mommy time-out


there’s no doubt that Elijah is cute.
and there’s absolutely no doubt that i love him.
but that doesn’t mean i always enjoy every second with him.
and to even say that out loud makes me sick with guilt.

but if i learned anything in therapy it is to be honest with my feelings.
so this is my honest struggle.

this weekend i was completely at my limit with Elijah.
he was just constantly in my face {literally}, thought my stomach was the best kind of trampoline, yelling, hitting, running around like a mad-man in circles, not sleeping, not listening, just going nuts. 
at one point on Saturday night i told Adam that i just could not take it anymore and i needed a mental break.
i mean, i knew he was cute. i knew he was sweet. and he was doing really funny things!
but i was just so overwhelmed i couldn’t appreciate it all.

so i took a nap.
Adam was nice enough to take over from there and deal with Elijah {even though he was a little fed up too} and i took a little nap and cooled off.
by the time i woke up, Elijah had gone to bed only to wake up a couple of hours later refusing to go back to sleep.
even though i had just been frustrated with him an hour before, i was able to go get him out of bed lovingly, cuddle with him on the couch, and try to sing him back to sleep.
i was calm & collected.
i showed him love when he needed it.
and i was able to be the mom he needed most after taking a moment to accept how i was feeling.

when i first started talking to my counselor, one of the first things he taught me was to take the time to address my true feelings and take a time out. 
he helped me see that it is just not realistic to be happy/positive/upbeat/calm every single second.
with a toddler.

and i have tried to do just that.
when i start feeling myself getting overwhelmed or frustrated, i have tried to open up more about it instead of pushing it down deep, slapping on a fake smile, and waiting until i boil over.
if Adam is home, i tell him, “i am getting a little frustrated right now and i need a break.”
he has been really amazing to step in when he sees me getting tired and let me have a break {or quick nap}. 

and when he’s not home, i open it up to the universe & to God.
“right now, i’m getting really frustrated with Elijah. help me get through it.”
and from there i can understand how i’m really feeling and what i need to do to overcome it.
it helps me understand that i’m reaching my breaking point and i need to adjust my sails accordingly.
i try to get Elijah distracted with something else so i can go in the back room for a breather.
or we take a trip outside.
or {most of the time} i realize it’s time for Elijah’s nap and that’s why he’s being cranky anyways.

this has helped me tremendously!!
i cannot even fully describe how much better i can handle the day when i choose to honestly say,
“right now, my son is getting on my nerves.”
because when i am honest with myself & my feelings, i can then know how to be a better mother and change how i react.
i can give myself the mental & emotional break i need to be the best, healthiest, loving mother Elijah needs.

it might seem kind of backwards.
i mean, how could saying your kid frustrates you make you a better mom?
but it’s the act of being genuine with how i feel that has helped me find the way to get back on track.
and knowing i can take it all one day at a time so that i can give my son the most love he deserves.


Carly said...

Such a great post, thank you for your honesty!


Emma Frances said...

This is such good advice to remember with a little one on the way! Thank you for sharing!

Mar [] said...

I love how honest you are. Babies are tiring, and as mothers we can't always be our best for them.. Unfortunately! Knowing when to step away and take a breather is the best thing we can do when we need to.

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Amanda said...

what a wonderful post and such honesty, i love ya girl! you are an amazing mom and you can tell by lookin at such a happy baby :)

Alisha said...

Meg, you are an inspiration! Seriously. I hope that when I do have a little one that I remember this post and remember how you handled little Elijah. Thanks for the honesty about being a mom. I truly appreciate it :)

Misty said...

Thank you so much for your transparency!

Amy said...

Time-outs are one of the best inventions, ever. At least when I'm the one in time-out. I think every mom has those moments where they just need a break from their child. It in no way means that we love our children any less, it just helps us to get a breather and refresh ourselves to be able to cope. Great job for coming to that realization!

Kylie said...

I love this post! Too many moms are too hard on themselves...thanks for that little reminder that it's OK to be honest with yourself :)

Alexis Kaye said...

I love your honsty. You're doing great sweetie! :)

Meredith Tuttle said...

woo hoo for girls nights and other away time that keeps this mommy semi sane! great post! :)

dusanabotswana said...

love you honesty in this post and I can definitely see toddlers would have get on your last nerve at times and that is just life but certainly can see how parents wouldnt want to admit it at the same time so kuddos to you for being realistic and not suppressing those feelings, which is def more diff than it sounds!

Kassi @ Truly Lovely said...

Yay for honesty!!! It's comforting to know that it can be hard being a mommy and that you need to take time for you. Some people make it sound like it's the easiest thing in the world... But surely it can't be. It's refreshing to hear that it's hard and sometimes you need a break, but that break makes it's all better. :)

Skylar Magazine said...

Aww hang in there girl! Sounds like you and your hubby need a night out and some adult beverages. I'm not a mom, but I know from watching friends and seeing what they go through. I've been on the phone with my BFF and she's got the kids screaming in the background and I can tell she's ready to pull her hair out. She just got a divorce, so when she doesn't have the kids, she gets a little break. She misses them, but at the same time I do think she enjoys her time. You definitely need a break once in a while. You gotta have your me time. I don't think that's selfish at all. I've been hearing a lot about "attachment" parenting, it's when the parent is with the child 24:7, no mommy time at all. I think those parents are in for a rude awakening.

You sound like a wonderful caring mom to me.


A Proverbs 31 Wife said...

I know toddlers can certainly be a handful at times! But I love how you said that just admitting how you feel helps you deal with those feelings, so true!

Faith said...

I am so glad that you are finding ways to get through those tough toddler years! It is REALLY hard and you're right - you are not going to be happy & calm every moment of every day! I love how saying "I'm frustrated and need a time-out" is transitioning your attitude from "I can't take it" to "I can do something about this situation" :) I'll have to remember this the next time I am overwhelmed.

Janae Pettit said...

I'll be needing to remember this in another year (or less, probably). Also, your son is really adorable! Thanks for the open honesty and motivation to take time out to collect myself for my own son's sake. <3