Why Mom Needs a Time Out

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I love being a mom. I really do. In fact, just like most moms, I could never imagine not having my little boy, now that I’ve got him. Truth be told, he not only makes me happy, but insanely tired, sometimes slightly crazy, and often times … like wanting to scream. I need a time out!

I don’t think I ever truly embraced being a housewife and a stay-at-home mom. I used to tell myself (before I became a parent) that I would never be like most parents. I would continue to work and make time for myself even after I have a kid. I didn’t think it was going to be that difficult. Now I feel like a complete idiot for being so naïve about parenting life.

From the beginning of time, humans have always adapted to their environment. Parents are no exception. Surely as a parent, you too, have adapted and learned 3 wonderful skills to help you get by:

The Art of Selective Hearing

I’m a work-at-home mom and luckily, my son has a great imagination and can play on his own for long periods of time. This is great, because it helps keep me from having to put him in front of the TV just so I can get any work done.

Of course, it doesn’t mean he’s going to be quiet. There’s the sound of pretend cars running into each other, Super heroes fighting to save the Universe, Dory swimming away from Nemo … you get the picture.

All the story telling and his wonderful imagination is fantastic, but when it’s time to work, I am serious about getting my work done!

Playing cars next to mommy

So I’ve developed a great new skill … the ability to zone out and cancel the noise. I’ve learned it all through the “Art of Selective Hearing.”

I have to know he’s ok and not choking or falling off of anything. So I still need to be able to hear him. At the same time, I need to be able to concentrate on what I’m doing, while I’m doing it.

After at least 2 years of practice multi-tasking and zoning out unnecessary noise, I’ve mastered being able to effectively work. This post, for example, is being done as my son and husband play on a mat that sits right next to me.

The Art of Diversion

My son is now 4 years old and have mastered the ability to ask the question “Why?” Just about everything that comes out of his mouth is followed by “why …”

“Mommy, can I have an Oreo?”

“No,” is my usually response. So guess what the next question would be?

“Why not?”

“You can’t eat an Oreo before going to bed …”

“Why?”

“It has too much sugar and you won’t be able to sleep.”

“Why?”

And you get the picture, right?

As sweet and pleasant as a million questions from a curious little mind sounds, I often get the urge to yell from frustration. So I’ve tried a different technique to do my best to prevent the million questions routine that could potentially raise my blood pressure. I’ve learned to switch it up and turn the questions around on him.

The conversation can then turn into:

“Mommy, can I have an Oreo?”

“Have you finished putting your toys away?” I would then ask.

“No,”

“Why not? Didn’t we agree on having your toys put away and …”

I divert his question into a different subject and away from the million questions act. It’s a lot less exhausting!

The Art of Multi-Tasking

As a mom, wife, worker bee, I need to be able to function with high energy and the ability to do 10 things at once. I often cook, clean, feed a kid, and answer emails at the same time.
Think you’ve got enough on your plate? Being a parent means being in charge of your own life as well as another individual who will look to you for guidance and just about everything else, including waiting to be given food to eat, tying their shoes, brushing their teeth, going to bed, and so much more!

Now, despite the 3 wonderful gifts I’ve just mentioned I have developed, I can’t tell you just how important it is for a work-at-home/stay-at-home mom to get that special moment to herself.
Imagine how hard your brain has to work just to be able to concentrate through noise. Or how much more effort you have to make just to answer simple questions when you’re already extremely exhausted and would give anything to be able to just lay on the couch and relax as you flip through TV channels.

This is all very minor complaints. Imagine having the flu, while dealing with a temper tantrum and so much more. Mommy needs time out whenever she can get it!

No, she doesn’t need to be with her friends or doing anything special. It could be something as simple as a nice, peaceful drive alone or a quiet TV time. It could even be an hour alone with a glass of wine and a good book to read.

Mommy just needs time out!