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Time Out for Mommy

I called my husband at work. “I’m done. I’m not leaving this room.”

“What’s wrong?” he asked. “I’ve just had it with the kids. I’m not leaving this room!” “Let me talk to them,” he offered. “You’ll have to call them back,” I cried, “I’m not leaving this room.” This situation happened the year after our best year ever of homeschooling. Everyone had been harmonious and obedient…mostly but something had changed. This year I had two pre-teen daughters and a ten-year old son. All three seemed to have morphed into independent minded beings, arguing over every little thing. It was my most challenging year yet and they pushed the boundaries like they never had before. At first, with the girls, I thought summer camp was to blame. I remember having our first really big fight over them drying their hair before they went to bed. They were exhausted, I’m sure. The bad attitudes continued. It was like having cold water thrown in my face over and over. “What happened to my sweet girls? What had I done wrong?" Now my ten-year old tenacious (strong-willed) son, Hue had joined them. I knew if I didn’t gain control, continuing to home school would be out of the question. I don’t remember what set things off for me that day but I do remember yelling…loudly. Something I rarely ever did, probably less than you could count on one hand. Then I marched to my bedroom and locked the door. What a horrible mom. We had been eating lunch. Now I left my six kids in the kitchen stunned, with my youngest sitting in the high chair. They came to my door but I refused to answer. I sat on the floor crying over my loss of self-control and respect from them. After ending my call with Jer, He called again to talk to the kids. Before he’d even gotten that far, the girls began to push notes under the door where I sat. “I’m sorry, Mommy,” they said. I cried more, feeling even worse than before. It didn’t take long for me to open the door and apologize to them for my behavior. I was the adult after all. They didn’t deserve my rage. We all cried, apologized and went to our rooms for our “nap time.” Sometimes as parents, we are the ones who need the time out.

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