Moms need time outs too

Moms need time outs too

Moms need time-outs tooThe best lesson I’ve learned since becoming a mom is very simple: Make Time for Yourself.

We give our kids time-outs when they misbehave, allowing them a few minutes to self-soothe. After their time-out they usually are calmer and able to be social again.

Many moms suffer from burnout due to constantly giving of themselves to their children without ever replenishing the well that the kids are drawing from. We also need time outs for the same reasons as our kids – to self-soothe.

If you’re always doing, doing, doing, you’re likely to feel resentful, and kids pick that up,” says Fran Stott, Ph.D., a child psychologist with the Erikson Institute, a graduate school in child development, in Chicago.

Since becoming a mom I have given 100% of my time and attention to take care of my family often times running myself ragged with exhaustion. Once I get to the point of exhaustion I feel resentment, I end up scolding and being an impatient and grumpy mom. If this sounds familiar to you – you need a time out!

A time out for a mom uses the same principle as the time we give our kids. Positive time out teaches the valuable life skill of learning to take time to feel what you feel, and to calm down until you can behave in more constructive ways. – from

How you can make time out for yourself

Find a hobby and spend time doing what you love

I have many hobbies mainly crafting accessories and fun up-cycled items.  I find that spending time to create something pretty with my own hands stimulates me.

A monthly visit to the salon

I treat myself at least once a month to a visit to the salon. A girl can’t give out all her secrets, but it takes time and effort to look groomed and it gives me great pleasure to have someone else prime and pamper me on a regular basis. My role as mom entails a lot of dirty work so when I make an effort to schedule a trip to the salon and leave with at least a beautiful manicure, I feel ready to tackle the world again!

Take the time to read

I love reading! As with watching a good movie, it helps me to escape my reality for a little while and get lost in another world. If you don’t like reading, treat yourself to a monthly subscription of your favorite magazine. It’s good to keep up to date with what’s happening beyond your world.

Get some exercise

Go for a walk to clear your head or go to gym. Personally I hate the gym and I hate exercise too, but even going for a long walk gives me a good chance to think and enjoy the fresh air which helps me to stay calm and grounded.

Free your evenings

When the kids are young it’s not always possible but as soon as possible, get them into an evening routine with a set early bedtime. I don’t think I would cope with my daily life if my kids were still needing me after eight o’ clock in the evenings. The benefit of a set bedtime means a few blissful hours to yourself before you go to sleep to relax and unwind.

I hope you will take this to heart and take better care of yourself. As moms we do tend to get exhausted often but hopefully by taking better care of yourself you will be able to cope better with all the demands on your time. After all…

“If Mamma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”

Over to you

Do you agree that you are the most important person in your home? What do you do to take care of yourself? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please share if you found this post useful.



Anthea O'Neill is a wife and proud mom of three. She is front-end web developer, blogger and a self-proclaimed glitter & yarn addict. Anthea's Project Life is a blog for the modern mom.

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  1. So true Anthea. I’m really struggling to find some me time. It’s really so important. I agree with the early bedtime – it really helps me have some time to myself after he’s asleep. But, for some reason my LO just refuses to go to bed early these days!! 🙁

  2. […] such coping mechanism is to give yourself a time-out. Go for a walk, read a magazine, make yourself a cup of tea and sip it slowly. You will find that […]

  3. This is so true; I really struggle with the daily grind of being a mother if I don’t have some time to myself. And contrary to my husband’s idea, going to the supermarket is not ‘me time’! I love to swim, and try to schedule an hour or two in the pool every now and again but I really need to be firmer, put it in the diary, and take that time!

    1. Anthea says:

      I just read one of our other fellow bloggers suggested scheduling our me-time and thought that was pretty genius – so we’ll have to diarise it and stick to it!

  4. Well I’m caught! I am a work at home mom of 2 (9 & 12 yr old) little girls. I totally don’t take time out for myself. I’m also enrolled in an accelerated 1 year Masters program. I listen to music and audiobooks on the train ride to school and I read (do text books count lol). On a more serious note, thanks for the post. I will make an effort to schedule more me time because I am a better version of me when I am sane. I think my husband will appreciate a saner me as well 🙂

    1. Anthea says:

      Wow that is a full plate! Moms really know how to multitask so I’m sure you can squeeze in some time-out for yourself in there SOMEWHERE! Make it a priority to take care of you!

  5. pamela says:

    Hi there. I wholeheartedly agree with ‘time out’ for moms. My sanity was jogging from 5kms per day to marathons over weekends as a stay-at-home mom. Now that I’m a working mom I find I still need the relaxation I get from exercise and because hitting the road only involves a pair of running shoes, I could do it whenever and wherever I am. The other day I found myself walking for 4hrs equipped with 4 naartjies(for easy peeling) and 4 bananas so I was totally hydrated with no headaches.

    1. Anthea says:

      I’ve often heard other moms also say that exercise clears the head but 4 hours is just insanity 🙂

  6. Some great advise in here Anthea, and The Time Doctor whole heartidly agrees

    1. Anthea says:

      Thanks Mike, well you are the expert!

  7. My daughter is a work-at-home Mom of a 4 & 6 year old. I keep telling her she needs to take care of herself. Sent her the link to your blog.

    1. Anthea says:

      Thank you Tammy! Thank goodness she has a Mom like you!

  8. My favorite outlet for me-time is reading, and I always look forward to reading at night, and for even longer on Saturday mornings!Scrapbooking with friends when my children were younger was very soothing, since we all reminisced about positive memories!

    1. Anthea says:

      Yay another bookworm! I also enjoy scrapbooking for the same reason – to cherish those positive memories!

  9. Loved this. The other day I actually put myself in an official “time out” when the grandkids were here. I sat in the chair they designated and listened to my ipod for 10 minutes so I could better words.

    1. Anthea says:

      Oh you’ve got it then! Lol!

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