Mommy's Time Out is the name of a pretty decent and very affordable white wine, and it can also just be a really good idea. This morning as my kids were getting ready for school, I found myself inside a swirl of inappropriate chaos. By this, I mean avoidable chaos: if the shoes, coats, and books had been placed where I always ask them to be placed, and if the children had gone to sleep when I put them to bed at a reasonable hour last night, much of this brew-ha-ha would have simply not existed.
But even when you do things "just right," some mornings will get away from you. As I felt my blood pressure rise, I recognized and began to fear the approach of "Mommy Two Heads." This is a creature straight from your nightmares. She is a beast so loud and fearsome that she actually grows a second head, because having one mouth to yell out of is just not enough. But she is no fun. I don't like her. I don't want to let her out.
So, I do what the mom character is my soon-to-be-under-contract picture book (FYI: that is a desire, not an announcement) does. I give myself permission to take a time-out. I quietly head up to my room, close the door, and sit down next to a basket of picture books I recently checked out of the library. My children have grown beyond these books as bedtime stories, but I haven't. I let the din of downstairs fade away as I read book after book after book. It is such a delight to escape for a moment to a world where mother bear can hug baby bear and make everything all right. Delightful. Simple. Blood pressure falling, falling. Mommy Two Heads retreats.
I think that is why I enjoy writing picture books so much. In my stories, the children aren't perfect, but I can control what they do on the next page. My imagination can swirl around in some rhyming verse that can be later tucked away for just my pleasure. Delightful. Simple. Just the right kind of time out - the kind that makes me a better mom, just for having taken some time for myself.
Time outs - they're not just for kids! Give it a try. You'll be so glad you did.