Saturday, March 10, 2012

Mother's Day Out?

I recently spoke about a book that I am rereading, A Mother's Rule of Life.  I read it a few years ago, related to a lot of it and found many really helpful ideas.

One idea that I did not really relate to was the idea of a Mother's Day Out. Holly Pierlot, the author, explains how every other week she has a Saturday to herself. She is able to leave the house and the children to her husband and come home only when she is ready, feeling rejuvenated for her role in motherhood for the next two weeks. While this all sounded fantastic three years ago, it seemed luxurious and not like something that was necessary in my life at the time. Honestly, I may have even judged her for this "indulgence."

Times have changed. When reading this book now, I think this concept is one of the ideas that has spoken to me the most. It no longer seemed like a luxury, but a necessity.

What's the difference between then and now? Well, we have three children now. Homeschooling requires more time and energy then it did then. And while we are still active in Engaged Encounter, I have also taken on a more active role in our parish.

For several months now, I have felt a strong need for a break. A real break. Not just reading for seven minutes while I eat a sandwich before I do the dishes from lunch. Jason recognized this need in me, perhaps because I mentioned it several times in tears. Jason understands and is a compassionate rock of strength and love for me. It was he that first suggested that I get a "day off" before I even began rereading Holly's explanation of it.

Even though I feel that this is a sincere, very real need of mine, it still makes me feel guilty. I know so many other moms that don't get days off and they seem to be handling motherhood just fine. Many of them have more children than I do and are also homeschooling. I also feel guilty that I need to devote one of our weekend days entirely to myself. It seems selfish. Jason works hard all week too. What about Father's Day Out?

Of course, if Jason expressed that he also wanted days scheduled like this for him, then we would make that happen. But Jason doesn't need to get away from the house and the children like I do. He's happy to be home.

Jenny says that I'm not allowed to feel guilty about this and that she is my advocate. What a nice thought!

For now, I think we will try to make a Mother's Day Out scheduled once a month. That seems sufficient. But maybe if I was homeschooling five children like Holly, I would need this every two weeks like she does.

So today is my first official day off. What will I do with myself? Well, I am starting with my first zumba class with a new friend. I am also hopeful to get some reading and writing done. Maybe a little shopping. I will be going to Confession and perhaps to evening Mass. And I will end the day by getting a drink with Jenny.

Sounds like absolute bliss. Thanks, honey - I needed it :)

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