Mental Health Days

Despite being overworked and underpaid, I sincerely believe I have the best job in the world!  However, I can say that with a smile because I have it in my contract that personal time off is a must.  This comes in many shapes and forms but always includes a girls’ weekend (or two) per year along with weekends and weeknights of the same theme as needed.  This is particularly important for those of us who live at our jobs and separation does not come easily.  I have no problem taking full advantage of these occupational benefits and believe what some may consider “selfish” is just making me better at what I do.

This year my West Coast trip was for a bridal shower in January.  My East Coast trip came here this past weekend (we end up taking turns between NY/NJ and Chi-town).  Lisa is a dear friend that I have known since freshmen year of college which at this point in time means I’ve known her half my life (give me sec while I grab my dentures).  Besides Saturday brunch at Kanela’s and Sunday sushi at Kyoto’s, Lisa and I were on our own all weekend (read: kid-free).  We window-shopped through Bucktown where she educated me on the fashion boutiques I was gravely ignorant of, took an architectural boat tour along the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, sampled the Iron Chef tasting menu at Vermilion (overrated), enjoyed lunch surrounded by great views and decor at Terzo Piano (delish!), walked around Millenium Park, shopped in the Loop, and savored Lavazza coffee.

Cloud Gate (Anish Kapoor)

Cloud Gate aka the bean (Anish Kapoor)

Meanwhile, Mike took the boys to the park & tennis lessons, made spaghetti, took them to a birthday party, did their homework with them with bonus flashcards, and watched football.  One evening at bedtime, I asked him if he felt like a single dad.  He said in all sincerity, “Yes, but as long as you and Lisa had fun, it’s ok.”  It made me think of Pastor Peter’s sermon Sunday and his example of doing things for others not for yourself but for them (or something like that).  That’s my hubby.  He is truly a gem.

There was a point that I felt guilty leaving the house again and not doing that day’s homework with Ethan.  It was strange abandoning most of the daily parental duties.  But I gotta tell you, I savored every moment!

Hello, house made Peach Basil Tea, Bellini and Bloody Mary (meal in itself)! @Terzo Piano

Monday and Tuesday was a mix of regular life and girl time since Mike went back to work.  Lisa flew back early Wednesday morning.  As if on cue, the boys gave me a rude awakening into the realities of mom-world.  I lost count of the tears and temper tantrums.  It was so crazy that morning that a man walking down the sidewalk turned back to see the commotion.  I know he was being a nice, good citizen making sure no one was getting assaulted in the alley (which is what it sounded like), so I fought the urge to yell, “Enjoy the show?!” as my kids screamed the whole neighborhood awake.  I’m sure we were a sight to see.  Was it the coolest day of the month so far?  I couldn’t tell because I was dripping with sweat by the time we got to school.  But four full days of girl time helped keep me from going to the “crazy house” (where the boys know sometimes I’m not far from entering).  They are the world to me, but like the wise old Peter Cetera sang, “Everybody needs some time away….”

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2 Responses to Mental Health Days

  1. SCHO says:

    So next year you’ll be here? Then I’ll get to see you??

  2. Michael says:

    I deeply appreciate this post. I think I’m going to read it to the boy as his bedtime story tonight while Dawn’s in class. Then I’m going to tell him to read it to me in the morning after breakfast before I leave for the office.

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