When Mommy Needs a Time Out

I’m so glad we’re all friends here. If I weren’t able to call you my friends I probably couldn’t confess to you that lately I’ve been spending a lot of my time in “time out.”

My days with 2 year old twins and a very outspoken, argumentative, smart and imaginative 4 year old have been trying. These are the parenting moments that don’t make the Kodak commercials, the moments you don’t really read about in books or magazines, the moments that most other Moms aren’t really talking about for fear they’ll be judged. I’m snappy, angry and couldn’t find my patience if it hit me in the head like a toy dinosaur.

I can’t even tell you how many times while I’m sitting in my time out I think, “Who am I and how did I get here?” My life is no longer my own, I am living under a dictatorship and answering to these tiny humans that are sticky, loud and color on my hardwood floors.

So how do we (please tell me I can use “we”) cope?

First off I think a Mommy Time Out is on the right track. Whether you’re dumping the kids with your family or neighbor and hightailing it to the car yelling “Serenity Now” or pulling a Charlotte from SATC 2 and crying in the pantry, don’t be afraid to sideline yourself. I read something lately that I try my best to remember before I blurt out things like “Are you Crazy? Of course we don’t scale the outside of the refrigerator like a zoo animal” It was something along the lines of:  “You can’t regret words you haven’t said.” A pretty powerful sentence to keep at the fore front of your mind. None of us want to do damage to our children’s psyche and words can be terribly hurtful. Take a breathe and walk away before saying something you might regret.

Spend a little time reflecting (even if it is while you’re in your time out) When was the last time you took time to enjoy just being you?  If you can’t remember the answer to that question then I have to say, you’re over due. Can you remember a time with no schedules, no lessons, carpools, or commitments? We must make time to take care of ourselves, mentally and physically. Call some friends or don’t, but get out of the house, have a kid free meal. Do you like to read? Head to the bookstore grab a coffee and just listen to the sweet sound of well, nothing. Have you forgotten what quiet sounds like?

Always say “I love you.” No matter how frustrated we are it’s so important for our children to know that even though Mommy is having a bad day, we still love them.

Parenting is not all rainbows and lollipops, it sucks sometimes and feeling that way or even saying it our loud does not make you a bad Mommy. How do you cope when you are having one of “those” days or when you’re running on fumes and have little to no patience to call your own?

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