Time Out!

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mrsandlittlemissgreen

Welcome to the February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Essentials

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared the parenting essentials that they could not live without. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

***

This month’s parenting carnival has a huge theme. We’ve been asked about Parenting Essentials and have to fill in the blank: I cannot imagine parenting without __________.

What a great question! I’d say there are a lot of parenting essentials and I expect most participants will be finding it a challenge to come up with just one answer. However, I’ve finally decided upon mine:

It might come across as a bit selfish.

It might be something I really shouldn’t admit in public.

It might be something that resonates deeply within you, but you don’t like to share.

Or it might be something you just don’t ‘get’.

The one thing I could not parent without is:

Time Out.

MY time out, not Little Miss Green’s…

When she was a baby Little Miss Green had a sleep in the afternoons. This lasted until she was just nine months old and then she no longer needed one, much to my dismay.

I was lost!
And tired!
And fraught!
And irritable!
And angry! (I hate to admit)
And no longer the sweet loving mama I had been…

I thought I could be superwoman and be on call 24/7 but I just couldn’t do it.

So when Little miss Green was 18 months old, I bought back ‘quiet time’.

It meant she went to her room and I went to mine for an hour after lunch each day. It wasn’t a punishment, it simply ‘was’.

Within a few days I started to feel human again and she was happier because I was more emotionally available.

I figured that ‘Quiet Time’ is a total necessity for an introvert – and that’s what I am, like it or not.
It doesn’t mean I can’t be with people or I’m not sociable.
It doesn’t even mean I prefer to be on my own.
And it doesn’t mean I don’t like being with my child and husband.
But what I do need is time out to recharge my batteries, unlike an extrovert who recharges by being WITH people.

Now Little Miss green is nine years old, we still have ‘quiet time’. She might read, climb a tree or play with the rabbit while I go to my room to sleep, meditate, read or listen to music.

And afterwards, we’re better than we were before – ready to laugh and love again…

So back to being perceived as selfish – I think taking care of ourselves, even putting ourselves first, so we can be our best for our loved ones is anything but selfish. Plus it is modelling to our children how to practise good self care as they grow up.
What do you think – is self care selfish or not?

