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Pajama Days - Day 15

If you have only preschoolers, there's something you don't yet know about life with kids.  I'm going to let you in on a way to savor and enjoy your time with little people that most people don't figure out until they're seeing it in the rearview mirror.  Right now, without the school schedule calling the shots, you have a beautiful window of freedom.  I'm calling back to you from the future telling you to seize this gift that you don't even know you have - and wring every last drop of goodness out of it!

Yesterday I felt kinda yucky.  It was a rare day with nothing on the calendar that would make me leave my house, so I deemed it a pajama day.  I slept late, lounged on the couch with coffee in my pajama pants, took a mid-day shower and got dressed in a clean pair of pajama pants.  It reminded me of some of the magical pajama days with my preschoolers.

The kids always knew what the declaration of A Pajama Day meant - it was a day to celebrate being home.  

The flagship of our fun was staying in our pajamas from morning till night.  It felt cozy and almost sneaky to make our goal relaxing and enjoying our day when the rest of the world was having a regular workday.  We filled our days up with baking, snuggling and playing - all the fun things I talked about here.

You need to do this often.  You need to understand that soon opportunities will fill your calendar and you will be the mom who spends a lot of time doing things and driving to those things.  They will be opportunities that you love and places that you want to go, but the date and time will often be set by someone else.  You will suddenly have a schedule and outside expectations that were not a part of your life in the preschool years.  Time to "do nothing" will have to be scheduled and protected.  So enjoy and exploit the empty calendar days you have NOW.

And then, when your kids do go to school, or you begin your self-imposed homeschooling schedule, understand this:  You are still in charge, even of that schedule.  You call the shots for your kids and decide what you deem important enough to have a slot in the calendar.  There may be times that you decide a family event is more important than a day of school.  Don't feel guilty.  Be proud that you are living by priorities.  There may even be days when you just feel like your school-age child needs to stay home and sleep, they need a day off.  Make the decision, keep them home, release the pressure, and declare it a pajama day.

The easiest time to have long periods of uninterrupted time with your kids is now - whatever now you are currently living in.  As the days go by more and more things will make uninterrupted time complicated.  Making up a day of elementary school work is a blip on the screen compared to how much work it will take your middle or high schooler to make up for a day off.  Their workload and outside expectations will continue to increase far beyond where they are now. At every step of family life, you have a tiny bit more built-in freedom than the next step - learn to maximize it without guilt!

Right now, with your preschoolers, you have an unparalleled level of freedom to choose to do nothing!  Do it!  And do it often.  It's precious and it's golden.  Resist the urge to fill up every day with stuff when they're little.  Playdates are great and an outing to the children's museum can be a fun way to spend a day.  But a well-enjoyed pajama day is a fabulous memory to carry with you into your old age - and a low key day without rushing is a great gift to give your kids.

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