Trying to keep it together while your toddler is throwing their toys around the lounge and your other kids screaming for attention, is bound to put your patience to the test. Add in a bad day at work and there are sure to be moments when you feel yourself passing your limit. Can you relate? Here is why I sent myself to a timeout.
- My patience was running out
I had a restlessness night’s sleep worrying about a meeting at work so I started the day feeling like I’d woken up on the wrong side of the bed. Between getting ready for work and taking care of the kids, it felt like I was never going to get out of the house on time. When my toddler threw their breakfast on the floor, I felt like my patience was running out. Instead of losing it, I asked my partner to step in and I took a few moments to myself. Taking a few deep breaths, I found myself releasing the tension that had been building up inside me. When I returned to the kitchen, the mess was cleaned up and I felt like I was back on track. In this instance taking a timeout helped me to avoid reaching my limit and shouting at the kids, which would have left me feeling even more frustrated.
- I’m only human
Moms are only human and we make mistakes too. As much as I love my kids, parenting is hard and sometimes I end up reacting in a way that’s against my better judgment. In these cases taking a step back to gain a better perspective is helpful for me. Along with self-compassion, this allows me to come up with ways to handle difficult situations better in the future. It also helps me to notice the warning signs of when I’m feeling overwhelmed, which is a great time to take a timeout before things escalate. Not only does this allow me to stay in control but I also don’t react in a way that makes the entire situation worse.
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- To get some ‘me’ time
In the rush of the week, it’s often impossible to get a moment to myself. On Saturdays, my partner and I take turns watching the kids for an hour or two so that we can both get a chance to have a timeout. This leaves us feeling refreshed so that we can spend the rest of the weekend together as a family. I find that this kind of time out helps to improve the quality time that I spend with my kids. It also gives the kids a chance to spend some bonding time with my partner. My time out consists of whatever I think will make me feel good on the day. Sometimes I’ll go for a walk around the block and other times I’ll call up a friend to meet for coffee. If my kids have gone on an outing, I’ll take a bath or read a book. Mostly I use this time to relax but on occasions, I’ll use it to get a few essential errands done that are easier to complete without the kids with me. I’m even considering signing up for a painting class to get creative and learn a new skill.
- To spend time with my partner
A healthy relationship is vital to the wellbeing of your family. Some weeks it seems like the days pass me by in a whirlwind without giving me a chance to catch my breath. The next time I look, it’s the end of the week and my partner and I haven’t had a gap to spend any time together. I find that setting up a date night once in awhile and hiring a babysitter is a great way for us to reconnect. During this time together we get to have fun and communicate about anything that’s worrying us. That way when our relationship hits a rough patch, we’re strong enough to overcome it. Taking time out to listen to each other without any distractions also helps us to discuss our feelings without letting negative emotions build up.