***

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • Not Without Him — The love Starr at Taking Time shares with her husband is the foundation of her parenting.
  • I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without B(.)(.)bs — From an uneducated dreamer to a breastfeeding mother of a toddler, nursing has forever changed Kristy at Strings to Things’s relationship with her daughter and her outlook on life.
  • Raising a Child in the Internet Village — When Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction has a question or concern about parenting, she turns to the Internet. What did parents do before Google?
  • Partner in Crime and ParentingBethy at Bounce Me to the Moon can’t imagine parenting without her husband’s sense of humor – he brings her laughter and love every day.)
  • I Make MilkPatti at Jazzy Mama can’t imagine trying to mother her babies without her breasts, but she could do it if she had to.
  • New Perspectives Bring New BeginningsMJ at Wander Wonder Discover, who is a former authoritarian mamma, has gained perspective via parenting.
  • Time Out!Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog explores how time apart can increase your capacity to give unconditionally.
  • Unimaginable Without HimKristina at heyred designs is celebrating her amazing partner, without whom none of her parenting experience would be possible.
  • My Parenting NecessityClaire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl needs “me time” in order to be the Mama she wants to be.
  • Babywearing As a Way of LifeDarcel at The Mahogany Way talks about the benefits of babywearing in everyday life.
  • Parenting Partnership — Sometimes Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter doesn’t appreciate her husband enough, but she definitely couldn’t imagine parenting without his help.
  • Parenting EssentialsMomma Jorje loves her parenting products, but she needs you even more.
  • My Parenting Must-Have: SupportJoella at Fine and Fair wrote a letter to her daughter about the role that support from friends and family plays in her mothering.
  • It’s More Than Just Hair — Think doing hair is full of fluff? Too girly? Useless? Karli from Curly Hairdo Ideas used to think so too.
  • The Minimalist Parent — The parents at Living Peacefully with Children embrace a minimalist perspective when it comes to baby gear. A good sling is all they need.
  • Without My BreastsCharise at I Thought I Knew Mama can’t imagine parenting without her breasts; here’s why.
  • Loves Books, Loves PeopleSeonaid at the Practical Dilettante discovers that the library is a perfect fit for her family’s needs.
  • An Ode to the Maya WrapRevMama’s next child might be named Maya, because of her fondness for the sling.
  • Avoiding the Padded RoomPecky at Benny and Bex is here to testify that it takes a village to raise a child.
  • My parenting essentials, from Tivo to battery-operated monstrositiesLauren at Hobo Mama presents a list of parenting essentials you didn’t even know you needed (and probably don’t…).
  • Attachment Parenting Through Separation: It Makes It a Little BetterJessica at This Is Worthwhile talks about how she couldn’t survive her separation without attachment parenting and the bond it’s afforded her with her 3 year old son.
  • Parenting EssentialsDeb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares the principles she used to parent her children from infants to adults.
  • My Parenting Essentials — The things that are truly essential to Kim at In Desperate Need of Entertainment aren’t things at all.
  • I’m No One Without My Sling — How baby carrying is essential to the parenting of Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama.
  • I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without…Isil at Smiling Like Sunshine talks about what she needs to raise her children.
  • February Carnival of Natural Parenting — Through her experiences over the last five and a half years, Casey at Love What Is has discovered her most important tool for parenting is using her instincts.
  • CNP: I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without __________.The Artsymama discloses the one thing that gave her back control of herself as a parent.
  • Laugh Until I Cry — Laughing with her sons keeps Acacia at Fingerpaint & Superheroes connected and grounded.
  • I Cannot Imagine Parenting WithoutLuschka at Diary of a First Child realizes what the one thing she can’t imagine parenting without is, and it turns out it’s not a thing after all.
  • It Takes Two — Here are a few of the reasons why Jenn at Adventures Down Under cannot imagine parenting without her fabulous husband.
  • Stopping to Listen — Though it wasn’t easy at first, Knocked Up – Knocked Over cannot imagine parenting her daughter without listening first to what she is telling her.
  • The Essence of Parenting — There are many wonderful resources that make life easier for Michelle at the Parent Vortex to parent, but the essence is the relationship between parent and child.
  • What I Cannot Live WithoutSybil at Musings of a Milk Maker considers her computer to be a parenting lifeline.
  • True Blessings: White Noise and GrandparentsKat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment can’t live without her white noise machine and the support of her parents.
  • The Necessities! — What “stuff” does a natural parent like Lily, aka Witch Mom really need? Not much, it turns out.
  • Mama Showed MeMama Mo at Attached at the Nip writes about how parenting wisdom is passed on by example.
  • Ode to the Loo — For Joni Rae at Tales of a Kitchen Witch, the bathroom is her safe place, where she can take a minute to calm down if she is feeling touched out.
  • Go, Mama. Go!Andrea!!! at Ella-Bean & Co. has been able to integrate her many roles through her get-up-and-go parenting essential, exercise!
  • My Other HalfBecky at Old New Legacy realizes what a relief it is to have her husband parent alongside her.
  • Grace, Love, and CoffeeMrsH at Fleeting Moments realizes that lifelines can take the form of the profound, or the mundane. Both are ok.
  • Supportive Spouse, Check! — There are so many parenting tools and gadgets that are superfluous, but the one essential, for Danielle at born.in.japan, has been her supportive spouse.
  • Why I’m a BabywearerMeredith at Becoming Mamas reflects on the ways babywearing has enhanced her mama baby relationship…and made life easier to boot.
  • It’s Marvelous Out Here, Kiddo!Rachael at The Variegated Life can’t imagine parenting in the big city without the marvels of Prospect Park to share with her Critter.
  • Yes, Thank YouAmy at Anktangle offers tips on how to ask for and accept help, an essential for successful parenting.
  • Parenting Essentials Checklist: Mom’s Inner Rebel and Her Kids’ VoicesOlivia at Write About Birth reflects on raising global citizens and saying no to societal norms.
  • Eco-Mama Online! — An Eco-Mama living in the mountains of a nature island, Terri at Child of the Nature Isle finds it essential to connect to nature and to connect online.
  • Sorry, We Just Sold the Last OneNev at The Adventures of Lime confesses she missed out the day they handed out patience.
  • LaughTashmica at The Mother Flippin’ Blog reveals her super power, her talisman agains mean mommy.
  • My Priceless Parenting Resource — What do books, a magazine community, my mother and the local playgroup have in common? Lucy at Dreaming Aloud tells us…
  • The Gift of Shared TimeTree at Mom Grooves strives to experience the world from her daughter’s perspective.
  • Follow the GigglesDionna at Code Name: Mama can’t live without the sound of her child’s giggles – come watch her video and you’ll agree!
  • Can I Mommy Without Boob?Emily at Crunchy(ish) Mama shares her fears about weaning and losing part of that the mother/child bond.

46 Comments

  1. Momma Jorje on February 8, 2011 at 6:34 am

    We can’t take care of others to the best of our abilities unless we also take care of ourselves! Great post for the carnival!



