With a large family, homeschooling and a husband that has a demanding job….I know what it means to need a break!
When I see a movie about someone stranded on an island and they spell “S-O-S” in the sand to be rescued, I always think about that quiet time and wonder if it would work to spell out “N-O–ONE—H-E-R-E—G-O—A-W-A-Y-!!!”
When I was deep in the thick of mothering toddlers and nursing and wishing for a place to go that required me actually getting dressed, my husband said to me one day, “Hey, why don’t you just take Thursday night off?” I froze….wondering if…
I had fallen asleep from total exhaustion and dreamt it. Then he said it again, “No really. I can see that you need a break. Go out for a couple of hours and I will take care of things here.”
Someone give that man an award….
So I went out.
And it was heavenly.
I couldn’t go far (nursing baby) so I just did the grocery shopping. But it wasn’t the ordinary …hurry before someone has a meltdown…no you can NOT have any candy…kind of shopping. I gently rolled my cart from aisle to aisle. I even went down row I had never dared before and studied make-up and hair care options. I picked up a magazine and sat in the store deli reading and thinking about, well, nothing. (I finally understood what my husband meant when he said he wasn’t thinking of nothing!)
When I arrived home I was so happy. I smiled and held my baby and chatted with my husband. He couldn’t believe the change in me. So guess what….he suggested we do it again the next Thursday.
And there it was born, “Mom’s Night Off“.
Once a week for years now I have had what we call my night off. It hasn’t always been easy, but we have managed to keep it up for 20 years!
I have developed some tips that have kept it going and honestly, it’s been a delight to my family and to our marriage.
1. Relax! No matter how hard it is, let go of what’s happening at home for a couple of hours. You NEED that even if you don’t realize it.
2. Come home happy! Nothing pleases a husband more than a happy wife. If you get home complaining of your time away or that it wasn’t enough he will be less motivated to support you doing it again.
3. Don’t fuss about HIM! Ladies, repeat after me, “I will not tell my husband what a terrible job he did of taking care of the kids and home.” This is VITAL to the success of this plan!
4. Help him out! As much as you can, make it easy for him. I would always prepare dinner (or at least have it started) and the house clean. The kids would be good and tired for him so they went to bed easily. I did anything I could to make it enjoyable for him.
5. Let your friends know! I tried to stay off the phone as much as I could during the day, but my friends knew that I had Thursday night off and it became a time when we could meet for dinner or do some shopping. My only rule was that it had to be Kid Free! I love my friend’s children, but I needed to have that time without kids.
As my kids got older and could be left alone, my night off started earlier and earlier. Now I actually take a whole day off almost every week! I save all of my errands, lunch with friends, shopping, whatever and do it all in one day. I even go to the movie my myself quite often. It is what relaxes me. If you like doing other things….go for it!
I encourage all moms to take a night for themselves once a week. During the really hard years it carried me through a rough day just knowing I would have Thursday night to unwind.
And if your husband doesn’t like the idea…ease into it. Ask for time alone in your bedroom for an hour and see how that goes. Show him your appreciation for trying. It CAN work!
Actually, several of my kids are technically grown ups. It’s hard to believe. They range in age from 7-24. When my kids were all little it was so hard to imagine the day would ever come when I wouldn’t have a baby anymore or I could just leave the house without a full on battle plan. If you’re in the thick of babies and diapers….let me tell you that while it seems impossible….you won’t believe how quickly it passes.
I share everything here from DIY projects to parenting tips to just whatever happened over the weekend. Yep. It’s a barrel of fun.