Mommy Needs a Time-Out…

   …Actually, I just really need a day off. The retail part of me has just finished a most awesome holiday retail season. However, in order to make sure all my work was getting done and that the kids were getting enough mommy time (since they are a bit clingy when Daddy is away), this mommy has not really had a moment to herself in a long time. I know that there are mamas out there that can go forever without needing time to herself. Unfortunately, I am not one of those mamas, especially with all the new developments in our household. The kids now know about my husband going to work in Canada. Needless to say, they have reservations about it, probably for some of the same reasons that I have, such as the fact that we miss him when he is gone. This being said, they are taking all of their frustration out on me. They are extra clingy, and they have been acting out… a lot! I have been trying to be more understanding and patient. However, this weekend my patience wore very thin. I am tired, physically and mentally. I daydream of heading out the door and into my car as soon as my husband gets home this week. While I am not perfect, and sometimes I yell or lose my patience, I do have some tricks up my sleeve to help me cope with the stress.

1. Taking a few deep breaths. Yeah, it is cliche, but it does help. It sometimes makes the difference between me letting loose like a dragon or getting my wits together.

2. Get enough rest. I know it is sometimes hard to get enough sleep. However, be careful that you don’t overload yourself with caffeine because you may end up keeping yourself awake. Also, if you can’t get a lot of sleep, at least pace yourself. If you are a mama with small children, using your child’s quiet time or nap time as a time to regroup is always great too!

3. Get Dressed… as in dress up a little bit. Even when I was a child and in a funk, I would dress up for the fun of it, and it always made me feel a bit better that day. Some days, I put on a cute shirt and some leggings and go for a walk. It makes me feel like a million bucks and puts me in a great mood!

4. Change the scenery. I homeschool, and in the winter, it is sometimes easy to get in that rut of wanting to hibernate because the house is warm, and the outside is cold! (Yes, I am Captain Obvious here). I like being warm. However, getting everyone out the door, whether it is for a walk, impromptu field trip, or a stroll around the mall gets us doing something different and will put my children in a better mood which puts me in a better mood.

5. Stop beating yourself up! If I lose my patience, I apologize to the kids later, and I just work at not letting it happen again. I don’t dwell on it. I am going to screw up in life. I know that. You know that. If I keep thinking about it, it is only going to make things worse.

6. If you are really stressed and need to regroup (because of children, stress, adults, spouse, parents, etc…) go to the bathroom and close the door for a few minutes. There are times that I lock the door and have a good cry for a few minutes or sit on the floor and read a magazine article or just re-apply my makeup. It doesn’t matter what you do in there. It is just a way to separate yourself from your stress for a few minutes so that you can gather your wits about you.

7. Put yourself in time-out. I have only just started doing this around my children. I tell my kids I am in time-out and all the time-out rules apply. Of course, I don’t sit in the time-out spot on the stairs, but I sit down and calm down.

Using some of these can help a mama (or anyone else) from having a meltdown. What do you do when you feel you are going to explode?

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