Most days are go, go, go for me at my house. Up before dawn, to bed long after it gets dark has been my routine for many years. It works for me.
Now don’t get me wrong – I am continually practicing deep self-care to keep myself emotionally grounded and to keep my well filled, the well I dip into to serve others every day. I have come to really love singing sensation Sissel’s version of “Slow Down” and have added it to my daily practices.
But sometimes, my body forces me to slow down even more, like it did last week with a 7, 8 9-day headache. After I threw up (the first time in 5 years), I spent the next day in bed, binge-watching the Hallmark Channel. And, trying not to think about all the things not getting done.
The beauty of that day, though, came with my little five-year old daughter. She spent the entire day sitting on my bed with me, not only keeping me company, but taking care of me. She kept taking my temperature (no fever and no Covid – we checked, just in case), putting her hand on my forehead, just to make sure I wasn’t feverish, finding me snacks and chattering at me all day.
I loved it.
And I am reminded, once again, that moms need down time not only for themselves but for their families too. Our families need to see that we don’t actually have to work all the time, that we can play. Rest. Read. Connect. Sleep. And they can too.
I’ve been sending the wrong message – or at least a mixed message – to my children when I tell them to take time for themselves but I rarely do. To not let work consume them, but I let housework and family work consume me. That it’s ok to be bored, but I absolutely hate being bored myself.
I have learned to love work and I’m grateful. Now, I think, I need to learn to love non-work. I believe I will take more deliberate “sick days” this year. How about you?
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