mental health days

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Dear Olive,
We had one of *those mornings* this morning. It all started when you couldn't decide what to wear for mufti day. Against my and Shane's advice, you decided upon your Elsa dress*. But you were in hysterics when you realised it was torn. So you changed into regular clothes and eventually calmed down when I suggested we pin the Elsa badge from the Elsa dress onto your school bag. You know, so you could still feel a little Elsa-ery, even in your non-Elsa-ery clothes. The badge broke as I was pinning it on. THE DAMN BADGE BROKE. So there was more crying. Then, out of nowhere, your ear started hurting. So there was even more crying. We got out the door, you holding my hand, crying. I was already beginning to doubt my resolve - did I really want to drag you to school kicking and screaming. But I started to get a sinking feeling creeping in when I saw a few other kids walking to school; they were all dressed in their school uniforms. It seems I'd made the rookie mistake in following my memory, and not the school newsletter. Mufti day wasn't for another week. You then started crying about being out of uniform. It was at this point that I gave up on you going to school altogether and we walked back home. The crying stopped (and, coincidentally, so did the hurting ear).

And, of course; all this on the one day Shane started work late and was excited to walk with you to school.

I'm acutely aware that having to comply with the rules and regimen and listening and following of school is a profound change for you. (For any kid starting school.) And I know the way you recharge yourself is through creative play. Creative play where the only rules are your own. I'm more than happy to give you time off, to do just that, whenever I think you really need it. So we're now on our second mental health day in as many weeks. There was a bit of a discussion on my instagram last week on mental health days for kids. And I'm interested to know - do you give them to your kids? And are they allowed one per term? Or taken on an as-required basis? 

(And doesn't all this just beg the question ... where are my mental health days?)

*shakes fist at Aunty Bry! I HATE THE ELSA DRESS.


Miss Elephantess (Devanshi) said...

I would like you to know that I love this blog OH SO VERY much. Whenever you post, I feel the need to stop what I'm doing and read it (no joke). I love all the beautiful photos. I love how real the posts are, regardless of the ups and downs in them. I love everything about this blog. And I hope, that when Olive sees this, she'll be as happy as I am reading it. :)

PS: Elsa's dress makes me feel so powerful-- I know why Olive loves it SO much!

Unknown said...

I have always given my kids mental health days, more when they were little for the reasons that you've expressed so beautifully here. My oldest is done with school, but my middle still has the occasional need for a day off, especially if teenage tensions get high.
Wednesday is now my mental health day, although it's slowly getting stacked with obligation and becoming less about me.

Unknown said...

My Mum gave my sister and I mental health days and we were the only two never to wag school! Because we knew that if we really needed a day to regroup, she'd let us. She also would spontaneously pick one one of us up an hour early to spend one on one time with us as my sister and I are only a year apart. I plan on doing the same when my two start school.

Alex Sunday said...

oh, how i would LOVE a mental health day for me! coco is yet to have a mental health day since starting kindy this year, but i am careful to listen to her reasons for not wanting to go to kindy when she makes them in the morning, just in case she really does need a break. i'd be more inclined to give her one if it meant a day with just her and i, but a day fighting with her younger sister isn't good for the mental health of any of us! i love lucy w's mum's idea. i'll definitely be doing that once they're all in school to make sure i get some one on one time with each of my kids.
if it makes you feel better, we raced into town one hour before a birthday party recently to buy a present from coco to a new kindy friend. in that time, frankie had a full blown screaming on the floor tantrum in the shop and otis pooed all over himself and me. we raced home, i got new clothes for those of us covered in poo. i wrapped the present in the car. we drove to the party address (as i remembered it - lost invitation, new to town, don't actually know family). doesn't look like there's a party. drive home. turn house upside down to find invitation. party was the next day.

Jin said...

Hi Kellie,

This is Jin, the author of . Devanshi is a wonderful friend of mine, and I was so happy that she was identified under my blog. Her blogs are and . I owe her so much for helping me redesign my blog. I came here right after I saw the comment, and I fell in love with this blog at first sight. It's so simple and sweet yet beautifully detailed at the same time. As a teen, I feel as if I give my parents these terrible days when I think they need to use it as a Mental Health day. There are dizzying migraines, arguments, screaming, and pure pandemonium. With finals coming, I feel as if I need three mental health days, one for each of the finals... just to skip them :) Over the years, I've learned just to take these certain days as blessings in disguise. Whenever it's an okay day, I just think of these crazy days and I feel so happy. The rest of the day just magically becomes better. Happy Blogging! Enjoy the smallest moments :) <3 <3

Unknown said...

Firmly believe in mental health days. I used to work in a very traditional all boys school and we often used to recommend boys staying home for the day or having some family time to rest, recover and reconnect. Healthy, happy kids take precedence over perfect attendance records.


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