Playing hooky is worth it.

Mom Laughing With Her Two Kids
Credit: Emely/Getty Images

I’m going to get real for a second.

It freaks me out to see how fast my kids are growing up. OK, so they are both under 10, but I already get these waves of panic knowing that, before long, they’ll be out of the house and off at college, starting their own lives and leaving me in the dust. I want to make sure I enjoy the time I have with them and (bonus) maybe help them see I’m so freaking rad that when they do fly the coop, they’ll want to visit often.

I’m selfish like that. But so what if it means having a blast with my kids? Whisking them into the waves at our local beach, gorging on popcorn and M&M's at the movies, schooling them (OK, fine, getting schooled) in impromptu dance parties on the Switch. When I play hooky with my kids, we take some of our silliest selfies, find the best four leaf clovers, and sample the tastiest ice cream (oddly, it had pieces of rainbow cupcakes in it, which I wasn’t expecting).

When I can, I play hooky with my kids because it’s worth working twice as hard the next day. Because without even trying, we manage to create inside jokes that we are still laughing about. Without even trying, we create memories that I will look back on forever. Some of ‘em might even stick out in my kids’ brains when they’re older, too.

It’s important for me to create A+ memories when I’m dealing with D+ days–those eye-roll days when I’m banging my head against the wall, wishing I had a full time nanny. It’s no secret that my kids drive me crazy. (Yours do too, don’t lie). They’re messy and selfish, they’re horrible listeners. The older taunts the younger one, the younger one blames the older one for everything. On the nights when I’m the most exhausted, leave it to my kids to refuse to fall asleep, coming into the living room a thousand times with requests for water or a second nightlight or a hand to hold while pooping.

Not gonna lie, parenting can suck, which is exactly why I have to play hooky with my kids. Not only do I need a chance to remind them that I am fun, but I need to remind myself that they are incredible, too. Taking a break from the nagging and the schlepping and the wiping, that is how I am reminded of their superhuman cutie powers.

You should play hooky with your kids tomorrow because you both deserve a recharge. You should play hooky with your kids tomorrow because you love them, and they love you, and in a world where families are being torn apart on a daily basis, you are lucky to have each other. Honor that. Whether your day off is something fancy like a spa day or as banal as a Boggle tournament, make it happen. You know it’ll be worth it.