Parents: PLEASE Put Yourself in Time Out
It is so easy to get caught up in the madness that is parenting that we neglect ourselves in the process. We all need to refuel our souls so that we can be our best parenting selves. That’s where parent time-out comes in. What is a parent time out? It is a time for a stressed-out parent to step aside and become self-aware, regroup and reflect, heal and rejuvenate.
We’ve all been there. You yell, maybe slam a door, because you have had just ENOUGH. Your anger and impatience seem to have taken root, and you cannot get them loose. You want to cry and scream and run far, far away.
You are not a bad parent. You are a fallible human being. We are all fighting this same parenting fight, and you are not alone.
When you find yourself ready to pull your hair out, unable to speak in a calm manner, do your best to STOP. Literally stop. Stop chasing, walking, moving, thinking. Take that moment to recenter yourself. Close your eyes, and just simply breathe. Let your blood pressure settle and your body relax. Taking hold of that relaxation in the midst of a chaotic situation can feel so freeing. You may find that you can think more clearly, and therefore handle things in a way that is more productive.
Reach out if you need to. Take the time to call or message a friend or family member. One of the things that I have learned is not to be too proud to ask for help. You aren’t failing, far from it. You are clawing and climbing your way forward, always persevering. That is tiring for anyone. You can’t always be the strong one. Recognizing that you need help and asking for it is being a good parent.
Please know that you are worth the time it takes to help yourself become an even better you. Love yourself more, and you will be able to love your kids more wholly, without bias or expectation. Strive to be that which you desire your kids to be. But remember to ALWAYS take that time-out—for YOU.