  2. Dionna @ Code Name: Mama on February 8, 2011 at 8:15 am

    I don’t think self-care is selfish at all – I recently talked about taking time for ourselves on my own site. I agree that self-care models important principles for our little ones – I wouldn’t want my child to always put others’ needs before his own, so I don’t have to either. Of course the ways I’ve taken time for myself have changed as Kieran has gotten older, but that’s because in my heart, his needs still come first 🙂



  3. […] Time Out! — Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog explores how time apart can increase your capacity to give unconditionally. […]



  4. Parenting Essentials | LivingMontessoriNow.com on February 8, 2011 at 8:36 am

    […] Time Out! — Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog explores how time apart can increase your capacity to give unconditionally. […]



  5. Reut on February 8, 2011 at 10:30 am

    It’s a great post! I found out that most of the time, as a mother, it’s really hard for me to take care of myself and create a quiet time for myself, although I know it’s important for me and for my family. I think it’s great that you insist to have your quality time and of course it’s not selfish.



  6. Nev on February 8, 2011 at 10:39 am

    I like this and I know what you mean. As much as I love spending 24/7 with my baby I try to use the time she’s asleep or she spends with my husband to just do one of my favourite things: read a book or surf the web. Some days I get lots of time to do this and some days not so much. Mind you, she’s only 5 1/2 months so as soon as she’s mobile things will change. 😉

    Nev



  7. […] Time Out! — Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog explores how time apart can increase your capacity to give unconditionally. […]



  8. MJ on February 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    No, definitely not selfish. It’s either this or monster momma. My kids practically push me out the door sometimes when dad comes home so that I have some me time. I guess they don’t like monster momma. I don’t either.



  9. […] Time Out! — Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog explores how time apart can increase your capacity to give unconditionally. […]



  10. […] Time Out! — Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog explores how time apart can increase your capacity to give unconditionally. […]



  11. […] Time Out! — Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog explores how time apart can increase your capacity to give unconditionally. […]



  12. Kristina on February 8, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    I’m not sure where we all got the idea we need to do it all and be it all with a smile plastered on our face 24/7 but it’s an awful standard to try to live up to! It’s awesome that you have made time for yourself and are really owning it! And the post-lunch timeout idea is great and may find a home with us too (our 14-month old daughter is in the process of dropping her morning nap – argh!).



  13. Kat on February 8, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Good for you!!! I totally don’t think it’s selfish to take the time to take care of yourself. Plus, like you said, you are modelling for your daughter the importance of self-care. Our society is so go-go-go, that so many people are without self care and end up on the therapy couch or burnout! Recharge time is so very essential, and we all have our own unique ways this works for us. Totally love this post!



  14. I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without… on February 8, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    […] Time Out! — Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog explores how time apart can increase your capacity to give unconditionally. […]



  15. […] Time Out! — Mrs. Green during Little Green Blog explores how time detached can boost your ability to give unconditionally. […]



  16. […] Time Out! — Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog explores how time apart can increase your capacity to give unconditionally. […]



  17. Eco-Mama Online! - Child of the Nature Isle on February 8, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    […] Time Out! — Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog explores how time apart can increase your capacity to give unconditionally. […]



  18. My Other Half | Old New Legacy on February 8, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    […] Time Out! — Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog explores how time apart can increase your capacity to give unconditionally. […]



  19. […] Time Out! — Mrs. Green during Little Green Blog explores how time detached can boost your ability to give unconditionally. […]



  20. The Gift of Shared Time | momgrooves.com on February 8, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    […] Time Out! — Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog explores how time apart can increase your capacity to give unconditionally. […]



  21. Why I’m a Babywearer « Becoming Mamas on February 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    […] Time Out! — Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog explores how time apart can increase your capacity to give unconditionally. […]



  22. Ode to the Loo | Tales of a Kitchen Witch Momma on February 8, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    […] Time Out! — Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog explores how time apart can increase your capacity to give unconditionally. […]



  23. […] Time Out! — Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog explores how time apart can increase your capacity to give unconditionally. […]



  24. Sybil on February 8, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    I really love this idea. I think I need more time outs 🙂

    This is another great idea to share with new mothers– give yourself time outs when you need them.

    So glad I found your blog through the carnival!



  25. Lucy @ dreamingaloudnet on February 8, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Totally agree. Only prob for me is, with 3 under 6 getting me time during the day is like fishing for pearls… but I do manage sometimes. Even ten mins and I am a MUCH nicer human being! My women’s group really gives this time to me. See my post http://dreamingaloudnet.blogspot.com/2010/07/mothers-meeting-womens-sacred-circles.html



  26. I Thought I Knew Mama on February 8, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Just had an aha moment. Thank you.

    I’m now a subscriber to your RSS.



