‘I packed up my kids, let them miss a couple days of school, and said yes way more than I said no.’: Mom takes kids on mental health break, ‘They will return to school refreshed and happy’

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“I could tell my 6 and 8-year-old desperately needed a mental health day.

A break from everyday life.

A break from me saying ‘no!’ all the time.

Just a break.

Like we all need.

So I booked a lake house, emailed their teachers, packed their suitcases, and off we headed for a couple days.

I bought them snacks I would always say no to.

I let them bring their Nintendo switches inside a restaurant we were eating dinner at.

I let them stay up past their bedtime, sit by the fire, and dance around.

I let them color in their rooms, and rubbed their backs as long as they wanted, when I would normally say, ‘Mommy’s hands are tired’ after 2 minutes.

And what I noticed this day, when I said ‘yes’ way more often than ‘no,’ was my kids’ happiness.

They seemed happy.

Playful.

Excited.

They set their own boundaries.

I didn’t even have to tell my son to turn off his game at the restaurant when the food came.

He just did it.

I didn’t have to fight with my kids to go to sleep, after saying yes to a fire.

Yes to coloring.

Yes to back rubs.

They just went to bed.

No ‘one more hug.’

No ‘one more kiss.’

No ‘I need water.’

When they woke up the next morning, I said yes to chocolate chip muffins.

I said yes to an extra hour at the playground.

I realize there is many times where I can’t always say yes, but there’s many times I can.

And this day was one of them.

Tomorrow we will return home, and they will return to school.

A lot more refreshed, a lot more calm, and a lot happier.

As a mom, I am always so caught up in making sure I get break.

That I get time away.

That I get lazy days.

That I get treat days.

I often forget my children need, and deserve them, too.

So, I packed up my kids, let them miss a couple days of school, and said yes way more than I said no.

But I think it was needed.

We all need those days sometimes.

Especially our little ones.

Giving my kids a mental health day, and just giving them a break in general, will become a tradition I hope to carry on for years to come.”

Two young kids stand outside and warm up by a fire in their backyard
Courtesy of Caitlin Fladager

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Caitlin Fladager, and originally appeared here. You can follow her journey on Facebook and InstagramSubmit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

Read more from Caitlin here:

‘My kids are not being ‘watched.’ They are spending quality time with grandma and papa. It takes a village to raise children.’: Mom admits ‘my parents teach my kids things I can’t yet’

‘Pregnant at 18, I heard, ‘You’re young, you’ll bounce back!’ It became etched in my mind. Stretch marks and loose skin? BAD.’: Mom learns to cherish postpartum body, ‘This body is my home’

‘I woke up to dishes in the sink, left by my husband the night before, and I felt a rush of happiness.’: Mom says ‘I’m so thankful for my husband, and even his dirty dishes’

‘I started telling my 5-year-old, ‘I can’t wait to meet the boy or girl you bring home to mommy when you grow up.’ I always get shocked eyes.’: Mom says ‘I want my children to know I will always love them’

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