What’s YoYo Day?  And How This Family Routine Can Give You A Day Off

What’s YoYo Day? And How This Family Routine Can Give You A Day Off


Anyone who knows me will agree that I am a big advocate of self-care.  Self-care is a vital component to better care for others. 

In my ever-evolving arsenal of self-care ideas and activities, I have one that has been the cornerstone of my routine for the past few years.  It’s called YoYo day, (You’re On Your On).

…And I love it, so does my kids!

It’s the one day of the week when I get to take the day off from most of my chores and household activities.  Mainly cooking.

Shortly after I decided to come home from work, I’d begun taking on more responsibility around the house.  Organizing and getting prepared to be at home full-time. 

The Back Story

I quickly noticed that I was constantly working and was desperate for a much-needed break.  I was out with some girlfriends one evening discussing all the wonders of being a mom. 

During our little round-table meeting, one of the ladies mentioned that a friend of hers has a day set aside when she does not cook for her family and stated that they were “on their own,” she called it YoYo day.

We all marveled at the fact that this woman just gave her family a free-for-all day.  But I was secretly plotting to start my own.

I couldn’t wait to talk this over with my husband. With a little planning and a few ground rules, we were on our way to a glorious day off.

Here’s a peek at a few ground rules you may want to consider:

  • No cooking allowed, microwave use only
  • No dishes left in the sink or please put dishes in the dishwasher
  • Clean-up behind yourself
  • Eat at the table (if you require that)

With a little preparation, you can implement a day off of your own.  Here are five steps to get you started.

Five Easy Steps to Start Your Family’s YoYo Day Routine

  1. Consider your schedule and decide on the best day for you.  Choose a day that is not normally a heavy cooking day for you or when you normally have guests.  For my family that meant Saturday.
  2. Prepare by purchasing foods that are easy for the kids to prepare or pre-prepared foods for them.  For our family, YoYo day is the one day that they get to junk food like ramen noodle and chicken nuggets.  These are things my kids can prepare on their own.  Be sure to have plenty of easily accessible fruit and chopped veggies on hand.  You’ll be amazed at how many they eat when they don’t actually have too.
  3. Set-up the night before.  It’s important to let folks know what you expect from them from the onset.  Put paper plates and other disposable items in an easy to reach location, preferably all together in a basket. Make sure that there are several pre-approved options to choose from.  I also like to put sign up in my kitchen to let my family know that they are to place any utensils that they may use in the dishwasher.  Speaking of that, make sure that the dishwasher has been emptied during your pre-yoyo day preparations.  And that’s it.
  4. Make it fun! YoYo day is special at my house.  My kiddos love the fact that Saturday’s are pretty care-free. They look forward to being able to choose what they want to eat and to eat off paper plates because it’s the only time they get to do so. 
  5. Enjoy your day off!

Wondering what to do with all of that free-time you just created for yourself?  Well here’s a peek at a great tradition that my daughter and I do each Saturday.  You may want to incorporate some self-care ideas into your day or use the time for more family togetherness activities. 

Additional Tips for Starting A YoYo Day With Small Children

You may be wondering if this will work for younger kids.  My youngest was six when we began our YoYo day and it has worked out just fine.  Some additional suggestions for trying this with younger children would be:

  • Pack little containers with prepared meals and snacks that are easy for little fingers to open.
  • Leave out paper towels so that they can help clean up little messes.  I find that small children really do love having a responsibility and do not look at housework as an unwanted chore.
  • You will still need to watch over there eating activities.  You may also need to provide assistance with opening cartons or bottles at times.  Eventually, though they will be able to do these things on their own and be the happier for it.  And you will have earned a rewarding “real” day off. 

Let me know if your family does something like this already or if you plan to give YoYo day a try. 


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Blessings, Happy Homemaking!

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