by Susan Wenner Jackson
Recently, I took a couple of sporadic vacation days off work. To relax at the spa? No. To catch up on my stories? Nope. To hit the mall and meet a friend for lunch? I wish.
A mom’s day off ain’t no Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Instead of exploring the city with my best buds, I dropped my daughter off at the sitter’s, came back home and caught up on housework. Can you say BOOOOO-RING? My itinerary included sorting and folding approximately 14 loads of laundry (not exaggerating in the least), vacuuming up four weeks’ worth of dog fur from the carpet, and picking up toys and other random crap scattered about in every room of the house. At least I got to dive into my DVR’d soaps while I folded.
At the end of the day, I was fairly exhausted from accomplishing all those lame but necessary tasks. My husband picked up my daughter, brought her home and we did our usual weeknight routine of dinner, playtime, bath and night-night. I didn’t feel refreshed, exhilarated or relaxed. I did, however, experience a mild sense of relief and satisfaction that we had clean clothes to wear for the next few days and our house didn’t look like a total wreck. Weeee!
My other sporadic day off was for a planned outing with my daughter and our sitter’s family. We headed to the local indoor water park for a few hours of summer swimming frivolity in the middle of a dismal, winter-like spring. I have to admit, this was way more fun than folding laundry or vacuuming. We sported our new suits, dove into the heated water, and splashed our cares away. My daughter is approaching 3, so she was just beginning to really enjoy this kind of experience. Hearing her laughter and indulging in lots of underwater hugs made my day as special as any day at the spa. (Cleaning up her poop after she took a load off in her suit while swimming? Wellll …. not so special. Memorable, though, for sure!)
When we got home from our waterpark adventure, Cassie collapsed in happy tiredness, like we had spent the day at the beach – and so did I. Good thing I had woken up early that day to get household chores like dishes and vacuuming done first. I napped and relaxed while she did, and at the end of the day, actually sort of felt like I had a “day off” – even if it wasn’t exactly a luxury spa experience or other indulgent me-time. One of these days though, I really am going to do something like that … first I just need to get my house clean, laundry done, grocery shopping finished …. You get the idea.