Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Taking Time Off

Raising boys is a lot of work! And if you're like most parents I know, you probably feel likely overwhelmed right now. Winter holiday + already busy schedule + tight family budget = stress.

My question to you is, What are you doing to deal with the stress? A lot of articles and blog posts this time of year focus of cutting back on holiday activities. And while that approach makes sense -- less must-do's = less stress, right? -- what I really want is some time to do nothing.

Can you relate?

It's not easy to take time off when you have kids. Parents don't get sick days, or holidays either. But I'm learning (ever so slowly!) to respect the cravings of my brain and body. When my brain and body scream for a break, I try to take a break.

No, I probably won't be able to take an entire day off, at least not this week or next week. But I can turn off the computer, grab a good book and hop into a hot bath. As a matter of fact, that's what I'm going to do right now.

What do you do when you need a break?


  1. I make sure the boys are productively entertained and lie down on my bed for about 30-40 minutes with a good British mystery on Netflix. Midsomer Murders is a favorite of mine right now.

  2. Jennifer,
    I love this post, and can completely relate. Sometimes I wonder if the teachers at my kids' school sit around and think up new ways to complicate our lives. I am beyond frazzled with all of the projects, goody bags, extra money needed for this, permission slip needed for that, homework, after-school activities...oh, and not to mention...the holidays. LET ME OUT!

    I like your idea of reading a book, and taking a hot bath. I think I'll do that tonight! I am also practicing meditative breathing. Something has got to work!

    Thank you for your thought-inspiring post,

  3. I love the bed and mystery idea!

    Katie-- I'll be honest: I'll skipped some of those "obligations" completely. When the PTA sent home a blank paper with directions to decorate it with a gingerbread man/family to represent our family, I...opted out. And when I went to school and saw the amount of effort people had put into those, I was so glad! That might be fun together time for some families, but it would have been like pulling teeth with my sons. So I skipped it, and had more time to do something meaningful to *my* family.

  4. So funny to read this just now...I'm working on a blog post about how much I just want to do NOTHING right now! I always get into this "need a break" feeling right before an actual break is coming, so I sometimes decide to embrace the break mentality a week early or so :) Guess what, Jennifer? We "opted out" of a "decorate with your child" Christmas Tree project! Just couldn't add one more thing to our plate. Also, I'd lost it. ha!

  5. Someone remind me to clear out my work calendar a few days before Christmas next year! I'd really love to have today off, but work calls.

    So I'm going to do the next best thing: Crank hard on the work for awhile, then take a rest. I'm not feeling great today (some stomach thing seems to be going around our house), so my plan is to work a chunk, then nap. Repeat as necessary.

  6. I hope you found the rest you needed. I have a very simple schedule, so I didn't really feel overwhelmed, but I get in exercise almost every day, either yoga or a walk. I function best with exercise. And a morning meditation helps as well. I opt out of many things that I used to do. I know you have 4 boys instead of 2, so it is a different situation. But I really like the morning meditaion, even 10 minutes.