Saturday, October 27, 2007

How to get a break

Here are tricks for Moms who desperately need a break. All tried and true!

1. Grab something to read, and lock yourself into the bathroom.

Turn on the fan so you don't hear any fighting, tattling, phone, etc. Obviously, if you have a baby, make sure s/he is in a safe place first. Even just 15 minutes of quiet time can do a lot for your morale. I enjoy reading baby magazines that are always being sent to me for free for a good laugh. The parenting advice in them is just so hilarious, plus all of a sudden my kids look like angels. ("What to do if your 6 year old likes to bite", "How to potty-train your 1st grader", etc.) The magazines always go in the trash the same day I get them, but I do enjoy reading them for comic relief in the meantime.

2. Send all the kids to go clean their room(s)

Even if they never pick up a single thing, they will suddenly play very contently with their toys because it beats having to clean up, and the last thing they want to do is draw attention by being loud and obnoxious. Of course, when you have had your break, you still need to follow through and make them clean up, or else they will never do it when you tell them to.

3. Take a nap

Little ones can be made to lie down with you (that way you can make sure they are lying down still and not getting into stuff), older kids can be told that if they don't play very quietly (i.e. puzzles) they will have to lie down, too.

4. Make them take a nap

In our house, everyone 4 and under must take a nap every day. No discussions about it. Older kids are supposed to do their schoolwork and Bible memorization quietly in the toyroom or schoolroom.

Disclaimer: None of our babies is ever put down for a nap and left to "cry it out". If I take a nap, it's at the same time as the baby is sleeping. Once kids get to be around 1 year old and understand that they are supposed to lie down quietly and sleep, they are punished if they get up or cry. Never really had much of an issue with that, though, because they lie down together and don't get to feeling lonely.

5. Get up early or stay up late for some alone time

I guess that's why I am writing this at 12:21 AM...

6. Dump the kids on your husband for a little while

My husband is VERY absentminded, so this works great. I can actually pass the baby off to him and he won't even notice most of the time. Then a couple minutes later I casually ask him to check the baby's diaper, and alas, it's dirty - what a surprise! While he is absentmindedly changing the diaper, I notice that I need to run to the store for x and I dash out the door, not to return for about an hour or more. Of course the house will be tore apart by the time I get back, because the kids also know that Daddy is in a world of his own and doesn't notice them pulling out every off-limits item in the house. But they are always all still alive, and I have had an hour of free time.

7. Send everyone to their room(s)

Tell them they may not come out until you call them. Don't use this too often or too long.

8. Take the kids to the playground

If the weather is not nice, you could go to a mall with a play land, or a library that has a play area. Keep an eye on the kids while you sit back and relax with something to read, enjoy a special treat, or talk on the phone with a friend.

9. Get used to the chaos, and learn to tune it out

The house can only get so messy. Rather than focusing on the temporal (housework), focus on things with eternal values, like winning the heart of your children by building strong relationships with them.

And what not to do...

- Plop the kids in front of the TV.
- Eat yourself sick from stress.
- Get a baby-sitter.
- Send them to school.
- Scream at them to be quiet.

1 comment:

  1. That was great! I actually do some of those and they do work. My little one is tough though. It takes a few times being punished to get through his head LOL!


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