- July 20, 2015
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I’m a SAHM: And I Need a Time-Out
Our life has been really crazy lately. Along with the usual busy-ness of life, we suddenly decided to sell our home and build a new house…three weeks ago. In that short time, we’ve decluttered, boxed up, and hauled any extra stuff to a storage unit (a huge feat because we’ve suddenly realized we just might have hoarding tendencies). We’ve listed our house and accepted an offer. And we’ve picked a home builder and floor plan, selected our lot, and put down a deposit to get the process of building our new home started.
Whenever our life is busy or just crazier than usual, our little boy picks up on the stress and emotions in our home. We immediately start seeing those emotions come out of his tiny body in the form of temper tantrums–leading to an increased amount of time spent in time-out. But, when life is crazy and emotions are running high in our home, he’s not the only one who needs an occasional time-out. In order to continue taking care of our family as we deal with the craziness of life, sometimes I need a time-out, too!
Sometimes putting myself in time-out means stopping to give my little man a hug as I wipe his tears. I look at his little face, and into his eyes, as he tells me about his amazing imaginary world. Or sometimes, it means putting both of us in time-out, stopping to cuddle and watch a cartoon together instead of just using cartoons as my most reliable babysitter. Today, as I was rushing through my never-ending to-do list, he ran up to me, grabbed my hand, and asked if I would turn on a cartoon then sit down by him to watch it with him. How could I resist?!? I stepped away from my to-do list, grabbed a soft blanket, and took five minutes to just hold him close and be a part of his world. And you know what? I think I actually got more relaxation and happiness out of those few, short minutes than he did!
Sometimes putting myself in time-out means turning that same cartoon on to entertain my little one while I take a few minutes to myself. Whether it’s sitting down, surfing social media, eating a treat, and watching one of my own TV shows, or spending time on a hobby I love, finding those few minutes throughout the day is essential to my happiness.
Sometimes putting myself in time-out means finding time to get out of the house alone. This often means grabbing a treat and wandering through the aisles of my favorite store; aisles that range from home decor to makeup to organization accessories to clothes for myself, as well as clothes for my little boy. Or sometimes it just means I go grocery shopping kid-free! Or when I’m feeling really ambitious, I get out of the house for a little exercise. I swear you get bonus points if you get out of the house and get in a walk or a run (or a class at your local gym), or anything that helps keep you healthier and happier (gotta love those exercise endorphins, right?).
Sometimes putting myself in time-out means going out with a friend. When I was out of town for a friend’s birthday, I decided we needed to do something to make up for it. So we went out together, grabbed a treat, went to a movie, and chatted throughout the movie. (Don’t worry–we whispered quietly so we didn’t annoy those seated around us.) And I have to say it was SO. MUCH. FUN. As I drove home, I realized that I really needed to make it a priority to spend time with my friends. And this means without kids. Because most of the time, we all get together for a mommy-mommy, child-child play date. And as fun as those are, there is just something about getting out and knowing you won’t need to change a diaper or respond to a tantrum or disagreement.
Sometimes putting myself in time-out means going on a date with my husband. I have to admit this doesn’t happen nearly enough! Especially because we live within 30-45 minutes from almost all of my immediate family members, and we only live five minutes away from my sister. For me, making sure regular date nights actually happen really comes down to actually planning them in advance. We definitely have lots of great options for people to watch our little boy, and we know how much happier we are individually, and as a couple, when we take the opportunity to go out. The biggest barrier is planning far enough in advance to make sure our plans work with everyone’s schedules.
I’m convinced that life will always be (more than) a little bit busy and crazy, but I’m really trying to love my life RIGHT NOW. I’m trying to find the little, happy moments spread throughout each day, because I know these days of goldfish crackers and juice boxes will be over before I know it. And I know I’ll miss them like crazy! But I also have to be honest and know that I occasionally need a break, and that it’s okay to take one. So I’m going to continue to put myself in time-out whenever I feel (or someone else feels) like I need it.
Angela is a stay-at-home mom who is so happy her husband’s dream job led her home to Seattle. When she isn’t living in her four-year-old son’s imaginary world or trying to keep up with the never-ending to-do list, she loves spending time with family and friends, decorating and organizing, and photography. She graduated from BYU with a degree in communications and enjoyed a career in corporate communications before turning in her office chair for a rocking chair.