Chantal Harrison’s Day Off

I don’t usually get sick. I can’t afford to. My job is 24/7! Unfortunately, after too much of the wrong end of those 24 hours my throat said “Nuh, I’m done…” and my head heard my throat was packing it in and said “Yeah, me too!” and then so on and so forth as my body basically broke down all over for the first time in years.

It sucked and there was no way for me to call in sick. Not only that but I was filled with dread as I had the biggest professional workday looming and it depended on me getting better (the stress of which is probably what made it worse). You know how they say “Don’t forget that the strongest people sometimes need help too!”? Well, when I need help the most it seems hardest to find. I admit this is 95% my own fault because I don’t ask!

Anyway, the above set me up this morning for failure. My youngest is at pre-school two days and one of those I use the morning to help at the school. So I really only get one day off, which is generally reserved for domestic duties. Today I brazenly decided I would give myself an ACTUAL day off. So my body could have a chance to recover for my massive workday tomorrow.


I must have been reeking of desperation because from the very first moment my little one awoke it was “Broken cookies”* one moment after the next. Nothing I could do was right. He was crying, I was crying. Mind you, this is a normally easy kid so amidst all of this I am freaking out about whether he’s caught this awful sickness I’ve gotten and should be spending the day at home.

Queue Mummy Guilt:

“Is he sick?”

“Does he need to stay home?”

“He can’t stay home… I need this day!”

“YOU need this day, are you kidding me? It’s not about YOU!”

“Well, when the eff is it ever about me?”

“OMG you are so SELFISH!”

“You are living your lifelong dream and all you do is whinge!”

“OMG, you’re right! I am so lucky! Why don’t I realise how lucky I am?”

“I am such an a-hole!”

“Stop crying!”

“No… don’t stop yourself from crying, that’s denying emotions!”


“Ok… I’m good!”

PLEASE tell me I am not the only one who has these sorts of internal conversations?
Anyway, I got the big one off to school and the little one to kindy. He was full of energy and very happy as I left him. I then went back to school to kiss the older one “goodbye” as she had run off too fast. Suddenly, I felt like a not-so-bad Mum anymore.

Now I am home and I’ve finally had breakfast (at 11am) and I will be doing some light house duties but then after that I will watch something truly awful on the couch (it may or may not be The Bachelorette) and allow myself a moment to relax and feel better because I know I need it.

For those I want to do as I say and not as I do, it’s actually super important to recharge when you can and reach out where you can too. I am stubborn but I am getting better and better about being honest about my needs and doing what I can to get them met. My morning of shame and tears and neurosis is the result of me not tapping to the resources I have available to me. Yes, we all have shitty mornings and Mummy-guilt is relentless but Self-Care can help to ease some of that burden on you, which then overflows to the kids!
Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids is not just the name of my favourite parenting book… it’s sage advice!

So off I go now to take advantage of my Day Off so I have enough in my cup to heed Ferris Beuller’s advice:

* Broken Cookies is a metaphor that comes from that moment when a child really wants a cookie and you pull it out and it’s broken and the shit just hits the fan.