Confession… I am currently hiding in my room, eating the last piece of my daughters’ birthday cake (they just turned 4 and 6 this week), while my children are watching Milo and Otis (I really have no idea why I enjoyed that movie so much as a kid). I walked to my room, told my kids mommy needs a little time out to regroup and de-stress and that I would be back out in a little bit. My four-year-old’s eyes grew really big at the idea of mommy being put in time out but they are all happy to be watching a movie and are getting along great at the moment which is exactly what I need right now… calm and quiet.
You see, I just finished cleaning out a set of cupboards and throwing away food for the third time in less than a week due to mice. Mice that have been raiding my cupboards, chewing through thick plastic containers to help themselves to my food, and then storing that food amidst the clothing in my dresser, which has also been cleaned out three times in less than a week. While I was cleaning the cupboards, the furnace guy showed up to repair the furnace that decided to quit yesterday on one of the coldest and wettest days we’ve had in a while.
Now, we have heat! So thankful to be warm again! My cupboards are sanitized; and, will hopefully remain so for longer than a few days or weeks. And I just finished washing all the dishes which is always a wonderful feeling. And I need to decompress. Time for me to take a breath, re-group, and re-focus for a minute before feeding the kids lunch, packing their snacks, and then heading out for co-op.
If this had all happened a year ago, probably even six months ago, I would most likely have had a minor meltdown and would have been much less composed than I have been this past week, especially with first discovering the mice less than 48 hours before the girls’ birthday party, completely derailing all my best laid plans and preparations and completely putting this type A personality off schedule. Now, while I’ll admit that there was some freaking out involved, it was only for a moment and I got right on top of going to war with our new house guests without letting all the frustration and stress eat me up inside. My wonderfully patient husband listened quietly while I bemoaned the inconvenience and aggravation and worry I was suddenly thrust into and then I moved on, plugging away at eradicating each invasion and its evidence and making sure my family was warm when we had no heat.
But now, it has been a week. An exhausting week. And I need a moment. I’ve found that if I step away, even for just five minutes (not usually with cake, but, hey, it was there and I needed a little something extra for this time out), and just give myself the opportunity to re-focus, clear my head, and just rest my mind and emotions, it is so much easier to jump back in and get through the rest of the day. I step away and leave my worries and stress behind otherwise it will just keep building and swelling until it bursts in a very unhealthy way. And, so, sometimes mommy needs a time out. This was the first time my kids noticed and the first time I named it but I think it fits and I think I’ll be using the term again.
What about you? Do you ever find yourself in need of a “time out?” How do you cope when you become overwhelmed?