How a Working Mom Can Take The Day Off To Do Nothing

And not feel guilty about it!

Take the day off to do nothing
Life's too short and you need a break so take it!. Getty Images/Peathegee Inc

You have hit your exhaustion point and you just need some alone time. But how do you fit it in, who will take care of the kids, and how can you stop that nagging feeling of guilt from surfacing?

Set a date

If you are taking an entire day off plan for a Monday so you can enjoy a Sunday night without the rush to prepare for the week, or a Friday so that you can start your weekend a little early. If you are planning a half day plan for a Saturday morning so you roll out of bed and drop the kids off.

This way both you and your husband have some time off at the same time (to spend together or apart)

Find someone to watch the kids

  • Use your neighbors or friends who have kids

You babysit their kids, they babysit your kids! A win-win for everyone! Try scheduling this in back-to-back weeks so that both you and your friend feel the benefits around the same time. Also, the kids will look forward to visiting the other kids house (and their toys).  

  • Use your paid time off

You have paid time off for more than sick days and family vacations. Your children are being well-cared for by your child care provider so you’ve got them covered. If guilt is starting creep up check out go to the last part of this post! 

  • Hire a babysitter

Hit an online babysitting service like care.com or ask local Facebook friends for referals. Interview the babysitter, do a trial run, then have him or her come over that Saturday morning and you are free!

  • Find a place for the grandparents to take the kids to for the day.

To help take the edge of planning for your parents find a local zoo, museum, park, or indoor playground. Get the pricing, hours, what kind of food they offer, and ticket prices then give this info to your parents so they can enjoy a planned time with their grandkids.

  • Your husband

Ask your husband for the morning off then leave the house.  

  • Get involved in your community or church

Some churches offer classes or children activities where they will be supervised. There’s also your town’s recreation department that offers drop off programs.  

Make a plan to do “nothing”

I doubt that you really want to do “nothing”. I think you want to do is something that you want to do.  Rarely do us working moms take the opportunity to do what we really want to do because there are too many things for us to take care of (hence the guilt of taking PTO). You think "When I get the time to do what I want to do I’ll figure it out then". But once that precious time comes you’ll be too little too late.  You won’t know what to do with yourself, so you’ll start cleaning because cleaning is (somewhat) easy and always needs to get done.

My best advice is get out of the house. Go to a bookstore and grab a bestseller. Grab a blanket and head to a park. Go for a drive, listen to music, get the wind in your hair.  Hit the day spa, get your hair done, or get your nails done.  Walk around the mall and only window shop. Enjoy the hustle bustle while you are not hustling. Stretch your legs and walk the mall.

  And if you treat yourself to a little something, enjoy it fully. Changing your surroundings like this can inspire you and even change your perspective on things. 

If you do stay home, make your laundry room and kitchen off limits (the two biggest time suckers for cleaning). Cleaning can’t be part of a day off because that's work!  

To avoid working on the house envision, yourself being in one or two parts of your home. Look at that couch and think, I can’t wait to just sit there and read that pile of magazines. Or look at your bed and say, I can’t wait to snuggle up in that blanket and nap tomorrow. Or if you have a passion project that you want to dive into, get a bouquet of flowers and make your work area inviting.  Then create a plan you’ll follow when you sit at this space so time and energy is used wisely (and not on social media!).