Mindful Monday: rest hard.

In case you’re wondering why today’s Mindful Monday post is later than usual, it’s because I’ve spent much of the afternoon lying in bed. My kids were slammed with a stomach virus over the weekend, and while I’m not violently ill like they were, I’m definitely not feeling up to par.

But maybe it’s not a virus at all. Maybe I’m just tired. It’s been a full couple of months, after all, between traveling, a busy writing schedule, and new exercise and eating habits.

I’m a work-hard, play-hard kind of person. But I don’t always remember to rest hard.

Clara is snoozing in my bed next to me in her PJ top (she lost the bottoms an hour or two ago, when she decided to paste temporary tattoos all over her legs, which I let her do because it bought me a few minutes with my eyes shut.) The boys are watching TV, wrapped in blankets, in various stages of undress. And I am letting go of my to-do list and my expectations of myself and taking it easy.

Maybe I’ll hunker down with Clara and take a catnap. Maybe I’ll watch a few episodes of Storage Wars with the boys, reclined on the sofa in my yoga pants and bathrobe. Maybe I’ll ignore the doorbell and the phone. Maybe I’ll let the laundry pile up on the floor.

Maybe I’ll stay this way for a few days.

Deciding to ease up on some of the details of my day to day life can feel both freeing and a little bit panic-inducing. After all, I wonder, what might happen if I don’t keep up with it all?

Well, then, what WILL happen? For a few days, what will happen if I make sandwiches and mac and cheese for dinner and eat on paper plates? If I let the boys handle their own hair-washing and tooth-brushing? If a kid slips out the door with mismatched socks? If we all watch too much TV and take too many naps?

I’m thinking nothing too tragic. The family meals, the dishes in the sink, the chores, will all wait until next week. My boys will have properly-rinsed hair and properly-socked feet once again. The rest of the world will still be there when I emerge, ready to face it with some pep in my step.

Motherhood is full of hard work and hard play. We have to remind ourselves to rest hard, too.

By the time we get to the point that our bodies, minds and spirits are screaming out for a break, we ignore that voice at our own peril. And, I might add, to the detriment of the people who depend on us for affection, love, and a positive example: our children.

I’m keeping that in mind as I set my weekly intention to rest hard. The only question that remains: shall I start with a good book on my Kindle, a nap, or a warm bath? Hmm…

Are you feeling the need take a break and rest hard this week? Here’s your permission slip. Please share your Mindful Monday intention in the comments below!

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