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Monday mom challenge: Create a do-nothing day

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

A family pajama day

How often do you say to yourself, either silently or aloud, that you wish you could have a do-nothing day? A day to stay in pajamas, eat a late breakfast, read, lounge, whatever. No outside commitments. Wouldn't it be nice to share that kind of a day with your whole family? Make it happen!

Family Eating Breakfast

Our lives are so busy that they often can feel out of control. We need down time, both as individuals and as families, but that time can be difficult to claim. If an opportunity to have real down time exists, take it. If an "almost" day appears on the horizon, with a little finagling, you can take it to the next level and really enjoy your pajamas.

 

Take advantage of opportunities

Purely by chance, we had one of these days recently. On Friday afternoon, I realized that we had absolutely nothing planned for Saturday. Rather than speaking up and saying, "Hey, maybe we should plan something," I kept quiet. A day of down time sounded so good.

And it was good. It wasn't perfect, but it was good. We didn't set boundaries. We made a big breakfast and sat around the table, read bits of the paper and books, played a couple of games, drifted in and out of being together and being alone. There were random chores - laundry, dishes - but nothing onerous.

 

A plan for no plans

It seems so contrary to talk about planning for a day of no plans, but you really must. What makes it really special is if it's kind of a surprise to the rest of the family. As odd as it may be, if you let the family know that you have planned a day with no plans, that in itself becomes the plan, and it adds pressure. The unexpectedness of the day off from plans and commitments makes all the difference.

You also have to let go of planning, and that can be hard. If you know you have this open day coming, you might be tempted to say to yourself, "Oh! I can do this! Or finish that!" or make other plans, even if they are only mental. Try not to. Try to be open to being lazy and as relaxed as possible.

Our day off was rejuventating, and not just because we ended the day by watching a movie together then going to sleep early. It was a true mental health day. Make such a day happen for you and your family; I'm sure you'll love it.

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