Required Parenting Break

We all have those days when you need a break from your kids. Those days that just seem to spiral down and all you can think about is when the kids will be in bed. Those days when the kids are demanding, when you're tired, when no matter how many parenting and/or discipline techniques you try to employ nothing seems to work. One of those days when you - and your kids - could use a break.

Stressed MomA close friend and I keep each other on speed dial on our cell phones. Over the years we've called each other in the late afternoon countless times, and all it takes is hearing the other's voice to know. It's been one of those days, and one of us needs a pep talk to get through. Inevitably these words are spoken: "I need a break." We know just what the other means; she needs a break from the kids. "Yes," the other says, "Yes, you do."

It's okay

The pressure many of us feel as parents sometimes doesn't take into account that time away from your kids can be a wonderful thing, for all of you. It can help make you a better parent. Needing a break - whether for an hour, an afternoon, or longer - is a healthy part of parenting. How did things get to the point where moms feel guilty taking a break? Honestly, it has to stop.Think about your close friends. Think about a particular friend. What if you were their only friend? Their only source of support? The only person she talked to? Don't you think an occasional bit of time away from each other for other friendships and such would be a good thing? It's not like it means you're not friends if you don't spend every waking minute together. Time away helps with perspective.It's the same with your kids. Yes, you are their only mother, but time apart can bring perspective and help your kids build valuable relationships with other loving people in their lives.

Little breaks, longer breaks

What does a break really mean? It means different things for different people, and often different things at different times for the same people. Sometimes, I just need an hour in my own head, whether it's spent wandering in a local park, the local mall or even the grocery store.Other times, a longer break is needed. It could mean a day all to myself. If your children are fortunate to have active, able and involved grandparents, by all means, take advantage of that! Whether it's for a full day or even overnight, whether it's with your sweetie or not - time away can be fun and rewarding for everyone.

Feeling refreshed

Yes, you are likely to miss your kids when you are away from them, and that's okay, too. But don't let that preclude you from taking the time you need to reflect, feel refreshed, and be ready for positive parenting and good days. Parenting is hard work, and don't let anyone try to tell you otherwise. Everyone needs a break from hard work now and again.When you come back from your break, be it big or small, you likely will be better prepared to take on the challenges of parenting. I know when I am able to get away after one of those days, I come home with a strong inner resolve to make the coming days. Soon enough, I stop feeling guilty about that time away and get right back to the good (and hard) parenting stuff.

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Comments on "When moms need a break"

Ilona March 15, 2014 | 9:27 AM

So everyone else has to suffer because all the single moms out there are --------? Maybe that's why you're single. It's not MY fault you're single. Suck it up!!! Maybe you should've thought twice about having .

MissV May 28, 2013 | 9:37 AM

I'm a single mom and aside from going to the grocery store, doctor appointments, Ect. I hardly get out period. But I'm never alone. Over two years without a break period. Because my family are firm believers in once you have kids your life is over, you don't get breaks. Nothing else matters to them even if I were on the verge of a mental breakdown it would be tough cookies. Show them this and they wouldn't even bother reading it. That's how strong their beliefs are. Some people don't know how lucky they are to have a healthy support system when it comes to raising children.

michpd July 02, 2012 | 10:07 PM

I'm single, no relatives within about 2,000 miles, they won't visit. I don't have any friends and I go to church far away, feel like an outsider. My kids are older and I can leave and go to the store or community meeting, but to have a break maybe happens 1/yr if at all. I'm not sure what else to do but keep on 24/7. Want to hire someone because we don't have friends, but $ is tight and hard to hire strangers. Their dad's not involved. We are in hiding from him and have been for about 10 yrs, no child support. Thanks for the article, I can look and try harder to find help... if not, I can go buy a pair of earrings or something! Hang in there anyone in the same feels so hard and so impossible, but for me, it's all I can do to care for them the best I can.

Amanda April 22, 2009 | 9:34 AM

It is so nice to see in print that I am not the only one who feels like this! Sometimes it is just so hard to be a Mom 24/7! Lately, my husband has been taking our oldest for little outings, whether it be for a coffee run or over to a friends house for an hour or so. This has been such a huge help!! I love both of my children, but it is so nice sometimes to have just a little break, even if I still have to take care of one child.

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