escapes and cabins in the woods far, far away from car pools and basketball practice and school projects due the next day. When I find myself fantasizing about just one day of sleeping past 6:00 AM or a home cooked meal made by someone other than myself, I know it’s time for a hooky day.
Yes, it is a guilty pleasure, and no, I don’t actually feel guilty about it. Taking a hooky day means taking a day for pure, selfish, hedonistic enjoyment. It is a day set aside just for you. It is a battery charger day. A mini escape to refresh and enjoy so that you don’t actually jump into the suv with your hair on fire and run screaming into the night. The Oxygen channel has an entire series called “Snapped” devoted to women who basically lost their shit. This simple strategy may prevent us all from being next year’s episodes.
Ask yourself, “What would be my perfect relaxation day?” be specific. Is it a day at a spa? Is it a day spent sleeping and reading a good book in bed? Or is it a short road trip adventure visiting a park or a lovely hotel? Decide if you want to go alone or with a good friend. Keep it simple so that it is less likely to fall apart. Keep it on budget so that you’re not creating a financial burden that will cause stress down the line. Choose a museum that you’ve wanted to visit but the kids wouldn’t enjoy. Go and take the audio tour with no distraction. Pack your favorite lunch and have a quiet lunch in a park.
Devise a plan. This is key. In order for this one day escape to be successful you must put all the parts in place in advance. Choose a weekday. Take a personal day off work if need be. Arrange a babysitter or dad to do pick up and afterschool activities. Have dinner planned so that is handled without you. Give yourself the peace of mind that all is taken care of so that you may truly be worry free to enjoy your day.
Actually see it through. Take a camera. Notice the details. Enjoy the small stuff. Take a journal and write a few passages in a tranquil setting. Think of ways to expand your life and open up new horizons for yourself. Remember, like every phase in life, this too shall pass. It is bittersweet to think of our kids growing up, but with each phase opens up new opportunities for us to grow and evolve. After your hooky day, you may return to business as usual with a little lift in your step and sparkle in your eye with your own little secret.