Time-Out Thursday- Timeout with the Kids

Is it possible to take a time-out with the kids?  If someone were to tell me to take a time-out with the kids, I would probably give them my “whatcha talking ’bout Willis,” crazy look.  After an overwhelming week, that is exactly what I did, and I plan on doing more when I feel stressed out.

This has been one crazy, no let me rephrase, one crazy quarter at school.  It seems like with each new quarter, comes more challenges, more work, harder classes, and thus more stress.  I still have a little over a year left with school and it seems like this is taking forever.  I am going for a B.S. (haha I know, BS) in Business, majoring in accounting and boy this is the most difficult thing I have ever done.  I would rather go through childbirth again than to be put through this daily mind scrambling and stress like you are going to explode type of feeling.  Maybe it is because going thru labor with my kids, although it was extremely painful due to no other choice but au natural labor, the whole process of squeezing the little ones out only took a few hours.  (but all of that is another future blog post)  So, going through a few hours of  pain, is so much easier than going through 3 years of excessive stress.  Now, I am not writing this to get people to feel sorry for me, “oh poor girl, college with kids is sooo hard, she is getting this opportunity of a lifetime and it is so stressful, imagine that….” and blah blah.. I understand that I am fortunate to be in this circumstance considering many mothers cannot stay at home  while their husband is the sole income while they go back to school to get a degree.  That being said, venting about your situation is different then complaining about it.

Ok, continuing….  I hear from other classmates or family members, “I don’t know how you do it, 2 kids and all this work, I could never do that,”  or I hear… “when do you have time to study?  How do you get all your chores done, and cooking and cleaning too?  You must be super busy all the time..”  To be honest, I don’t know how I do it either, but putting more time in one thing, means I’m not taking care of other things.  I study in the morning before the kids wake up, sometimes I “try” to do homework while they are awake, work on projects and papers during their nap times, and other studying or field trip/group meetings on weekends.  Chores you say?  Ha, my house is a mess 90% of the time and I do some trick cleaning before company comes over.  Dinners you say?  Ha, crock pot is my friend but also my enemy. I do not remember ever having a crock pot meal that made anyone say, “that was the best damn meal I’ve ever had,” yeah don’t think that will ever happen with a crock pot.  Mondays and Wednesdays, I usually pick up dinner because I have a late class and on weekends, I am so lazy to cook that all I want to do is sleep or sprawl out on the couch and watch a mind numbing show at full volume to overcome the “Mommy….I want peanut butter…..Mommy where’s my Mater truck…Mommy outside….Mommy I want to watch Yogi Bear…Mommy….Mommy….Mommy…..!”  This last week got to the point where I felt like giving up, and telling myself that I don’t know why I am doing this.  I don’t get to spend time with my kids, I get maybe 20 minutes/day of uninterrupted adult talk with my husband, I miss out on things with family/friends because I have to study, my house has a sign on the window that says “clean me,” and I don’t remember the last time I was able to relax.  My son tells me the other day, “Mommy, stay home, you don’t need to go to class, you go to school too much.”  I wanted to cry, the last thing I wanted was for my kids to feel neglected.  My son doesn’t understand why I am doing this, all he knows is Mommy doesn’t spend much time with me.  My daughter is too little to express how she feels, but I’m sure she misses me too.

So now coming to the time out part.  After another overwhelming day in the life of moi, instead of doing dishes, another load of laundry, or reading from my Accounting book, I stopped and told the kids we are going upstairs.  My daughter looks at me, “Mimi?” (shortened word for sleep in Spanish)  Then my son says, “I don’t want to go Mimi, Mommy.. I want to play 5 minutes.”  I said, “No we are not going mimi, let’s go play.”  I blasted some music in my room to the tune of one of my son’s favorite songs, “I need a dollar dollar, a dollar is what I need….hey hey…”  My son loves the hey hey part and my girl loves anything with a beat.  We just danced and ran around in the room and sang the song at the top of our lungs.  Then played a few more songs and we danced until I exhausted myself and of course the kids still had tons of never-ending energy!  Afterwards I felt so relaxed and wonderful that I don’t know why I didn’t do that more often.  I think it should become our end of the day routine from now on… dancing in our pjs, then brushing teeth, books, then bed.

