The Caring Together Art Journal Project

Mental health carers as partners in recovery

Our Pyjama Day Rules 

I regularly hear my daughter announce “But I can’t get dressed – today is Pyjama Day!” 

Clearly, Pyjama Day is not some annual public holiday. I know it really means that she has no intention of washing, dressing, going out – or leaving the couch. Which doesn’t really matter an awful lot when it is a weekend or holiday. However I do call a halt when Pyjama Day threatens to become Pyjama Week. There is only so long a teenager should be allowed to avoid water …

But – secretly – I have always envied my daughter her Pyjama Days.

Being such a “doing” person, it is hard to imagine a day when I don’t race around, groan at the mess in the house and drag my heels around trying to find some sort of space to move – or guiltily try to ignore it while I pick up a paintbrush.  I can’t imagine not checking my work emails from home, or plotting some new idea. And the reality of being a parent (or even just a  “grown up”) is often just so incredibly tedious – cooking meals, driving to the supermarket, doing the laundry … uggh. Makes me cringe just thinking of it. Housework and I have never been friends. And my days just seem so “fast” – even though I only work part time, there always seems to be something to fill my time. I simply don’t STOP.

So last weekend I thought “Stuff it! I’M going to have a Pyjama Day too!” And so I did. My husband was away on a road trip with some mates. My son had left home and wasn’t due to visit for a few days. And my daughter is always prepared to declare a Pyjama Day. So we made a pact to do it together. Just the two of us. No visitors. No work (including working on this site). No housework. And – best of all – no guilt.

I was going to be slovenly and just wallow in it. How glorious!

So we did.

I’ll admit I had to make a few adjustments to my daughter’s official Pyjama Day Rules. I couldn’t possibly live without a shower – but I agreed to put my pyjamas back on afterwards. I couldn’t look the dog in the face without talking him for a walk – so I did it in my pyjamas (yes really – but admittedly I have black pyjama pants and I wore a coat over the top, so I doubt anyone noticed ..). I felt quite daring. My inner child found it quite hysterical.

We had a great – and incredibly lazy – day together, my daughter and I. We lolled on the couches, snuggling up under warm, fluffly blankets. We watched all of Downton Abbey Season 2 – and then moved on to White Collar Season 3. She painted my toenails purple. And then turned each one of my fingernails a different shade of pink. The dog was happy after his walk and spent the day curled up on the couch with us. We ate junk food – LOTS of junk food. And of course we ate lots of Lindt chocolate (an essential).

It wasn’t a healthy day. It wasn’t a productive day. But that was the whole point, wasn’t it?

It was simply a real holiday. A complete break, enjoyed to the hilt. Every single tiny scrumptious lazy minute of it.

So when are YOU going to declare an official Pyjama Day in your house? Or are you too “grown up”??

Go on – give it a go. Your inner child will thank you. And that has to be a good thing.

PS: Pyjama Days only stay special if they aren’t declared too often. Just thought I’d better add that little note for my children! 

Written & Illustrated by Helen Wilding 2012

Cite as:  Wilding, H. (2012). Our Pyjama Day Rules. The Caring Together Art Journal Project. Retrieved from


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