Moms and Dads Need Time Outs, Too

How many of you parents have “blown up” or “lost it” lately?  I did — just the other day for a very silly reason.

Being a parent is hard — really hard. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Whether you’re a working or stay-at-home parent, the ability to juggle people, emotions, schedules, chores, errands, even sleep and eating schedules is a monumental task. And, how many of us are a bit sleep deprived?

When got upset the other day I yelled at my husband and daughter — not “at them” but in front of them. It was completely inappropriate. I couldn’t find something, we were running late getting out of the house in the morning and I hadn’t gotten a lot of sleep lately. As my daughter stared at me in complete surprise and confusion, I realized I had just had what could probably be described as an adult temper tantrum. I deserved a time out and I told her that. She giggled, and said, “You need to sit on the green couch.”

As parents we focus so much on our children and other people that we tend to forget about ourselves and our need for a little down time. I don’t think this is being selfish. Moms and dads deserve some time off to run, go watch a game with a buddy, have dinner “with the girls”, even take a bubble bath. But how often do we do this? Probably not enough.

My time is running early in the mornings on the weekends. But I’m exhausted at the end of the day and don’t get out much during the work week. Clearly I need to do more of that.

All parents need time away from their children to regroup, be adults and recharge. Otherwise they may eventually really will need a true time out — as I did. So even if you wander around Target by yourself, or sit in the backyard with the latest Sports Illustrated, do it.  Everyone will be a lot happier.

–Sara Locricchio, Parenting Program Volunteer

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