Time Out


Do you take time out? And I am not talking about kids discipline.

I am talking about YOUR SANITY.

Parenthood can be daunting. We have a baby,  another life…… another life we are responsible for and sometimes, especially in those early days, it can feel overwhelming.

However, at some point we do have to leave our children.  One day we want them to make their own way in the world and we have to prepare both them and ourselves for that.  It never occurred to me to leave my oldest son, other than for about an hour until he was about 6 months old when my mother in law asked if he could have him overnight. And yes, it was an odd evening without the routine of bath and bedtime but I am sure it was good for both of us.

The pattern has followed with our two younger children and we are lucky that we have two sets of grandparents who are willing and able to have them. But, I do know of other families who don’t have relatives in the area who work it out together with play dates, babysitting and sleepovers.

It means we can have a few hours to do something …whether that’s a trip to Ikea, a catch up with a friend or time to reconnect with a partner.

I also believe that it’s good for our kids.  It helps them to be away from us; building social interactions, preparing them to mix with others and how to get on with other people.

I have heard people worry about relatives who have never been away from home or have only socialised with a limited group of people and are about to go to university.

How will they cope?

Will they be street wise or get themselves into tricky/risky situations?

Will they be really homesick?

Will they know how to stand up for themselves and resist peer pressure?

Or, will they go completely off the rails?

And, yes, this may be a small minority of teenagers but it is something we can help them with. