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Erin Spatz: Mommy Mental Health Day

  • Wednesday, January 30, 2013

  • Updated Monday, September 23, 2013 10:50 am

I do not miss working full time out of the house (I work part time at home and part time outside the home.) I do however, miss going to lunch every day or actually calling in sick.
Because we all know that mommies never get to call in sick.

In the last few years, several companies and corporations have added “Mental Health” days.
I am a huge supporter of mental health. I think mental health is just as important as physical health.

But, how do you know you need a mental health day? When you’re sick you know for sure you’re sick, and you can call in sick or call for back up.
But needing a mental health day is a lot less clear, because moms muscle through, and because judgment is clouded by guilt.

And men: I figured you would want to know too. Now, don’t act like you don’t read this column.
We all know you do, since more often than women you come up to me and tell me you do.
Plus, if you want the woman you love and married to stay, you should take note.

Here are the major symptoms that you might need a “Mommy Mental Health Day”:

n Walking to the mailbox is the highlight of your day. This is particularly worrisome if you have a post office box.
n You tell your spouse to kiss you night-night.

n You consider yourself dressed and ready for the day when you change out of your flannel pajamas and into yoga pants.

n Your definition of well-rested is more than four hours of sleep.

n Alone time is the 10 seconds your spend in the bathroom before little fingers appear under the door.

n A good date night with your spouse is when you get to sit next to each other on the couch.

n You send yourself an e-mail reminding yourself to switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer.

n You begin to enjoy Walmart, just because the kids aren’t with you.

n When you’re alone in the car, you don’t even bother with the radio since you haven’t heard silence since 2010.

n You buy bigger sunglasses to cover more of your face, so you can avoid wearing make up.

One of these symptoms alone suggests that you need a “Mommy Mental Health Day.”  
More than two of these suggest you need a break. More than four suggest you need an emergency mental health day.

We may not be able to call in sick, but we should be get a mental health day once in awhile.
Get a sitter, call your mom, mother-in-law, or a friend, but good grief do something for you, and do it quick.
Even if all you can get is an hour, it’s an hour that can change everything.
Your attitude, your appearance and your mental health.
All of which will make you a better mommy.
And let’s be honest, way more fun to be around.

Men, if you see these behaviors in your wives, it is time to find a sitter, make a dinner reservation and get her dressed in something with a buckle or a zipper ASAP.
If that’s not possible, send her out for a girl’s night or a manicure and pedicure.
But man, do something. You need to save her.

Putting yourself last on the list, or not even putting yourself on the list does not help anyone.
It doesn’t make you better at anything.

Although, it just might make you the best-stressed mommy on the block, but nobody wants that.

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