Monday, January 30, 2012

Sometimes I Wish Someone Would Give Me a Time Out

Sometimes I wish someone would come along and give me a time out. BabbyMama, they'd say, go sit in a chair in a cozy corner. I'm setting a timer, and you can't get up until it beeps. Some people are good at self-imposed time outs. They know when they need to decompress from life. They contentedly acknowledge that while they can do anything, they can't do everything.

Usually, these people are older and had plenty of time to learn that lesson in their 20s and 30s!

What would my time out really look like? Maybe just sitting down and watching a movie (without being parked on the stationary bike or sewing or painting). Or going for a walk (where I didn't feel rushed to get to a destination or to get home before the Babby demands it/wets her undies). Maybe laying in bed and getting a leg rub (that wasn't a precursor to conception-related activities). Or a night out (where I didn't feel compelled to get home at a reasonable hour for work the next day).

Part of the reason I'm thinking about some sort of mommy's time out is because I now work a six-day week. Not officially, as in, not at what I like to call my job-job. It's just gotten to the point where I legitimately need a sixth day dedicated to work for freelance tasks if I'm not going to spend every evening working.

In some ways, it's a great sign that I need to do that. It means I'm getting editing and writing business - enough of it that trying to cram it into 45 minutes worth of useable lunchtime and the post-bedtime evening hours is no longer feasible. A few more clients, and it's back to working from home for me. (So, um, please pass the above link along to anyone who might want my services!)

It also means, though, that I'm doing a significant amount of work outside of... work. Like eight hours worth, which I try to cram into one weekend day so I can be sure that I will not waste the other weekend day also trying to work. That other weekend day is kind of like a time out, but it's a family day and sometimes there's visiting so not what I'd call a true time out.

How do you give yourself time outs? Or do you have a partner or parent or mentor who forces them upon you?

time out


  1. I've started asking for timeouts. A couple nights a month, I ask my husband to be a single parent for a few hours (usually the 2-3 hours between supper and the girls' bedtime). I lock myself in our room and poke around online, read blogs, work on my blog (which I find very relaxing) or just play games on my phone. Even if the girls are crying, my husband handles it on his own, along with clean up and getting them to bed, so I can get a real break.

  2. Hah! I tell Chris I am going to bed with a book and leave him downstairs with the kids. Rare but sometimes necessary.

  3. @Sandra and Audrey The BabbyDaddy is totally 100% behind my having time outs. My main problem is finding the motivation to take them - and then to ignore the 20 things that need doing so I can actually take my time out.

  4. I am not good at taking breaks until it almost too late and I am near a mental and physical breakdown. But lately I have been snatching time for myself here and there and it's really helped.

  5. I used to be horrible at taking time out. Now I think I want time in, and I wish I could figure out how to get more freelance work ...

  6. This makes me think of a Sabbath rest. Not the 'going to church every Sunday' but the God created us to need physical, emotional, and spiritual rest. I know it looks different for everyone (what relaxes me would not relax Micah) and yet so important for us. I hope you can find a time-out solution that leaves you *guiltless* (which I think is the hardest thing as a woman, mama, wife, etc).

  7. I tagged you in a meme today! feel free to participate or not. :-)


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