  27. […] Time Out! — Mrs. Green during Little Green Blog explores how time detached can boost your ability to give unconditionally. […]



  28. Stopping to Listen « Knocked Up – Knocked Over on February 8, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    […] Time Out! — Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog explores how time apart can increase your capacity to give unconditionally. […]



  29. […] Time Out! — Mrs. Green during Little Green Blog explores how time detached can boost your ability to give unconditionally. […]



  30. Michelle @ The Parent Vortex on February 9, 2011 at 5:59 am

    I totally agree – I am a much happier mama when I get some time to myself every day, and a bigger chunk once a week. It makes such an amazing difference to my well-being.



  31. […] Time Out! — Mrs. Green during Little Green Blog explores how time detached can boost your ability to give unconditionally. […]



  32. […] Time Out! — Mrs. Green during Little Green Blog explores how time detached can boost your ability to give unconditionally. […]



  33. Patti on February 9, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    I like how you explained that introverts and extroverts recharge differently. I don’t often feel like I need time away from my children, but I often feel like I need a break from the WORK they create for me. I hire a housekeeper when I’m starting to feel overwhelmed or I bring in my teenage niece to fold laundry and wash windows and mirrors. Then I dedicate myself to spending uninterrupted time with the children on their terms. We all end up feeling refreshed and reconnected.



  34. Jenn Collins @ Monkey Butt Junction on February 9, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    My mom instituted quiet time for me when I was very young. It was about an hour before bedtime – I would go into my room and play quietly, which for me usually meant reading a book. My mom would do the same in her room, which adjoined mine. She was available if I had a question about what I was reading, but other than that, it was our alone time together.

    I attribute our quiet time to my early reading and my lifelong love of books.

    So quiet time, selfish? Just the opposite. You are nurturing your daughter and yourself.



  35. Claire on February 9, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    I don’t think there’s anything selfish about needing time for yourself. There’s this picture of the “ideal mom” who never needs time to herself and entirely devotes herself to her children 100% of the time, but I think that’s more of a rare thing than the norm.

    I need time to myself in order to be a good mom too. I definitely feel the need to “recharge” and just be alone. I relish in the baths that I get to take without a toddler.

    I really like your idea of quiet time. I think I may try that.



  36. […] Time Out! — Mrs. Green during Little Green Blog explores how time detached can boost your ability to give unconditionally. […]



  37. Rachael on February 10, 2011 at 3:22 am

    I learned the hard way (during a difficult time in my life) that self-care is necessary, not selfish. How can I nourish others if I am not nourished myself?



  38. Lauren @ Hobo Mama on February 10, 2011 at 10:45 am

    I totally agree with you. As a fellow introvert, I simply can’t be “on” all the time, even around loved ones. I think the idea of instituting a daily time of rest is a marvelous idea, and I’ve heard of families with even multiple kids pulling it off. I have to think now of how I might implement this idea with mine. 🙂 Thanks for the spark!



  39. Lily Shahar Kunning on February 11, 2011 at 1:32 am

    I am glad that you have found a way that works for you and your family. Quiet time sounds lovely.



  40. teresa on February 11, 2011 at 6:42 am

    that’s not even close to being selfish! It’s the most brilliant thing you could have done for yourself and for your daughter. You’ve taught her that she has a right to take care of herself too and didn’t just model the martyr mother syndrome. You’re still a person and a woman as well as her mother.
    I also love the idea of sharing quiet time. It will give your daughter an ability to feel comfortable in relationships later in life where closeness doesn’t have to mean constant interaction.
    We have this most days happening organically, but I like the idea of making it more conscious so that my daughter gets the benefit of all that.



  41. Casey on February 12, 2011 at 2:35 am

    We have “resting time” every day at our house. My kids are 5, 3, and 4 months. I’ve wondered how long we will continue it. At this point, I don’t intend to discontinue it, and after reading your post, I’m even more confident in my decision.



  42. EllaBeanAndCo on February 14, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Oh no, not selfish at all, I think you are doing exactly what you need to for your kiddo. Ella is down to one nap a day and I certainly NEED that time. Though she could sleep on-the-go I make sure we are home for naps so that I too get my quiet time (happening right now!!) Even my mom gave me that little nugget of advise – even when your kiddo stops sleeping, an afternoon quiet time is good for all. I plan on continuing our break time into Ella’s childhood as well 🙂



  43. […] Time Out! — Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog explores how time apart can increase your capacity to give unconditionally. […]



  44. […] Time Out! — Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog explores how time apart can increase your capacity to give unconditionally. […]



  45. […] Time Out! — Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog explores how time apart can increase your capacity to give unconditionally. […]



  46. It’s Marvelous Out Here, Kiddo! on April 10, 2013 at 12:06 am

    […] Time Out! — Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog explores how time apart can increase your capacity to give unconditionally. […]



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