I declare a break – today.

Mom Reboot

If you’re like me, you might be having a hard time getting back to normal after last Friday’s tragic events. I know I’ve been feeling sluggish and sad, which has led to a lot of staring at the wall and blinking back tears rather than, you know, getting things done.

Last year I wrote a post that seems to fit how I’m feeling now, only this year, even more intensely. I thought I’d share it in case it helps you give yourself permission to take it easy – especially under these circumstances – as we ease into the holiday.

I feel like my brain went on break about three weeks ago.

This happens to me every year. As the days grow short and the ground gets frosty, my patience grows short and my memory gets fuzzy. I start to flake, to forget, to phone in my performance.

And it shows.

I’ve missed several birthday invitations, finding them hours before the party (or after it’s ended). I’ve lost two “do at home with your child” school craft projects. The library books? Missing. Packing lunches? Fell off the wagon.  Home-cooked meals? Sloppy and rushed. Yesterday my daughter spent the day in her pajamas. Today I’m tempted to follow suit.

Sometimes the hardest part of waiting for that upcoming vacation is making it through the last few days. But the problem with waiting until you’ve made it to your ‘official’ break is that sometimes you’re so run down by that time that you just sort of collapse into the vacation and need the rest of it to recover. And what fun is that?

This morning, while attempting to muster up the energy to sort through the stack of homework and school notices I’ve let pile up on my desk, I was reminded of my post about the “mom reboot” – the time I decided to just end my day at 4 PM instead of trying to slog through, and found that the mini-break gave me an unexpected burst of energy. From the post:

“When I run up against an exhausting day or overloaded to-do list, I’m often tempted to just put my head down and try to push through. That works sometimes, but often, it’s amazing how much more I actually get done after giving myself a much-needed break….Kind of like how you avoid restarting your computer sometimes because you don’t want to lose time or momentum from whatever you’re working on, but then you end up wasting even more time–plus piling up frustration–dealing with sluggish speeds and crashing programs.”

So you know what? I’ve decided to officially declare a winter Mom Break, starting TODAY.

Oh, sure, I’ll go through the motions of getting my kids to school in the morning, and I’ll bathe ’em and supervise tooth-brushing and bedtime. If anything urgent happens, I’ll deal with it. But other than that, I’m not expecting too much of me…or them.

I’ll put off the final shopping push until I’ve recovered my energy a bit. I’ll put on my PJ’s earlier and stay in my bathrobe longer. Enjoy a hot cup of cocoa in front of a holiday movie tonight instead of folding laundry. I’ll let the blog slide and put off some non-urgent work until after the holiday. I’ll let the kids watch two movies in a row, get a little extra computer time, and enjoy that cup of cocoa with me.

The funny thing is that I bet as soon as I let myself way off the hook, I’ll experience another little surge of energy and will manage to get through that pile of papers, get dinner on the table, and even find the Book-It calendar before the last day of school, after all.

But if not? That’s okay. Because I’m on break.

Who’s with me?

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