Mommy's On Time Out

Posted by: , December 28, 2010 in 10:57 am

jail Mommy's On Time OutThis weekend I had to put myself on time out.

After I had spent my entire Saturday morning cleaning and doing laundry, I found that somehow, my laptop keyboard was fouled up. This may have had something to do with either my four-year-old son or my 40-year-old husband. Whoever or whatever the cause, it was a problem. The space bar and several keys did not work.

I can handle the usual stress of parenting children with Asperger Syndrome, ADHD, and anxiety. I can get the house semi-ready for Thanksgiving. I can pay the bills, do the laundry, make dinner, get the oil changed in the van. I can do all those things. But if I don’t have the Internet then I’m just a housewife with almost no connection to the outside world. Of all things, this set me off into some kind of momfrenzy tailspin.

geeksquad Mommy's On Time OutI decided that all five other members of my family needed to do some cleaning while I went to Best Buy to have the Geeks take a look at the keyboard. Let’s take a moment to pause here: I wasn’t punishing anyone for messing up my laptop. Or maybe I was. It’s just that the laptop was the techno-straw that broke this mommy’s back.

I went to Best Buy, where the Geeks told me that my laptop would need to be sent away for four weeks to be repaired. Uh, no. I can’t do the blog from my phone. So I had to get a keyboard to dock into my laptop, which kind of limits the whole convenient laptopiness thing.

I went home and sat down on the couch to start Frankenstein-ing up my computer with the docked keyboard. I sat down on a plate which was jammed into the couch cushions.

I’m not proud of what comes next.

I winged the (plastic) plate, Frisbee-style, across the room.

It wasn’t in the direction of anyone, but still. My two older kids were in the room. So not the behavior I want to be modeling. I did what I would do if one of my kids acted out like that. I stood up and announced that obviously I wasn’t in a good enough mood to be around other people right now, and I put myself on time out.

In our house, time out is over when you’re ready to be nice, be a good listener, and cooperate. It took me an hour of writing to get to that point.

frisbeeplate Mommy's On Time OutAt one point during my time-out, it dawned on me that putting myself on time-out is genius. I was all, “why haven’t I thought of this before?” And “how is it possible that kids don’t like time-out? This is great!”

After my time-out was over, I apologized to my family. (Also what I would have made my kids do.)

I might need to do that more often. Not throw plates more often. Just the taking a break part. Maybe if I took a break more often, I wouldn’t need to go on time-out in the first place.


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