I feel that Step Mothers most definitely need a Mommy Time-Out more than ever when they are raising children that are not their own. My cousin, Lucy, is currently married to Mike, who has two children, ages 15 and 7, from his first wife. Lucy has two daughters of her own, ages 6 & 8 years old.
For the past 6 months Lucy has had some tough dealings with her husband’s 15 year-old daughter. She has recently found out that the daughter doesn’t like her because she feels Lucy is taking her father away from her. Not only is the teen feeling neglected by her father, but she is trying to find her own identity and all the challenges that come with being a teenage girl.
Most recently the girl has tried to run away from home twice in one month, though she doesn’t get very far because she is not old enough to support herself and really hasn’t any where to go.
Needless to say, Mike’s blood pressure has gone thru the roof and there has been so much more tension between Lucy and him.
Probably the biggest challenge is that they both have two different styles of parenting and they cannot agree on a common ground, much less see each other’s view. In the meantime the 15 year old girl is out of control and has been trying to run the household.
Now if all of this doesn’t scream “Take a Mommy Time-Out!” I don’t know what does. And that is exactly what Lucy has done. She told me she would leave the situation behind her as she took her Mommy Time-Out, even at times when the teen girl couldn’t be trusted to stay put or behave. She knew that if she didn’t get her me-time in, her frustration, lack of patience and anger would only make matters worse. Of course, she took what measures she could to protect all the children involved, having people she trusted to watch over them while she removed herself, but the point is, she made it happen.
Lucy told me that if it wasn’t for her me-time to think things out and clear her head, she would never have been able to go back to Mike with possible solutions and at least more patience.
Finally Mike took control of the situation and altered his discipline technique with the teen girl, which she has responded well to. The household is now as close to normal as it has been in a long while.
We have to be present for our children and the only way is to take care of our mind, body and soul. Mothers, step or otherwise, should have a consistent MTO at least once a week, preferably twice if possible.
What direct benefits have you seen coming from taking your Mommy Time-Outs? We would love your feed back!