Sometimes we just need a break from our kids. There’s nothing wrong with saying that out loud; it doesn’t make you a bad parent.
Whether you need a snack to refuel your body, to watch Netflix to refuel your brain, or just to stare at a wall for a few minutes, there are many things you can do to take a break from your kids. The last thing they need to do is see us stressed out without any solution to rectify the issue.
Try taking some deep breaths, texting a friend, or get moving a get outside. You’d be surprised how good it feels to take out the trash or go to the mailbox when you can’t focus and you’re stuck inside with children. If there’s something else going on which prevents your ability to take a break from your kids and you can’t get it off your mind, write down what’s going through your head, sort of like a diary entry. It’ll help you tremendously.
But sometimes you can just be mentally and physically exhausted. Set a timer and take a nap, but for no longer than 30 minutes. (After that period, most people hit REM and wake up feeling just as tired from a nap as they were in the morning.) And once you’re up from your nap, drink some caffeinated tea, soda, or coffee. Also, sometimes the kids, well, won’t shut up! And there’s no escaping them! Or is there? Listen to some music or white noise when you’re stuck with your kids and can’t find a space to yourself, like a road trip.
After using these tactics to take a break from your kids, consider stopping the following with your kids to keep that level of peace in your life, adapted from the recommendations of author, certified breathwork coach, and Writing to Heal facilitator Alex Elle:
- Arguing with them
- Overcommitting your time to their activities when you don’t have the energy
- Accepting & excusing their behavior because that was more comfortable than change
- Discarding your boundaries to fit their lives
- Holding on to limiting beliefs about your life, self-worth, and potential as a mother
- Pretending to be happy when you are hurting
- Silencing your voice & not naming your needs
- Overthinking about your past & things you cannot change
- Going along to get along
- Overlooking your blessings & comparing your kids to someone else’s
- Abandoning yourself, your truth, and your integrity to “fit in”
- Waiting for their validation to boost your confidence