Nobody knows where I am. I did let my husband vaguely know that I’m taking the day to myself, but otherwise, my family thinks I’m at work, my employer approved this PTO a month ago. I packed my work bag, kissed my husband goodbye, and dropped my son off at daycare like any normal day. I have everyone deceived and an entire day to myself. I smile at the thought. It’s mom’s day off.
I start with a workout. I blast music in my ears, no interruptions. Then a shower, HOT, and again uninterrupted. I take the time to actually dry my hair and put on makeup, no one rushing me, no one talking to me. No one asking me to locate anything. No questions. No whining. I just dry my hair and get ready. I don’t multitask.
Then I get coffee, it’s hot. I take my time drinking it. Again, I don’t multitask, I don’t need to. I’m not rushing. No one needs me because no one knows I’m here. I have all day, I think to myself. I look out a window. I notice the people around me. I breathe. I eat breakfast. I’m not worried about feeding anyone else, I’m not putting myself second today. I eat an actual breakfast.
I do work because I enjoy working. I work on the things that make me happy. I write, I connect with others, I send emails, I research. I cross things off my to-do list. It is amazing what I can accomplish in an hour. I have forgotten that I am not actually incompetent, a thought that crosses my mind daily. I am competent, talented, hardworking, and creative. But who can work efficiently in constant chaos? It’s not fair to blame myself for never getting anything done when I am, in fact, usually getting things done for everyone but myself.
I put my laptop away. I’m stuck for a minute. Should I use this time to grocery shop in peace, actually meal plan for once, run errands that have jumped from last week’s to-do list to this week’s, never actually getting accomplished? I am not surprised that my mind jumps to these things, it’s habit. I feel almost anxious with the free time. I don’t know where to go or what to do with my time. I have almost forgotten what I like to do.
Then I am back on track. I go to my favorite restaurant for lunch. I listen to an audible book while I eat. I don’t have to share with anyone else. I don’t have to take anyone to the bathroom. No drinks are spilled. I even get a beer. At noon. On a Tuesday. I eat in peace.
I shop for and spend money on myself.
I get my nails done.
I listen to books, music, and my own thoughts throughout the day.
I don’t answer anyone’s questions.
I pick my son up from daycare.
I’m greeted by the questions, the end of the day crabbiness, the smiles, the chatter, and requests for favorite songs. I’m happier and better equipped to take on the endless needs of my family.
I plan next month’s day off.