Giving a Time Out to You!

At any job, there are going to be bad moments, bad days and even bad weeks.  The job of being a stay at home mom is no different and there are going to be times when you feel like the day will never end.  First of all, it’s okay to feel like you want to run out your door and never come back.  Not enough people admit that they have bad days and if we all shared just a little bit  more with each other, we would actually feel more human.  If you have a travelling husband or are a single mom, add to the fact that your husband or partner isn’t walking through the door at 6PM to rescue you…even more of a reason to flip out. I have experienced this many times and I don’t always handle it the right way but I try and learn how I can better cope with a sticky situation.

The kids aren’t listening, they are all crying and whining at the same time, no one wants to eat dinner they requested you cook, you can’t remember the last time you drank a cup of water or even had the time to pee…sound familiar?  You are not alone! You are not alone! You are not alone!  Please remember that because when you ARE alone all day with the kids, it’s easy to feel like you have gone completely insane but really, your friend down the block is mostly likely having the same meltdown.
Just as we give our kids time out, moms need one too.  It’s up to us to figure out when that time is, and a good indicator is usually when you grab your hair, roll your eyes and feel the bomb ticking in your head.   Taking a time out for 30 seconds will help you put everything in perspective, keep your cool in front of the kids, and avoid any actions you might regret later, like screaming, cursing, slamming doors, etc. There are so many times after I have exploded that I felt so bad and wish I hadn’t acted like such a 3 year old myself.  Remember kids mimic what they see and if mom is flipping out, why can’t they fall on the floor and freak out too?
I find that stepping away to my room, taking a deep breath and splashing some cold water on my face helps to calm me down.  I then remind myself that at least I don’t have to report to some schmuck that doesn’t know how to run a company or hear from 5 people that I completed a report incorrectly (think Office Space).
It’s easy to get caught up and get frustrated.  I have actually found that in the long run, when I talk with my son with the goal of targeting his emotions, he responds better than me yelling at him.  For example, I might say, “I know that yesterday you were so proud of yourself for being such a good listener.  I don’t think you are being a good listener today and I know you can do it” vs. “you better start to listen or else you will not be getting any dessert tonight”.  The first takes A LOT of patience but it works, I promise you.
Giving myself these time outs, I actually pause before I react, because I know that what’s coming out next is going to make an impression on my child for the rest of his life.  Time outs for Moms will enable us to think before we speak, and allow us to remove ourselves from a potentially bad situation.  If your child asks what you are doing, tell them the truth.  Mommy needs time outs too sometimes.  Explain that we all have choices on how we behave and there are different consequences to these behaviors.  Sometimes, this goes over a child’s head but it actually helps you work things out too.
I believe that every day, we should strive to be better people, better moms, wives, women, etc.  What have you learned this week from your child or from yourself that you can change, make better or be proud of?
Thanks for reading and supporting Mommy Masters!
Ellie Hirsch