“Mom. Mommy. Ma. Mother. Ma. Mom. Mom.” “What?” “Hi!” We’ve all heard it, and we have all been there when those words – that we waited so long to hear – are just enough to push us over the edge. As a mother of three, I have learned what my patience limits are, and how much I can tolerate of my buttons being pushed before Mommysaurus starts to roar!
Do I still falter? Absolutely. Do I regret when I let those curse words slip through my lips or respond to my child’s endless questions with an ugh and a sigh. Yes! Does that mean I’m a bad mom? No. It means that I am human and I have to take a step back and get myself on track by being mindful of my reactions. It’s about being aware that it’s time to stop, breathe, and try again.
Motherhood is HARD! It doesn’t matter if you are a new mom, an experienced mom, a working mom, a stay-at-home mom, a single mom, or a married mom. There are certain expectations and standards that society and we ourselves hold to one another of what being a mom should look like. So back to mindfulness.
One day I came home from work, and as many of you already know, when the bus arrives and the kids get home, it is a sudden rush. They want to tell you about their day. Their book bags are overflowing. They are hungry. There is what seems like a mountain of homework. You have laundry to finish, dinner to prep and cook, and then don’t forget about baseball, dance class, and taking a bathroom break… I don’t know about you, but I have to constantly STOP and remind myself to slow down and take a break – to be mindful and to breathe.
But there is always that one time when I feel completely overwhelmed and vulnerable. The kids are fighting, I don’t know how I am going to juggle all that needs to be done and still be the super mom and wife that I’m supposed to be. My brain gets foggy, my nerves get stretched to their limits, and I can feel the anger getting ready to slip out of my mouth.
“Mommy needs a time out!” I yell.
My kids look confused and stare at each other then at me for a minute. I tell them mommy is going to her room for five minutes for a time out and they are not allowed to talk to me until I am calm. I can already feel myself coming back as I speak these words. They go on with their routine and I skip away for my five minute time out.
What happens when mommy is in time out? Well, I for one start my screaming into a pillow. Then I take 3 to 5 deep breaths and silence my brain. I notice things I can hear, smell, and feel. I try to be mindful of where I am at that particular time. Sometimes I use essential oils like lavender or chamomile. I just NEED that time out for myself. I imagine every mom’s time out may look different and that is OK. But from one mom to another, try and think about what makes you calm and mindful – then, give yourself a mommy time out.