What ways do you take a time-out with your kids?

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Being Happy with Children

A study just came out regarding how although dads are doing more to help with housework and children, moms still report feeling more stressed then dads do.  It is an interesting study which I’ll put a link at the bottom, but what I found the most interesting was not the topic (no new news to me), but something else mentioned.  It stated that research shows that people with no children reported feeling happier then those with children.  Mental well-being was higher among the childless and  those whose children have left the nest.  Reading this article made me realize that there needs to be a change to how we view raising children and what should be expected of us.  I love my children and I know those with children like me would do anything for them, couldn’t imagine our lives without them, and wouldn’t want to be in this world without their kids, but let’s be honest, do you feel happy more than stress?  Do you feel stress more than happy?  I am taking a stress management class and I have been more aware of just how much stress I actually feel everyday, and it is most of the time.  I always knew that I felt the symptoms of stress:  anxiety, uneasiness, trying to do 100 things when I only have time for 10, and tension in my body, but what I didn’t realize was to the extent that it affects my whole day.  In the class we have to write down times we feel stress, what caused it, how we reacted, and what we did about it and in this whole process, it has really made me aware of the damage it is doing.  In the class, I have learned that not all stress is bad, there is actually good kinds of stress(eustress).  That is the kind of stress that forces me to get up at 5 in the morning to study for my classes so I can graduate, the kind that makes me go to the doctor to check out a suspicious mole, the kind that helps me get the house in order to get ready for hosting a party, and the kind that has me sacrifice to save money for things I want for my children.  Without this kind of stress, we would just lay there and do nothing, just a lump on the couch taking up space.  Unfortunately, most of the time I feel the bad stress and it is because I try, like many moms, to do it all.  When I think about it, it makes sense that having children doesn’t really make you happier and that childless people are on average more content in their lives.  With children come interrupted sleep, more worries, more tasks, more vulnerability, more responsibility, and less time for yourself and your spouse, and many other things that take a toll on you.  I get so stressed throughout the day that towards the end, ok let’s be real, after a few hour(sometimes by noon), I bark at my kids for something that is a normal kid thing:  spilling water on the floor, making noise, running around the house, climbing on the counters, marking on the walls, fighting with each other, and washing their toys in the toilet…among other things.  So one little thing happens, and BAM, here comes CRAZY MOMMY!  Yes I feel better after I have yelled at them, but just for that moment, then I feel like crap as they look at me with their big brown eyes and as their little bottom lip sticks out, then I give lots of hugs and I’m sorries.  I want to change the outlook on having children, I want to Be Happy With Children, if not happier then if I didn’t have kids.  They enrich my life so much, it is just hard to see it through all the chaos.  Why do we put so much on ourselves?  I feel so overwhelmed with school, laundry, cooking, cleaning, laundry, running errands, taking care of the kids, laundry, paying bills, grocery shopping, laundry, oh yeah, did I mention LAUNDRY??!!? It never ends!  Ok, so then I ask myself, why, why, why, WHY?  We can’t do it all and we shouldn’t.  What we should be doing is spending more time with our family, and less time doing chores.  Our kids will be grown in a blink of an eye and I’m sure we won’t be saying, “If only I cleaned more,” no we will be saying, “I wish I played, read, laughed, made messes, tickled, kissed, wrestled more with my kids.”  I always tell  my son that mommy will play with him after I do this…. and after I do that…and put him off.  I should be putting off whatever chore I’m doing and spend an extra 10 or 20 minutes with him, “F” the laundry(it is my enemy). 

So if you want to read more about the article that started my rant (even though I just touched a small portion of it), the link is below…

   http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-he-multitasking-parents-20111201,0,4356544.story

Now, I have to get back to doing the laundry….

Let me know what you think, what are some ways you try to be happy with your kids?  Are you childless and have some tips for us Moms and Dads to maintain or recoup our sanity?

Thanks for reading!  Follow my blog and follow me on twitter:  @lifeintoylane