Confessions of a Mommy Time-Out Advocate

Image courtesy of farconville at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of farconville at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I didn’t take my Mommy Time-Out last week.  Coming from someone whose life is being spent advocating other moms to be sure to take regular, weekly MTOs, some would call me a hypocrite.  I’ll just call myself human and leave it at that.

Sometimes life has other plans, and so do the people around you that you depend on to watch your kids so you can take a good MTO.  That’s what happened to me last week.  My husband had a project at work that took more of his time than usual, my mother was out of state, and my friends were all busy planning their children’s birthday parties, fighting colds and fevers, or all of the above.

As for me, quite frankly, I forgot.  The week literally got away from me.  One day I wake up and it’s Monday, and before I know it, it’s the end of the week and I’m writing this article confessing to my MTO miss.  It seemed every second of every day last week was filled with something pressing: deadlines, interviews, Girl Scout meeting, classes for my two youngest…

These aren’t excuses, just a reality all us moms live through.  Sometimes we just can’t make it happen.

However, something amazing happened last week as well.  I wasn’t stressed.  I look back and I can’t think of a single time that I went ballistic on my kids, my husband or anyone else.  I used to, when I didn’t get my regular MTOs, but last week that didn’t happen.  Last week, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say I had my MTO after all.

After some thought, I figured it all out.  It was all my regular MTOs up to that point.  It was like I had built up a reserve of patience, calm and balance every week prior when I did have a Mommy Time-Out.

My plan is to be back on track next week.  My mom is back in town and jonesin’ to see her grandchildren and I intend to take full advantage of that fact!  Everyone wins, because my girls have missed their Oma, she needs her fix, and I need my MTO.

I know that in the future, if I miss an MTO once in a while, I will be okay, as long as I have as many consistent MTOs in between.  It’s empowering to see the Mommy Time-Out concept at work and working.

From personal experience I can tell you that regular MTOs really do work – in so many ways.   So make a commitment to yourself to make sure they happen often and regularly, and see the benefits in your life!

 

Guilt-Free Mommy

Waterfall Soft 2 sml

Find peace with your Mommy Time-Out

There’s guilt-free ice cream, guilt-free desserts, even guilt-free McDonald’s french fries (okay, maybe not that last one, but a woman can dream!), but is there such a thing as a guilt-free mom?

Always second-guessing a discipline choice, a school, or the amount of TV watched.  When the child is away, there’s guilt he or she isn’t home.  When the child is at home, there’s guilt he or she isn’t somewhere else doing something more interesting.

Add to all this guilt the suggestion that you, mom, should take a Time-Out away from your kids and do something just for you.  Is the guilt so overwhelming that the room is spinning as you read this?  Well, hang on to your seat and read on!

Imagine the guilt when you yell at your child because he or she just climbed on your last nerve.  Or the guilt when you go to bed tonight, rethinking your day and realize that you didn’t give your undivided attention to your child who was trying to share with you something so very important to him or her, simply because you were mentally exhausted and thinking about your grocery list or the dirty dishes in the sink.

Now compare that level of guilt to the guilt of taking a minimum of thirty minutes (hopefully longer) to do something for yourself that does NOT involve errands of ANY kind, while your child is having fun on a play date, having quality time with dad/grandma/family, or sound asleep in bed.

When you return from your Time-Out, you are more likely to give that focused attention, respond more calmly, even play longer with your child than if you didn’t.

I’m here to tell you that you can’t escape the guilt, but you can mitigate it.

So, which is the lesser of the two guilts for you?

Love Yourself Like You Love Your Children

One of many loving pictures my daughter draws for me :)

Imagine how much easier taking regular Mommy Time-Outs would be if we loved ourselves like we love our children: unconditionally, with selfless attention, and sometimes even a decent amount of patience!

For example, I can work all day long cleaning, doing laundry, playing with them, playing taxi driver, and at the end of the day, when I can finally put my feet up, it is inevitable one, or all three, will pipe up and ask me for something – a snack, help with something, or just plain conversation (to be clear, this is not a scheduled Time-Out I am taking, just end of the day winding down!).  Sometimes, yes, I get short with them and tell them mommy needs some time to herself, which inevitable leads to either pouting or all-out crying.  Other times, however, I stop having my down time, get up and shuffle about the house getting them what they need/want.

Now, if I can only treat myself regularly with the same amount of love and thoughtfulness as I treat my children! My Time-Outs would be second nature to me!

So in this month of Love, let’s all make a goal to, at least one time each week, love ourselves with the same determination and wholeheartedness that we love our children and make sure we take our much needed – and deserved – Mommy Time-Out!

Let us know how well you do, we love to hear from you!