Its common in mom circles to have a really good understanding of what a “time out” is. You know, usually it’s that thing you give your toddler for throwing a fit in the grocery store check out lane.
We fully recognize that when our child is too sleepy, too hungry or too stimulated then we have to give her an opportunity to calm down. As in take a time out from whatever may be causing her distress.
I find it really interesting that we moms, never consider this concept of time out for ourselves.
Most of us, when we think about self-care or “me time” we think about taking a bath, doing some yoga, going or a walk or having a girls night. All good things I must say.
But what about a REAL time out.
You know one, where you’re NOT scheduled. One where you’ve consciously decided NOT to do anything. Not even take a bath!
This August I, for the first time in a really super duper long time, took a vacation! Nope I didn’t go anywhere (so I guess I should call it a staycation).
But I had absolutely nothing on my schedule for ME to do. I had no plans of being productive. No plans of anything.
And I gotta tell you the mental space it created for me was surprising. But why are time outs such a beneficial component to staying a healthy happy mom?
Well lets draw on our experience with a tantrum-ing toddler.
ITS ALL ABOUT PRATYAHARA
When we place little bits in a corner, where its quiet, where the simulation is far less than it was just a few seconds ago, what we are really encouraging our little one to practice is the yogic principle of pratyahara (sense withdrawal).
Yogis practice pratyahara because we understand that the world outside of us is really stimulating. There are thousands of sights, sounds, fragrances and sensations that we can experience. Our brains are required to process all of this stimuli and when it does it causes reactions in our bodies (increased heart rate, breathing etc).
After a while all this processing of stimuli just gets to be too much and our brains and bodies need a break (ie. A time out), before we start feeling irritable and cranky just like a toddler who’s reacedh his edge and throws a tantrum!
And so we too, adult, capable women also need time outs and vacations. But how should you go about getting such things when you have a house full of kids and sh#t to do?
Here are a few suggestions;
HIRE SOMEONE: If you can, seriously do it! Hire a sitter to watch the kids. Hire a cleaner to clean the house. Get someone to take over YOUR duties on a regular basis so you can get away by yourself with no agenda.
HAVE A DAD’S DAY OUT: Get your partner in on the game and ask them to take the kids out and do something fun with them for a few hours. Here’s the catch, when they’re gone, don’t clean, or work or otherwise be productive. Instead sit around and do nothing until you just “feel’ like getting up to do something.
MEDITATE: Take 15 to 20 minutes each day (doesn’t matter what time) to sit and do nothing (AKA meditate). I’m a super lazy at meditating and don’t use a mantra or tools or any aids most of the time. So, don’t let not having a mala or not having a set mantra stop you from starting this incredibly helpful practice. Curious if meditation can help calm the chaos in your mom life? Check out my Mom’s Only Meditation course. Learn more at https://nourished-motherhood.thinkific.com/courses/Meditationcourse
As a mama who is used to running around like a crazy person I am just now embracing this idea of time out and vacation. And I encourage you to try it out, just for a little while and see if it doesn’t change your mom life!
Here’s to a calm and peaceful week mama!