Time Out! – of the adult kind

Oh how I love Time Out.  I’m talking of course about time out for us adults, or more appropriately, time off.

Occasionally Mr.4 may feel I’ve been a bad Mum, and has tried sending me for time out: ”That is unacceptable behaviour!  You need time out Mummy!!”

Well yes, yes indeed I do.  I’d love to trot off to my bedroom for a few minutes and have some uninterrupted time to search eBay or Etsy.  Yes please.  Can you just cook your own dinner while I’m gone?

For me personally, time out is crucial for me to be a happy parent.  To stop me from burning out.  Usually it’s just an hour or so grabbing a coffee and wandering the shops, or getting my nails done, or maybe going for a walk – without a pram, for a change. 

If I’m able to have a couple of 1-hour time outs each week, I come back ready to be Mum (and Wife) again.  I also feel I need that bit of mental space…to actually allow my brain to think without being interrupted.

As for going away without the kids, in the past four years, we’ve done this a few times for a night or two.  Earlier this year, I had half a week interstate seeing friends, while husband stayed home with the boys.  By the time I returned I was missing them like crazy…but I’ll admit, the break was fantastic! 

I was talking to a Mum at kinder a couple of weeks ago about this topic – specifically, about going away without the kids.  I mentioned it’d been ages since husband and I had been anywhere overnight without the kids…the last time being around Christmas, when we managed to have one night at a hotel in the city.  24 hours of blissful relaxation.

She chuckled at this a little, and replied, “we haven’t been anywhere overnight without the kids since we had our first…it’s been over eight years now.” (She has three kids).

EIGHT YEARS!!!?! 

Eight years without any time off that’s more than a couple of hours long? (She doesn’t work and while the older kids are at school, the younger one only does a couple of 2.5hr kinder sessions).

I found myself impressed at her dedication, her resilience…and told her so.  

Shortly after – as I pondered what eight years without one night away, just one night to have a sleep in with your partner, would be like – I realised, here’s just another way in which we all do our job as parents differently. 

How did I know she was more resilient or dedicated than me?  I didn’t.  Ironically, having a bit of time out actually makes me a more dedicated parent, when I am with my kids.

And when I return to work part-time, I will enjoy my train ride to and from work – listening to music, reading a book.  I will savour my lunch hour, when I can sit down in a cafe and just people watch if I like, or indulge in some window-shopping.

Yes, if it wasn’t for some time out, I’d be one crazy Mum.

All I need to do now is eliminate my Mummy guilt. 🙂

How much time out do you need?

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12 responses to “Time Out! – of the adult kind

  1. You are so wise! I feel exactly the same. I don’t get much of those one hour breaks except of an evening or weekend as there’s no one close enough to us to look after the Bebito. I miss getting my hair cut most of all! :I feel the same about the break, it makes me a better Mama but geez do I feel guilty.

    Have I told you that the Mr and I are heading overseas next year sans Bebito for my bestie’s wedding. It’ll be for almost 2 weeks and I want to cry at the thought of it but I know it’ll be great for us to get away and be us again. I feel mad amounts of guilt already and I hear myself justifying it to everyone as I explain that “it’s a wedding in Morocco meaning it’s a long way, 3 flights at least in each direction and I don’t have a child who’d sit still and I’m the maid of honour and J is the MC and …… insert lots of justification here”

    I wanna know where this Mama guilt comes from cos I’d like to squish it big time.

    Another great post lovely!

    • Thank you for commenting!! Well I didn’t mention in that post, but husband and I had 8 days in NYC when Mr.4 was 18mths old. Obviously Mr.1 wasn’t around then. Ended up coming back a day early as I couldn’t handle being that far away – it DOES feel so far. But, we had a FANTASTIC week in NYC. We really did. No regrets in doing it and Mr.4 was, of course, fine. So wow, Morocco! Enjoy it and yes try to squish the Mummy guilt!

  2. I hear you- I need at least one day a week /fortnite ( 2 kids under 3) and for us as a couple one a month would be lovely or even every 2nd month. We would go but for us ATM it’s a $ question- so go out pay for nite and also babysitter. 😦

    • Hi thank you for stopping by 🙂 A day a fortnight would be lovely…if I push it I can get about a half day/week (so a day/fortnight). Fortunately we are able to do a babysitting swap with our neighbours, and when my parents stay with us (they are interstate), we make sure we go out one night when they are here. Babysitting is so much more $$ on top of a night out 😦

  3. Going to work is my time-out. It’s hard to juggle part-time work with adequate parenting, but I need to do it, for myself. We’ve very rarely had a night together without children since our first came along – that’s about eight years ago, too. Less often since number two, in fact possibly not since then. We’ve both been away – separately – on various work trips, but on one of my two trips I was already pregnant (and morning-sick!) with the next one, so I don’t think it should count 🙂 We are planning, vaguely, sort-of, for a weekend away in about 18 months, for my 40th birthday. I don’t even know where we’ll go, but it’s certainly something to look forward to!

    • I agree Kate that going to work is a form of time out (not sure my husband sees his job in that light..). To have a weekend away together after a long time will be lovely, albeit perhaps a bit of shock to the system…if we ever go away, even just a day, it takes us a while to become accustomed to not having the kids around!

  4. As you observe, everyone does things differently! A colleague mentioned he and his wife were preparing for their first trip away without their kids… who are 15 and 17!!

    I work part time and I do enjoy the travel time and time with adults, but I also relish the occasional night out with the mothers’ group sans enfants. But my boys are too much fun to contemplate leaving at home for a holiday 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment! I must admit, although a short break is technically relaxing without the kids, it’s kind of…an odd feeling at times…and then soon enough that feeling comes where you just want to get back to them. We recently went down the Great Ocean Rd together with our two boys and while it I wouldn’t exactly call it a ”relaxing” holiday, it was fun and experiences together we won’t forget.

  5. Was so relieved to read your post! My husband and I, both aussies, have been living in France for the past 3 yrs. And we made a french baby here:) Which means that I never, EVER have any help from grandmas, sisters, friends, NADA! Of course, hubby is truly wonderful and helps a lot…but I’m sure you understand my plight. Recently, I have put Sticky Baby in with a family day care nanny 1 day a week, as I could feel my sanity slowly/quickly slipping away. It has done me a world of good! I parent better with 1 day a week all to myself, watching Oprah in my undies and drinking 18 uninterrupted cups of coffee in a row! Sweet bliss! We are yet to have a night to ourselves since his birth, 11 months ago. Impossible while we are over here. BUT, we are back in Brisbane for holidays in 4 wks time, and you can bet your bottom dollar we are going to cash in on grandparent help while we are there. Min. of 2 weekends to ourselves coming right up! Very much enjoying your blog:)

    • Wow thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment…will check out your blog! I have friends in similar situations here (living in Melbourne and are from the UK) and they don’t get much time off – when we all go out they have to use a paid babysitter, no grandparents etc to help. I think with your day off though, if it were me, I’d be wandering the french markets or dining at some lovely cafes! Good you are enjoying your day off – it’s definitely vital I think to being a better parent (well it is for me anyway!)

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