Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mommy Time Out

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 6:39 AM 0 comments
Time out is a new concept (in the grand scheme of parenting) that we use with our children. The idea behind it is to isolate children from fun and make them do the one thing most of them can't stand: be still and alone.

While some will argue for time out and others will argue against it, I see it as a useful tool, especially for children who can't stand to miss out on something. Why is it effective? Mainly, I think, because our children are constantly engaged, entertained, and enticed. There is always something to hold their attention or keep them busy.

So, even though it can work, should time out be used only for punishment? Shouldn't our children have the blessing of down time? Time to be creative. Time to spend with themselves and be okay with that. Time to explore their world on their terms. This sounds wonderful! And I work diligently to create this environment. (Yes, I'm one of those moms who limits tv/computer to 1-2 hours a day and occasionally call a no-media day.)

What about us? We moms always have something going on. If we're not running our children somewhere, taking care of their needs, educating them, catching up on the computer, managing family life and budget, there's a ton of other things calling our attention.

So, when's our time out?

Yesterday, mine was at about 12:30 p.m. I was getting grumpy and needed a time out. And, I explained that to my kids (after I'd had a short break and improved my mood.)

God declared a day of rest for a reason. WE NEED IT! And while I haven't quite figured out how to have a full day consistently each week of rest, I try to remember to rest regularly.

Rest, not sleep. Rest, not a vegetable state in front of the television. But actual rest. Sitting and doing nothing for at least a half hour.

And this is hard! Especially when we're surrounded by endless tasks. But, if we as moms don't recharge, don't take at least a little break, we won't have as much to give to our children.

While the little people in my life and yours may not understand this tangibly, the will get it. This is evidenced by what my eight-year-old said to me yesterday.

Me: "Thank you for letting Mommy rest. I was getting grumpy and needed a time out."

Her: "So you can be a good example?"

"Yes." I smile. "So I can be a good example."

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Doubting Mom

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 3:03 PM 0 comments
Do you ever doubt yourself as a mom? Do you question the choices you make? Wonder if there isn't more that you could do? That you should do? If so, you're not alone.

The name of my blog suggests that I might have all the answers to perfect motherhood. That no matter the question, there is a straight-forward, black and white answer. And while there is a lot that I know about parenting - I've studied it, read dozens of books about it, taught it, and experienced eight intense years of it - there is still a world of things I don't know. I could give you the textbook answer and best advice in what to do or where to go for the best solution for a lot of problems that come up, but one thing I've learned is that mothering takes on a whole new element when you're in the throes of it and your emotions get all tangled up in it.

Some days I'm tired and don't feel like disciplining right away.

Some days I want to work on my stuff and let the kids play and make a mess all day.

Some days I feed them pizza and french fries and no fruit or veggies.

Some days I totally and completely doubt my ability as a mom.

I had such a day earlier this week as I flaked out and felt I couldn't do a thing more without laying down and recharching. A nap? In the middle of the day? Seriously, what kind of mom am I?

Well, okay, a nap isn't so unusual in my life. I get up early to beat the crowd (i.e. the kids) and stay up late to spend time with hubby. But on this particular day, for some unknown reason, my exhaustion caused me to question myself as a mom. Was laying down and letting them have the run of the house for an hour the best thing for my kids?

Maybe. Because I felt a lot better afterwards. The house was locked up and anything unsafe also stays on lock-down. And my eight-year-old will definitely come and get me if anyone's up to mischief. Oh, and by the way, my rest was interrupted several times as I was crawled on, snuggled with, and asked questions.

So, while I'm not sure about myself and my ability to raise these four precious gifts called children into God-fearing, people-loving, balanced adults, I have come to the conclusion that taking an hour off once in a while does not define me as a mom.

My overall dedication to raising my children to the best of my ability (and constantly working on improving my knowledge and dedication) defines me a mom.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mommy Time Out

Time out is a new concept (in the grand scheme of parenting) that we use with our children. The idea behind it is to isolate children from fun and make them do the one thing most of them can't stand: be still and alone.

While some will argue for time out and others will argue against it, I see it as a useful tool, especially for children who can't stand to miss out on something. Why is it effective? Mainly, I think, because our children are constantly engaged, entertained, and enticed. There is always something to hold their attention or keep them busy.

So, even though it can work, should time out be used only for punishment? Shouldn't our children have the blessing of down time? Time to be creative. Time to spend with themselves and be okay with that. Time to explore their world on their terms. This sounds wonderful! And I work diligently to create this environment. (Yes, I'm one of those moms who limits tv/computer to 1-2 hours a day and occasionally call a no-media day.)

What about us? We moms always have something going on. If we're not running our children somewhere, taking care of their needs, educating them, catching up on the computer, managing family life and budget, there's a ton of other things calling our attention.

So, when's our time out?

Yesterday, mine was at about 12:30 p.m. I was getting grumpy and needed a time out. And, I explained that to my kids (after I'd had a short break and improved my mood.)

God declared a day of rest for a reason. WE NEED IT! And while I haven't quite figured out how to have a full day consistently each week of rest, I try to remember to rest regularly.

Rest, not sleep. Rest, not a vegetable state in front of the television. But actual rest. Sitting and doing nothing for at least a half hour.

And this is hard! Especially when we're surrounded by endless tasks. But, if we as moms don't recharge, don't take at least a little break, we won't have as much to give to our children.

While the little people in my life and yours may not understand this tangibly, the will get it. This is evidenced by what my eight-year-old said to me yesterday.

Me: "Thank you for letting Mommy rest. I was getting grumpy and needed a time out."

Her: "So you can be a good example?"

"Yes." I smile. "So I can be a good example."

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Doubting Mom

Do you ever doubt yourself as a mom? Do you question the choices you make? Wonder if there isn't more that you could do? That you should do? If so, you're not alone.

The name of my blog suggests that I might have all the answers to perfect motherhood. That no matter the question, there is a straight-forward, black and white answer. And while there is a lot that I know about parenting - I've studied it, read dozens of books about it, taught it, and experienced eight intense years of it - there is still a world of things I don't know. I could give you the textbook answer and best advice in what to do or where to go for the best solution for a lot of problems that come up, but one thing I've learned is that mothering takes on a whole new element when you're in the throes of it and your emotions get all tangled up in it.

Some days I'm tired and don't feel like disciplining right away.

Some days I want to work on my stuff and let the kids play and make a mess all day.

Some days I feed them pizza and french fries and no fruit or veggies.

Some days I totally and completely doubt my ability as a mom.

I had such a day earlier this week as I flaked out and felt I couldn't do a thing more without laying down and recharching. A nap? In the middle of the day? Seriously, what kind of mom am I?

Well, okay, a nap isn't so unusual in my life. I get up early to beat the crowd (i.e. the kids) and stay up late to spend time with hubby. But on this particular day, for some unknown reason, my exhaustion caused me to question myself as a mom. Was laying down and letting them have the run of the house for an hour the best thing for my kids?

Maybe. Because I felt a lot better afterwards. The house was locked up and anything unsafe also stays on lock-down. And my eight-year-old will definitely come and get me if anyone's up to mischief. Oh, and by the way, my rest was interrupted several times as I was crawled on, snuggled with, and asked questions.

So, while I'm not sure about myself and my ability to raise these four precious gifts called children into God-fearing, people-loving, balanced adults, I have come to the conclusion that taking an hour off once in a while does not define me as a mom.

My overall dedication to raising my children to the best of my ability (and constantly working on improving my knowledge and dedication) defines me a mom.
 

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