Mommy can’t help you right now, she’s in time out.
Summer. It’s finally here. Time for BBQs, pool parties, and of course, the ever-present soundtrack of your kids’ voices on repeat yelling ”Mommyyyyyyy!” This summer, we’re turning the tables. Here’s a revolutionary thought: what if the timeouts weren’t just for the kids?
I have mixed feelings about summer. It’s exciting to think of all the adventures we’ll have, all the memories we’ll make. But it’s also scary to say goodbye to the structure and daily routine that school provides. My kids are amazing little people, but they also work my nerves. The constant bickering, the fights over toys, the way they figure out how to be constantly bored despite having more toys than should be legal. It all threatens to push me past my limit, and soon enough, I end up frustrated and overwhelmed.
That’s why I put myself in time out sometimes.
The Mom Timeout is about sanity. It’s about granting yourself permission to take a step back, breathe, and recharge. After all, you’re not a superhero. The cape doesn’t fit, trust me, I’ve tried.
Some of you might feel guilty at this proposition. “But I can’t just leave my kids to their own devices!” I hear you. Relax. I’m not suggesting we ship them off to Neverland while we take a tropical vacation, as tempting as that might sound. Rather, it’s about carving out little nuggets of time for you. To be you. Not mom, not the referee, not the chauffeur, just you.
Maybe it’s just 20 minutes of immersing yourself in a trashy novel, or soaking in the tub without any unexpected ‘guests.’ Maybe it’s taking a quiet walk around the block, just you and your thoughts. Or maybe it’s literally sitting in a closet, savoring the hallowed silence, and pretending you’re invisible for a brief, blissful moment.
You see, this isn’t just about moms kicking back. It’s about survival. Our kids need us at our best, and we can’t be our best when we’re mentally depleted.
So, as the days get longer and the chorus of “Mom, I’m bored!” amplifies, remember that it’s okay to hit the pause button. To catch your breath. To recharge. Because while we love our kids to the moon and back, even the most patient among us have our limits. And that’s okay.
Being the best mom doesn’t mean being on duty 24/7. It means showing our kids that we value ourselves too. So, put your feet up, take that Mom Timeout, and tackle summer head-on. Trust me, both you and your kids will be better for it.
Amber Wardell is an author and doctor of psychology who focuses on Marriage, Motherhood and Mental Health. Subscribe to the FREE newsletter to make sure you never miss out on daily content!