Dear Stressed Out Mom,
I see you.
In fact, there are numerous times during the day that I am you.
This business of raising children is tough. And sometimes, our days start out bad and end up worse.
Or they might start out great and end up terrible.
I get it. I understand that you may be tempted to throw yourself on the floor and participate in your child’s tantrum. I understand that you may want to lock yourself in the closet with a bottle of wine or container of ice cream.
I have been there.
Maybe you think that you don’t deserve to take a time out. Or that you simply cannot take a time out.
Maybe you feel guilty over the very thought.
It is difficult when we feel burnt out simply from the rigors of parenting. How do you know when you as a parent need to take a time out and step back for a few moments to regain your cool?
The Argument Has Lasted Too Long
There is a time to talk things out, and a time to end the conversation. If you have been arguing with your child for a lengthy amount of time and it simply keeps on going, perhaps it is time to take a break.
Putting the talk on hold doesn’t mean you can’t continue it later, but it is often wise to end it and continue it later when you are both feeling refreshed.
There Is No Resolution in Sight
Sometimes there is an issue that you must discuss, but you feel like you and your child are both talking in circles. It can get to a point where everyone becomes more determined to make their point, and each party stops listening to the other.
This is another moment where the only solution is to temporarily put the conversation on hold.
You Begin to Feel Angry
If you begin to feel tense while parenting, or feel your blood pressure rising, you may have reached your limit.
It may be time to walk away and spend a little time alone.
When you as a parent are feeling angry, this can turn into a power struggle and it will always be tipped in your favor, leaving your child feeling powerless and trapped. This is a feeling that can negatively affect your relationship, so end it while you have the chance to settle things in a calm manner.
Your Child Appears Angry
If your child is feeling angry, it is possible you are not acting or speaking in a loving and fair manner. Sometimes our children need breaks from us, and we must be the mature one who removes ourselves from the situation and gives them the space they need.
Take a time out and allow your child the chance to cool down without having to always be the one who retreats.
You Feel Tired
Even as adults, we are still human. There are moments when we have reached our limit and need to take some time to breathe. Find a relaxing activity that you enjoy and take awhile to recover. You will come back refreshed and ready to parent with more energy and positivity.
Parenting is rewarding, but that reward is not always felt strongly when we are burnt out or in the middle of an argument with our children. There are times you will need to take a step back and embrace silence.
Give yourself a time out and come back to real life when you have been fully recharged.
Have that glass of wine, enjoy that piece of cake. Take a time out and remember that you are only human.
You’ve got this mom, I believe in you.