Saying Yes to Jammies and Self-Care

Today is looking different than planned. We’re home, rather than on a last road trip and I was planning on laundry, cleaning, maybe a park, but definitely a quiet day. Bea woke up looking tired and complaining of a hurting tummy. I tried all the tricks – eating breakfast, drinking water, did she go to the bathroom?

IMG_6064And then I remembered the power of a mental health day. Maybe Bea really is feelingย off. Maybe she’s just tired. Kindergarten has been one huge transition for us and day after day of routine can be too much for a five-year-old.

Growing up, my parents always encouraged mental health days, though I was too much of a “perfect student” to feel comfortable taking one. I knew I wanted to listen to my kids when they needed time off, to encourage rest and rejuvenation. How else do we model self-care and Sabbath-living?

So, we’re here, in our jammies, with no plans. Maybe a movie? Definitely the grocery store. Our deal was naptime so that I could get a few minutes of rest, too.

School is important and valued in our home but I want my girls to know thatย they are valued and important, as well. That we all need days off and I’m here to support them in all their popcorn and movie day needs.

How do you deal with mental health days and school? Any tricks to knowing for sure what an “upset tummy” is? And more importantly, how do you recognize a need for a mental health day for yourself?

Linked with Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing. Today’s prompt is “support.”

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8 thoughts on “Saying Yes to Jammies and Self-Care

  1. Ah yes, mental health days! I love how you shared your experience with these growing up. Sabbath living is also something I’m trying to incorporate into my own life more these days. Your post gives me some good insight into this so thanks!

  2. This is such a gently evocative post, Annie. Loved reading it.

    Coincidentally, I just had a Mental Health Minute. Josie and Reebok, the twin Ridgeback sisters, went for their walk. Also known as The Velociraptors, aka “THEM!”, they are never off-leash, even in a fenced yard. Their capacity for mayhem is off the scale. Nothing bad, mind you, but they will happily run straight through a board fence without noticing it’s there. They’re BIG.

    Walking them…they re diligent about doing their duties, and then, watch out. My first sign of what’s coming is when Reebok (the bigger one) spins and races behind me, on her leash. I know that the yank that comes when she hits the end will be fearsome. And so it begins.

    Leaping and wrestling and crossing over and under each other (almost silently), running in great circles while I’m trying to keep the leashes untangled and avoid getting tripped, they make five minutes of frenzied play seem like a year.

    But they do know my limits, and though they push me, they don’t overpower me…which would be easy for them.

    At the end of it all, the sisters exhausted, I realize that I’ve had the best of what life can offer, however much more pain I am in.

    It’s worth it.

  3. Awww, man. I had this great (and I’m sure profound) comment and it got erased. Sigh. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’ll be honest, I’m not great at knowing when my kids need a mental health day or giving it to them. Especially at this age, if they miss a day of school, the make up is much more intense than when they were younger. I don’t get many mental health days either, due to the nature of life right now. But I can tell when I need one, because all I can think about is escaping in to a fun chick flick or a great book. ๐Ÿ™‚

    As for tummy malaise, I’ve learned to watch my kids’ other body language. If they’re truly sick, they hardly eat anything, and they are low energy. But my youngest was good at “faking it” when he was younger. It’s sometimes hard to know. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I hope Bea is transitioning well into her new kindergarten life chapter. ๐Ÿ™‚

    GREAT post, Annie!

    1. I imagine it gets harder with age…. I know I was less likely to want a mental health day when I was in middle/high school because of ALL the make-up work. (We just finished 3x the amount of homework – because I want Bea to know there are repricussions from missing…. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I definitely wish it were easier for me to take a day – I feel like I’d be like a better mom. But…. am figuring out how to read my emotions and steal those moments, in the meantime.

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