Sundays in my home are insanely busy.
We wake up at the crack of dawn, dress, eat and rush out the door to church in the city. Immediately following Mass, the kids have "church school" and my husband Brian and I head to the parent meeting for our church. From church, I am dropped off at Second City for class in the writing department and Brian drops the children at their grandparents so that he can attend to any work he has. I take the train home just in time to prepare dinner while my husband finishes loads of laundry. After the dinner fiasco, we begin the rush to get ready for the week, backpacks packed, laundry folded, weekly menu is planned and everyone is early to bed.
That is just Sunday, so you can imagine what the rest of the week is like.
However, once the kids are in bed, exhausted from the weekend, there is silence.
Silence and Downton Abbey.
Sunday nights lounging in my jammies, cut off from all the communication in the world, kids sleeping sweetly upstairs and husband sitting beside me, make me happier than Anna when Mr. Bates was released from prison.
I am able to escape the stresses of the day and forget about Valentine's parties, writing deadlines, homework assignments and laundry. I have one hour where I can focus on something else like when will the Alfred and Daisy drama end already?
Over the last six years of being a parent, if there is one thing that I have learned to be the Holy Grail of parental survival tips it is this: parents need time for themselves. When a parent has an escape or ability to have an interest outside of their children it can give him/her the ability to have a break from the most difficult (and most wonderful) job on earth.
Downton Abbey gives me just the break I need from the stress of the day, and then I am ready to take on anything that the week can throw at me.
If nothing else, the Dowager Countess has several pieces of advice that will help too!
Erin Skibinski is a mom of three living in Frankfort.
See more of Erin's stories here.