Originally published Friday, 24 February 2012.
(This post is also featured on BlogHer.com today.)
I think it’s fair to say that as moms, we start out the day with the best intentions.
We want to raise our kids the right way. We want to affirm them, empower them, yet give them the boundaries that they’ll surely come up against in the real world.
So where does losing my cool (a gracious way of putting it!) fit into this picture?
I know when it’s coming. So do the kids. I’m getting progressively more irritated. My tone has gone from amiable, to neutral, to edgy. Body language – not good. Thoughts – not cheerful. Even as I bark out the command, order, or consequence, I realize that it’s not being done in a helpful way. Or even in a nice way.
Sometimes, I’m learning, I just need a time out.
There are just times when I can’t hang it all together as a mom. I don’t want to be reasonable. I don’t feel like being sweet. I want the outcome to be exactly as I say, and I want it now. I don’t want to explain myself or even be fair. I just want it done because I’m the parent! Yes, I wish for the old days when children were seen and not heard – at least for 30 minutes!
Those are the times, I’m learning, when it might be good for me to take a time-out myself.
Because I’m not perfect. I don’t always have it together. Sometimes, the gang is just going to have to wait while I gather myself a little better.
I’ll go and take time with my Heavenly father. He listens patiently to my complaints, concerns, and regrets. He reminds me that He is slow to anger with me. Can I extend that grace to my own children in the current situation?
Then I can return to my family, ready to keep trying.
Isn’t that what so much of love is about?
The commitment to keep trying, even in the face of all that imperfection.
Question: What about you? Do you ever take a time out from your family? Does it help?
(photo credit: Photostock)
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I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas. You can share in the comment box! (just below or upper left)
Dr. Ann is a Christian M.D., wife to a fantastic husband, and mom to a lively gang of three. At The Marriage Checklist Ann blogs about marriage, motherhood, and more! She helps women build better life balance and grow great marriages. Ann blogs on Crosswalk.com, and has been featured on BlogHer.com, Fox news, and Good Morning America. She loves that every day we can choose to take our best steps forward – for God, for the people in our lives, and for ourselves.
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