When we suggest to moms the vital need of taking consistent, weekly Mommy Time-Outs, we are usually met with glazed eyes and polite nods, as if they are telling us “It’s a nice thought, but when can I find the time to take a Mommy Time-Out?”
That’s a legitimate response. Whether we work solely at home or at an office, our days are filled with taking care of other people’s needs, usually before our needs are met.
Then evenings are when the second job begins: dinner, homework, time with kids and spouse, baths, brushing teeth, story time.
And after the kids are down? Well, sometimes there is even a third job tucked in there: maintaining a home business, a blog site, meeting a deadline, patching the last pair of jeans that fits your growing child…
But wait! There’s more! On weekends, there’s errands, practices, recitals, housework, play time with the kids, and everything else you didn’t get to do during the week.
And each week we start all over again.
Accomplishing everything on our To Do List and meeting everybody’s needs doesn’t leave much, if any, time for ourselves. Granted, sometimes, if we are lucky, we can get some “me-time” in late at night when everyone has gone to bed and business is done for the day. Only to fall asleep within minutes because of pure exhaustion.
Doing this day in and day out eventually catches up to us. We become consistently very tired and overwhelmed, which leads to short tempers and ultimately short and not so fun play times with our children.
But there are times you can have your MTO and not feel you are stealing valuable time from your child. Here are some suggestions:
1. It seems there’s always that time of the year when practically every child your child knows is having a birthday party. And here is your first perfect opportunity.
Depending on the age of your child and how well you know the other parents there, you don’t have to stay. If your children are old enough and you know and trust the other parents, ask if you could do a drop off/pick up for this party and you will help chaperone the next.
2. Playdates are another opportunity to take time for yourself. Now don’t freak out, but we are here to tell you that, even though your kids haven’t seen you all week, they may still want to hang out and play with their friends on the weekend for a couple of hours.
Again, ask the other parents if you can trade with them. They manage this playdate and you do the next one. Chances are real good the other moms will take you up on the offer.
3. Playdates and parties not on your schedule? How about a couple of hours with grandma or auntie? What a great opportunity to bond with other family members.
It’s only two hours out of a week, and again, the benefits you and your children gain far outweigh the stressed, tired time you would have spent with them otherwise.
Best of all, when you return to them after your MTO, the time you spend with them for the rest of the weekend and week will be true quality time.