Life and Health

Mommy Time Out…or Why We Need to Establish Boundaries and Self-Amusement

The Mr. has been away for work since Sunday, he came back today but I am so ready for him to come home.  I’m really not good at doing this by myself.  Sometimes I’m not good at doing this with him either but I really suck as a toddler mom (or just mom) some days.  And I’m not saying this out of a place of self-pity or a place of anxiety.  I am just not the best at handling the illogical little human that currently tries to run the house and throws a fit when things don’t go her way.  I didn’t realize milk tastes different when it’s in the blue cup versus the pink cup.  I didn’t realize food tastes different with the Moana fork but alas here we are.

Overall, I truly believe the Mr. and I are doing a pretty good job raising the munchkin.  I’m really happy with her, she’s a great kid, and I understand all the things she’s going through are completely developmentally appropriate.  Her big emotions and outbursts are because she doesn’t “get it” yet, but she’s only (almost) 3, she’s not supposed to get it yet.  There are adults out there who don’t get it yet and I have to remind myself that part of our job as parents is to help her get it; it’s to help her understand and weather the chaos of life and emotions and not contribute to it or brush them aside.

Even with all my “knowledge” and “understanding” about the developmentally appropriate things she’s doing I still reach the point where the calm, intellectual side goes out the window and I turn into a raging maniac because I just don’t understand why she NEEDS the pink cup right now when we’re in the car and there’s no way I can supply the pink cup even if I wanted to just to stop the screaming.

Yeah, that was me last night.

Daylight savings time has been brutal on us this week, mostly because we started it out taking the Mr. to the airport at 6am Sunday (which felt like 5).  We spent a lot of time watching TV on Sunday and then after school/work Monday we watched another movie.  And my toddler, probably like most, is in love with the cartoon characters and the moving pictures on the screen.  I’m not against screens as a whole but I have definitely seen in my own life the impact too much screen time can have on the munchkin (and myself).  We start succumbing to Newton’s first law of motion: a body at rest stays at rest.  And then we also become irritable, unfocused and angry.

We basically had a storm of emotions, stress, and tiredness yesterday that resulted in me having a less than stellar “mom” moment and giving myself a timeout. 

RELAX

According to the “timeout rules” it’s supposed to be 1 minute per age so that resulted in me trying to give myself 37 minutes of a break.  It really wasn’t a break because I ended up getting the dishes done and a few other little things around the house but the munchkin was able to occupy herself without a screen while I was able to get some of the adult things done that I needed to do.

I’ve noticed that my patience gets short when I don’t feel like I have time to get things done or have a moment to myself because I have a toddler hanging on me.  This is not her fault, we need to learn to get house work accomplished with her “help” (like vacuuming) and she needs to learn boundaries when we need to get important tasks done (like paying the bills).

Head on out

This is one of the milestones that I’ve started to recognize as we move into this transition.  She is becoming more and more her own person but she’s still relying on us to amuse her too much and we’re relying on the TV when we can’t figure out how to get her to detach from us.  The TV (or cell phone) is an easy fix to the issue at the time but it’s not helping her (or us) in the long run.  We’re going to continue working on setting up some boundaries and some healthy independent play for her as we move into the next phase of life.  When I put myself in time out going forward I want it to be a controlled parking maneuver and not an emergency brake moment.

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