The kids are fighting, the soup is burning, the carpet looks gray instead of beige and I am on the verge of crying. Why did I get myself into this mess?
Such was a day my life as a young mom. In desperation I cut out a stop sign out of white paper and wrote in bold, black marker: “DANGER!! Nervous Mother in for Repair!” I then told my kids that I had to have at least 10 – 15 minutes alone before I exploded! I stuck the sign on my bedroom door with scotch tape and listened to the peaceful sound of the door knob clicking as it closed me into my bedroom and I threw myself face up on the unmade bed.
Peace was short lived, however, as pleas of “Mommy, open the door!”, “This isn’t funny!” and “Heidi pulled my hair!” infiltrated through the space at the bottom of the door. My choice to take 10 – 15 minutes 2 – 3 times a day during the next few weeks continued to bring bangs and whines like storms, that threatened to invade my home. Yet, like storms, as my determination to take “repair time” continued, the storms began to decline and finally gave way as the kids realized that when I came out of the room I was a much nicer mom. The real proof of the success of the idea was when my daughter said “Maybe you need time out mom!”
It has been many years since I wrote that first sign. Now my daughters have children of their own and use signs of their own. And so, my stress-reduction tip for the day today is:
WHEN LIFE GETS TOUGH AND PEACE GROWS THIN
PUT OUT YOUR SIGN AND GO IN!