Take a timeout

Recently, Mark and I discovered the quickest way to snap our oldest daughter out of a tantrum is the simple phrase, “It sounds like you need some quiet time in your room.”  Boom.  Tantrum 1 stops.   Unfortunately, Tantrum 2 begins.  She weaves together a frustrated blend of foot stomps and whining, protesting the impending alone time.  Any other Mamas experience this phenomenon?  In the eyes of an energetic toddler, quiet time comes across as a punishment of the worst degree.  Present these same terms to any overtired, overextended Mama and she would probably cry with joy!

As a proud member of that overextended-Mama-team, I can vouch that a much-needed break would be an incredible gift…in theory.  In actuality, I mentally begin listing the reasons why I could not possibly take it.  I don’t have time.  I am too busy.  There’s a million things to get done!  Sound familiar?

Think about it…when was the last time you set aside time for YOU?  I’m not talking about that last-minute Target errand on your way home from work without the kids.  I’m talking about real, intentional time for yourself.  Better yet, when was the last time you did this without being plagued by “Mom guilt”? If your answer is “I can’t remember,” let’s change that…TODAY! 

To kickstart this change, I’ve designed a simple (and pretty!) tool for you.  It’s my way of saying thank you for taking your time, today, just to read this.  Simply enter your email below to get your gift straight away.

Find your time

Brace  yourself–here comes the hard part.  Just like any new habit, finding time for yourself requires a mindful commitment and follow-through.  If, like me, you plan to dedicate your time to fitting in a daily workout, it might require setting your alarm a little earlier.  I will be the first to admit that this is not the easiest change.  Currently, I am in a very committed relationship with my snooze button, and I often engage in heated debates with myself about the pros and cons of staying in bed versus going for a run.  Trust me, though, when I tell you that the discomforts of an early wake-up are far outweighed by the happy results–literally.  I truly feel that my “ME” time actually helps me be a better Mom.  Working out first thing in the morning energizes me for the day, boosts my mood in a positive way, and gives me a little extra dose of patience for those inevitable toddler meltdowns…most days.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Mark’s part in all this, too.  His incredible support and understanding are unparalleled.  His encouragement really helps ease the guilt, especially if I need to ask for time later in the day because of a missed morning session.

Dedicate your time to CAMO

Are you still hesitating?  I imagine your brain buzzing with thoughts like, “This all sounds great, but…” (fill in the rest).  But, I don’t want to sacrifice my sleepBut, I don’t want to workout every dayBut, I am a single Mom.  I hear ‘ya.  Your “ME” time is a totally personal choice.  It is your chance to Create A Meaningful Outlet for yourself.  CAMO (get it?!!)  The most important thing is to allow yourself that time.  Write it down!  Hint, hint–this is where your free gift comes into play!  Invest in the time to take care of yourself.  You ARE worth it!

~XO, Brooke