A few weekends ago I was just an awful terrible person. Ever just have one of those weekends that despite your best efforts you are just not getting it done? My rational brain was saying leave work at the office, that to-do list is a minor problem let it go, and the list goes on. My poor other half couldn’t seem to do anything right enough for me on Saturday, my patience with the wee one was not winning me any awards, the only upside was I at least knew I was just having a terrible weekend. I had the common sense to look at my partner and say, “I am just awful today, I’m really sorry I know how hard you are trying.” And when the wee one was acting up and I knew I would lose my patience I asked her to go to her room and I would be there in a minute. And in my favorite parenting move, albeit I’m sure a controversial one, I flat-out told her this, “look I’m having a bad day and I asked you to come up here so I could take a breath and find a better way to talk to you, because my behavior wasn’t good either.” I don’t ever think I have to be perfect but if I’m going to snap at Daddy, and I shouldn’t have, I’m darn sure she hears me apologize for it to.
But moving on from my parenting model, lets talk about my poor partner and why he is sooo much wiser than me sometimes. Although I was being absolutely terrible he continually took the time to say to me this, ” What’s the problem, why do we have to do that?” and my personal favorite, “Babe, who cares I’ll just go get a pizza, no one said the world will end if you don’t make that pasta sauce today, relax.” He continued to check in with me and say things like what level are you at now, how can I help. None of my hugely stressed our overly frustrated behavior was even remotely his fault, but all the things I usually do on the weekends he just knew would not be OK for me on this particular weekend.
That being said he took over as the responsible grown up he ran the errands, handled the meals, took over so many many things and let me just be, to write, to do a craft I’d been meaning to do, to play with the wee one. That is the very best kind of time out. When your partner is able to step back realize that you need to give 10% and he needed to give 190% percent to get me through. And it worked I was much better on Sunday and while the stresses of work still weighed on me I was a lot less overwhelmed and more able to gain much-needed perspective.
How do you cope when everything just seems completely insurmountable? Do the grown-up versions of time-outs work for you?