by Hannah Keeley
Sometimes, the best things in life are learned when we are not trying to do any learning at all. That’s what “goof-off days” taught me when I was a child. And hopefully, that’s what I’m teaching my kids. When I was growing up, we were allowed two goof-off days a year, one before Christmas and one after. These were days when we didn’t have to go to school. All we had to do was hangout with one of our parents for the day and enjoy life.
These days taught us valuable lessons. The first, of course, being that our parents actually do love us and actually do enjoy spending time with us (or at least they faked it pretty well). Another important lesson is that sometimes we all need to stop, catch our breath, and do a little goofing off. And this is a much-needed lesson that we should ingrain in our children now, before they are thrown into a world that functions at the speed of light.
If you would like to start the goof-off day tradition, then here are some important things to keep in mind…
Goofing-off is not a way of avoiding responsibility. This is the reason why as children, we could never choose to take a goof-off day when we had a test to take or a project to turn in. Avoiding something inevitable does nothing to add energy to our lives. Instead, it just prolongs the anxiety. Do what you have to do and then you can truly enjoy goofing-off in every sense of the word.
Goofing-off is proactive. Time spent well is never wasted. Just because we are not pushing a pencil or folding laundry doesn’t mean that we are not making progress. Goofing off is necessary if we are going to be fully functioning individuals, full of potential, growth, and excitement. I can get more done in ten minutes of fully charged time than I can in an hour of foot dragging and mind wandering. Sometimes shooting hoops with the kids or reading Cosmo in a bubble bath does more for my creative energy than trying to crank anything out of an empty tank. Go ahead, let the goofing off begin – for the kids and for you!
Goofing-off means touching base. I think the thing I liked best about goof-off days when I was little was that I had my mom all to myself. It is important, especially in a big family, to take time to have some one-on-one. Children grow up so quickly; and if you don’t stop to goof-off together, you’re going to miss the opportunity to do so. Plan a day of nothing but the two of you and be vigilant about protecting that time together – no business calls, no siblings, no chatting with friends. Just your child and you. You’ve got to get it while the getting’s good.
Goofing-off should be well planned. Don’t just leave it up to fate, but have an itinerary for the day. Some things that we have done are getting pedicures, decorating ceramics at a studio, going bowling, participating in a yoga class, grabbing some mochas and biscotti. The whole world is at your fingertips, so grab it now! You (and your child) will be glad you did.
Goofing-off should be spontaneous. I know it may seem contradictory, but you can plan for spontaneity. When it comes to goofing-off sometimes you just have to go with your gut instinct. You know deep inside when one of your kids needs to escape with you and reconnect for a day. Go with it. Let that “inner mommy” tell you when it’s time to steal away with your child for a while and then seize the day!
Hannah Keeley was once in overwhelmed mom living in a cluttered house, deep in debt, out of shape, and barely hanging on. But one day, after finding herself sobbing uncontrollably into a pile of clean laundry, she realized God has bigger and better plans for her (just like He does for each one of His children). Beginning that day, she began making changes in her life that took her from overwhelmed to overjoyed. Today, she’s helping moms do the same. Hannah, her husband, Blair, and their seven children live in Richmond, Virginia, and are having the time of their lives!
Check out Hannah’s Website Here!