Ever catch yourself having an out-of-body experience mid-melt-down, and realize that you've just totally lost your shit and are military-style screaming at a 7-year-old because he's not tying his shoes correctly? Please say yes, so I can know that I'm not the only asshole out there...
Here's the deal... As a mom, it's really, super-duper, mega, wildly important that one of the bazillion tasks you have to complete every day is "Mommy's time-out time." It doesn't mean that you're a sucky Mom because you need a break. It makes you a forward-thinking pioneer (stay with me here). If you were a State employee, you'd have mandatory 10-minute breaks every 2 hours to keep your mind and your work fresh, and you'd get a lunch break in the middle of your 8-hour shift whether you were hungry or not. When your job is to be a mom, you work 24 hours a day, and you're the boss, the janitor, the human resource department, the taxi driver, the personal shopper, and the daycare provider. You deserve a few breaks. Fact: You will feel a whole ton worse for having a temper tantrum in front of your kids than you will about taking a break for a few minutes.
Here are 10 things you can do for 10 minutes to take a breather:
1. Workout. Ugh, I know, right? But, yes, seriously. You can do jumping jacks or lift 5lb weights in the kids' playroom, or even go for a jog on your hamster wheel if it's within earshot of your kiddos. Do any of you remember this scene from Legally Blonde? "Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins make you happy! Happy people just don't shoot their husbands. They just don't!"
2. If you're lucky enough to still have kids who nap, spend the first 10 minutes of their nap painting your nails. Anything else that needs to get done can wait until your nails are dry and you feel pretty.
3. Find an episode of Sponge Bob online, plunk the kiddos on a beanbag chair in front of the computer, and go have a cup of coffee. Outside.
4. Make folding laundry work to your advantage. I used to hate folding laundry. With a passion. Then I realized that it was the perfect excuse to take some time away. Your husband will be thrilled to watch the kiddos for a few minutes, thinking you're just taking an enthusiastic new approach to your Susie-Homemaker status, and you'll have some time to yourself completing a methodical task to clear your mind. Maybe it's because I have a tiny bit of OCD, but I find it very comforting to just stand there next to my pile of clothing, fold one thing at a time, and watch a mass of crumpled chaos transform into neatly sorted piles.
5. Send your kids to play the who-gets-their-room-the-cleanest-in-10-minutes-wins game and read a few of your favorite blogs (like this one!*). *fingers are crossed.
6. Take the kids to the bookstore or library (this breaks up the regular routine, as an added bonus), let them pick out their own book, and don't let them read it in the car on the way home. When you get home, send everyone to their own quiet reading nook (including you).
7. Buy yourself flowers when you're at the grocery store. OK, this takes way less than 10 minutes, but when you get them home, spend a few minutes arranging them in a pretty vase, and put them where you can see them from the room where your kids are often the most insane. When you feel that your blood's about to boil, look over at the flowers that you bought to remind yourself how much you rock.
8. Change your clothes. Why? Because I said so. Go hide in your closet, pick out something different, put it on, and come back out with a different attitude also.
9. Go on Pintrest and search "iPhone auto-correct." Get a great ab workout and some laugh therapy by reading all the funny, unintentional, and wildly embarrassing things that people have accidentally texted to their moms, bosses, boyfriends, etc.
10. Offer to go pick up take-out for your husband. You'll get to listen to whatever you want as loud as you want in your car on the way there because...wait for it...You'll be the only one in it! Unless you take the dog too. PS: the dog needs a break sometimes also. Maybe take the dog with you...
Thanks for stopping by,