It’s challenging enough allowing ourselves to take a Mommy Time-Out, so by creating a new way of thinking and living, a new habit if you will, taking that time for yourself will get easier every time.
To that end, we here at Mommy Time-Out believe that in order to have a successful (i.e. one that actually happens!) Mommy Time-Out, there are a few things you’ll want to do.
Feli had the great idea of thinking about the guidelines we follow when we send our children on a time-out, and apply it to ourselves. This is what she came up with:
Play Well With Others Create a support group with friends and/or family that you trust. If they have children, trade babysitting times. If they don’t, watch their pets or their house when they go out of town. At the very least, have a reliable babysitter listed among your contacts that you can call when you need that Time-Out.
Justify Your Actions Keep reminding yourself that you have earned this Time-Out. Enjoy every minute – you so deserve it!
Remove Yourself Let your sitter know you cannot be disturbed during this time, unless it is an absolute emergency.
Set A Timer Set no less than a half hour aside, more if you can, depending on what you plan to do that day. Schedule it at least a day or more ahead of time so you can not only arrange for the sitter, but be both mentally and emotionally prepared for the “me-time” to follow.
Think About Why You’re There It’s as much for your family as it is for you. Take care of yourself so you have the physical, emotional and mental strength to take care of them.
STAY There! Don’t cheat yourself. You have already set a specific amount of time aside for yourself, so stick with it.
Make The Best Of It Block everything and everyone out of your mind except the activity you have planned – and savor every moment!
You’re On Restriction You are not allowed to fold laundry, clean the kitchen, go grocery shopping, go to doctor appointments, or run any errands in general – they do not count as your Mommy Time-Out! NO WORK! Or else it doesn’t count and your time-out has to start all over again!
Be Consistent Take a Time-Out one to two times a week. They don’t all have to be two hours long. A movie on Sunday can easily be followed by a half hour candle lit bubble bath on Wednesday.
Don’t Expect Miracles Like anything worthwhile, it’s a process. Make it a part of your lifestyle instead of an “extra” thing you do for yourself. The rewards may take time or they may be immediate – but either way, they will happen.
If you follow these guidelines, we believe your Mommy Time-Out will be optimized, which will return you to your family feeling renewed, focused, calm and ready to take on the next challenge. Best of all, you will have more of yourself to give.
What do you do to make sure you have a successful Time-Out? Or, what issues do you run in to that need to be taken care of so nothing stands in your way of enjoying your time to yourself?