The Scariest MTO

You know you've felt this way when you don't get your MTO in! Image courtesy of Victor Habbick at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You know you’ve felt this way when you don’t get your MTO in!
Image courtesy of Victor Habbick at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

is no MTO at all!

So now that you have your children ready to go trick-or-treating, costumes and all, have you thought how you are going to take care of yourself this week?

I am planning on having my Mommy Time-Out with my friends by going to a “no kids allowed” Halloween party. To get ready for it, I am going to get my nails done with my stepdaughter, getting colors to match the long, gorgeous dress I bought for myself, as well as a cute ghost or spider to be in the spirit of Halloween.   I am really looking forward to having a wonderful and in depth conversation with my daughter to hear what’s going on in her life and see how things are going for her.

I can’t wait to go to the Halloween party with my friends. It’s been forever since I’ve been to a party with an adult crowd! I will be able to relax and have fun, enjoying some adult conversations about current affairs, the hottest fashions, and the latest movie releases. I am also looking forward to eating good food, having a glass or two of wine, and enjoying the delicious treats that are going to be served!

So before you become the live version of a Halloween nightmare, calendar yourself into your busy Halloween week and make a conscious effort to take care of yourself this week!

The Fall & Rise of the MTO

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Image courtesy of debspoons at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You should know from the onset that while Colleen and I have learned the value of taking a Mommy Time-Out, we are not above falling in to old habits and routines.  Case in point:

I recently noticed that I have been on edge with my coworkers, friends and love ones.  I asked myself, “where is this coming from?  Is it that time of the month or am I just too busy taking care of others and not me?  Have I once again become the mother that says ‘yes’ to everyone and wants her children to be in extra activities because she’s afraid they will lose out?”  Well, yes, I have.  I fell back into thinking my children have to attend every birthday party and, of course, I have to be at every church function and attend parties with my friends as well as immediate family.

It got to the point that my mind became so fogged that I could barely remember what I did last week.  And if you asked me what I’ve been doing to so occupy myself, my honest answer would be “I don’t know.”  It was all just ‘stuff’ that in the end just used up my time, wore me our mentally and physically, and turned me into an irritable…woman.

At least I knew enough to see all the classic signs of being overwhelmed and Mommy Time-Out deficient.

As soon as I realized I needed to take care of myself before I had a nervous breakdown, I went on a break at work and put myself in a mental Time-Out.  I meditated for 20 minutes, and in so doing I inspired myself to stop leaving myself out of the equation. I needed to fill that void of having my Mommy Time-Out and do something I wanted to do for myself and not what others were expecting of me.

I then called my sister and asked her to meet me at the local nail shop for a mani/pedi.  Little did I know that she was also in need of her MTO.  We had a great time, laughing and talking about  how we want to do it all without any help because nobody will do it as good as we will.  Of course, we think this is a very silly way of thinking because not only have we not given our families the opportunity to help around the house, we were robbing ourselves of some great MTO times.  Needless to say, we left there fixed on getting back to our Mommy Time-Out agenda!

What inspires your MTOs?

My First Mommy Time-Out

Me and my girls, Sofia (8) and Katie (6)

Me and my girls, Sofia (8) and Katie (6)

Before I became pregnant with my first child, no one told me that I was a mother the moment I found out I was pregnant. But that is exactly when all the worrying began for me.

In my 1st trimester I was told by doctors that my pregnancy was not “viable” and that I would likely miscarry.  They did not know what day exactly but they knew I would not get past my 2nd trimester. I cried more than I can remember in my life – the first three months of my pregnancy were the most stressful of my life. My heart and hopes were broken and I could barely get out of bed and get through a normal day.

The 2nd trimester came and there was no miscarriage, and the doctors could not explain why.  By that point, I had heard all the bad statistics and the worst news, including her being born having down syndrome,or a degenerative disease, if I didn’t miscarry before then.  The stress and the sadness continued to build until one day I made a conscious decision that I would ignore everything I was being told.  I decided that my baby would make it to full term and that I would love her no matter her condition. It was important to me that I not allow the stress I was feeling to affect the child growing inside of me, and that’s when I started taking my Mommy Time-Outs.

I bought myself maternity clothes, treated myself to manicures and pedicures and changed my eating habits. I pampered myself and enjoyed my baby moving in my stomach. I enjoyed every minute of my pregnancy and felt so beautiful and radiant. I had at least three Mommy Time-Outs a week. I was so good to myself and my baby.

My daughter was born healthy at 36 weeks and I was able to bring her home after two days. I am proud to write that my daughter, Sofia, is now 8 years old. She is in the top 5 students in her 2nd grade class. She makes my heart so happy when I think of what a miracle and blessing she is in my life. It has been 9 years and another little girl born, Katie (now 6), since I started my MTOs. I have had my share of challenges in being consistent, but I continue to take my Time-Outs, no matter how difficult my daily challenges are.

Even before they are born, our children are affected by how we feel, what “condition” we are in.  No one told me it started so soon, but I am here to tell you that it does.  I can’t explain why or how Sofia defied the odds any more than the doctors can, except to say it was a miracle. And I am sure that de-stressing and taking care of myself helped in some small (or big?) way. Taking care of ourselves IS taking care of our children.  And I can’t think of a better reason to have a Mommy Time-Out than that!

When did you first start taking your Mommy Time-Outs? What obstacles get in your way sometimes in trying to take one? Please comment below – we want to hear from you!

Fight The Good Fight

I celebrated my birthday in August and was given two gift certificates, one for an hour massage and facial and the other for a pedicure.  And I almost didn’t use them!  You see, I was saving them for an emergency MTO, and last week I decided to use my massage & facial certificates at Lola’s Signature Touch.  But everything in me was tempted to cancel on her!

Weird, but true.  I didn’t have to spend the money – they were gifts.  I obviously had the time because I made the appointment, and the kids were taken care of – a playdate with friends.  So what was my problem??  I started to think of the loads of laundry I had to do, the groceries I needed to buy, the time away from my girls…But I stood firm, grabbed my keys, got in my car and just headed to Lola’s. And wow am I glad I did!

She first started with the massage – it was so awesome!  Lola worked out every knot I had in my back.  An hour turned into 2 hours.  She gave me extra time without charging me extra, saying my body really needed it.  Lola is also a mother and knows how the hustle and bustle mothers go through on a daily basis to run the home can stress the body.  I am glad I had Lola to take my MTO with, when I was falling apart and had nothing else to give. I left feeling great and feeling beautiful.  My soul and physical appearance were renewed once again.

More than anything, I am glad I just literally forced myself to go.  I had to ignore those negative, nagging thoughts and remind myself that more than clean clothes and cookies, my girls needed their mother centered and relaxed.  Taking care of me first better equips me to take better care of them.

Thanks Lola!