Mommies need timeouts, too

Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Mommy had a meltdown the other day, and, like most mommy meltdowns, it wasn't pretty. I wasn't proud of my behavior. When I saw the look of horror on my children's faces, I knew I handled the situation poorly. Shame on me for coming to that realization only after seeing their faces. Clearly, I should have known better.

If I discipline my children for poor behavior, shouldn't I do the same for myself? Why should I be entitled to behave differently than that which I expect of my children? Well, I shouldn't, and doing so sets a bad example. Yes, we all short circuit at one time or another. It's no excuse. If I am teaching my children to think before they react, I should practice what I preach as well.

In light of my shameful and horrid behavior, I have instituted "Mommy's Timeout" for myself. What's good for them is good for me. During this timeout, I will:
- Promptly remove myself from the situation
- Reflect on my behavior and how I could have handled it differently
- Write down what I was thinking and how I was feeling
- Write down how I think my children were feeling
- Write down how I will handle similar situations differently in the future
- Share the above with my children

My timeout will have no pre-set time frame. When I've had an adequate amount of time to reflect, I will return and share my thoughts with my girls. My hope is that if/when a meltdown occurs, I will quickly learn from my behavior and the resulting timeout so that timeouts will be infrequent. I also hope that my girls will have a better understanding of what triggered my meltdown so that we can work together to avoid the dreaded mommy meltdown.

After all, no one wants to see the mommy monster rear her ugly head.

If you have a tips for handling mommy meltdowns, please share. I'm all ears!

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