So an unusual thing happened today. I took the day off. The whole day off. Off from work. Off from kids. Off from responsibilities. Off from everything!
Let me back up my story a little so you know how this day off came to be. Besides bringing home the usual art work or school work, my daughter will occasionally bring home an illness from her preschool. About three weeks ago, she brought home a cold. A few days later, we all had caught it, too. The four of us (husband, two children, and myself) all sounded so awful with our cacophony of sneezes, coughs, sniffles, and general whining about being sick.
Slowly, everyone recovered one after another from this cold. Everyone except…you guessed it. ME. The mom of the house.
By this time, which was about a week ago, I had already figured that my cold was done and over with, but that an awful sinus infection had taken its place. A trip to the doctor yesterday confirmed my self-diagnosis and a number of medications were prescribed. I was put on a anti-inflammatory steroid, an antibiotic, a maximum strength pseudoephedrine decongestant, Mucinex, and my allergy pill.
That was all alarming enough, but the real shocker was when she told me that I needed to take a day or two off of work to “rest.” Rest? What’s that? In as light of a way as I could, I reminded her that I am a mom, a wife, and a teacher. I don’t have any time to rest. She was not as light with her response. She reminded me that our bodies need rest, especially when we are sick. This miserable illness might take longer to go away even with all of the medications if I didn’t give myself a little rest and relaxation. Well that did it. I did not want to be sick any longer than necessary!
So, I took today off. Let me tell you, it’s been a really long time since I was last sick enough to need a day off. I still got the kids dressed, fed, and off to the babysitter and to school in the morning, but after that, nothing of my usual busy routine for the next seven, blissful, relaxing hours.
The house was so quiet. I had my breakfast and hot Moroccan mint tea in silence at the table. I watched an amusing movie called Sing Street on Netflix. I read some of a library book that I’ve renewed already twice and therefore, really need to finish soon. I went to my favorite Vietnamese restaurant and ordered a delicious chicken pho for my lunch. I sat outside in the back yard with my dogs to enjoy the sunshine. I washed a few dishes and tidied up the kitchen. I tried to take a nap, but my frequent coughing didn’t help. I made some mental notes for this blog post. I did not think of work or of bills or of anything that required too much effort. I rested. My doctor, if she’s reading this, should be nodding her head in approval.
One day of rest isn’t going to miraculously make me better, but I feel good right now. It’s just about 8:30 pm, the kids are in bed, my husband isn’t home yet, and I will eventually need to start planning for tomorrow. Things like lunches for my daughter and myself, lesson plans for my students, outfits for my kids, which bills to pay, what room of the house needs the most cleaning, tomorrow’s dinner, etc. You know: the typical, routine things that can sometimes stress us out, weigh us down, and in my case, make us stay sick longer than we want.
While I know it might not be easy for you, may I suggest that all of you overworked and stressed out parents take a day off if you can? It might make you feel a little guilty at the luxury of it at first, as it did for me, but we really do need to take care of ourselves. At the end of the day you’ll feel rested and ready to face tomorrow. Good night.