When our kids are not following directions, arguing and in general acting cranky – sometimes I use a time out to help them reflect on their bad behavior.
Often On occasion I’ve noticed that quite possibly, I’ve been in need of a time out too…
The following (for better or worse) is based on actual events over the past few weeks.
~ Before ~
9:15 a.m. and STILL no sign of the babysitter. This was my last straw (and it was only 9:15 in the morning!).
Yep, the babysitter forgot that she was scheduled to come over.
How dare she? I thought.
Doesn’t she know that I NEED to work?!
Not only did the babysitter not show up, but she forgot to show up on the worst of days – a late start school day, when all three kids were home, with only mere days remaining before we left for a week long family vacation to visit my parents. (And – as I am sure you know – preparing both personally and professional for a family vacation is HARD, timely work!)
Really. I’m not joking. This happened.
And I subsequently freaked out.
(See last weeks post: Conversations with Myself)
I was tired, I was overwhelmed and I was ridiculously frustrated. And what is a stressed out, freaked out, not-enough-hours-in-my-day mom to do?*
Yell at my husband. Vent to my husband.
c.) Give up and go play Wii Rock Band in the basement with my kids.
d.) All of the Above.
*Correct answer is in bold.
Except, the whole time I was supposedly playing with my children, I couldn’t stop thinking about how I was accomplishing absolutely nothing, while also obsessively worrying about everything that I still had yet to complete as the drama that was my day continued to unfold.
I did managed to get everything done (barely) only to begin our trip unrelaxed and with a plane ride that didn’t land at our destination until 11:30 P.M.
Don’t let this picture fool you. Our 2-year-old did NOT sleep, did NOT stay one bit quiet and did NOT sit nicely for the flight. I promise.
(Okay, have I painted the “before picture” well enough yet? It was ugly folks…)
~ During ~
I was in definite need of a “mommy time out.”
A time out from my work. A time out from the stress (that ultimately I had created and allowed into my life). And some time to relearn how to play again doing …
A little bit of this…
Visits with the Easter Bunny and one-on-on time with our older kids during a day at Disney World.
And a little bit of that…
And involving a whole lot of ice-cream.
~ After ~
During the flight home (which departed at 6 A.M.) our 2-year-old decided that he did not want to go back to sleep. When we did finally arrive home we were ALL very tired. And by early afternoon, the kids got a second wind and were very full of energy.
Back to the same-old, same-old…
What’s a mom to do?
My first thought was that I probably needed to play a little catch-up.
Catch-up on work, catch-up on emails, catch-up on
Yet instead I decided to play a little…
with my kids.
- Not worrying about the pending week ahead.
- Not stressing about the exorbitant amount of grading I have coming up over the next week.
- Not thinking about preparations for my other (exciting yet a little nerve wrecking!) upcoming trip.
Not thinking about anything, especially things I didn’t have control over.
Not thinking about anything except playing with my kids.
And it felt good. Because for the first time in a long time, I was again in my home doing something with my whole heart.
I now realize afterwards, that I had been wrong during that dreadful day before – when the babysitter didn’t show. I could have gotten some really important things accomplished if I had just let myself break to play because play can be important work.
Sometimes we all need a time out.
Time out to re-prioritize and reflect on what’s truly important. Don’t you agree?
Leave a Comment: Do you ever look back and notice that there are days that you might have behaved nearly as bad as your own children?
This week I am linking up with Seven Clown Circus and Parenting by Dummies for their Wordful Wednesday, a link-up that is like “Wordless Wednesday,” only WITH words. (It’s for those of us that can’t contain the chatter, but in a good way!)