There’s nothing like the anticipation of a few days off from work, chores and a ringing alarm clock. There’s only a few times a year when us working mamas are able to look forward to a chance to unwind a little and let go of the daily responsibilities of work and a household. Two Sundays ago my husband and I laid in bed talking about how all we had to do was to just make it through three days of waking up at 5am and working all day and then we would have two full days off from work. We would send the kids to school and we would be home alone together all day. We planned our Game of Thrones marathon and our nap and we stocked up on easy to reheat pre-prepared food and take out menus. This was going to be awesome!
The kicker here is that we weren’t dreaming of two days of playing hooky together or a long weekend away from the kids. We were getting excited about my upcoming surgery! How sad is this? Hashtag America, am I right? In truth, I can’t really complain. I am thankful that my husband and I both have good jobs that provide us with health insurance that allows me to have a non-essential organ removed from my body for less than the cost of a weekly peapod grocery delivery. I have a flexible job that allows me to work from home while I recover instead of forcing me to take PTO days. We both have days we can take off with pay and short-term disability should I have needed it.
What’s with Americans’ obsession with our self-created workaholicism that makes us feel like we couldn’t possibly take two days off together for no reason. Why do we stockpile PTO for what if situations instead of take two mental health days to send the kids to school and stay home to watch some wildlings attack a wall made of ice? Why don’t we value days like that as much as days spent being tourists and vacationing?
As we fell asleep that Sunday, we briefly pondered these questions and swore to think about taking another mental health day someday when I wasn’t going under the knife. And last week, we enjoyed the two days of peace and quiet and watched as much Game of Thrones as my drugged up mind would allow. I felt like I really treated myself by laying low for the next week and allowing myself to recover. When the little one called in the night, I sent my husband. I didn’t worry about dinner or lunches or laundry or housework. The kids were temporarily perturbed when forced to wear jeans because no one had laundered their “soft pants” but they got over it. After a week of sleeping an extra 30 minutes because I didn’t have to work outside of the home I feel rested, rejuvenated and on my way to recovered. My sweet husband did a great job of picking up the slack and I’m not sure he can say the same about feeling rested after this “break.”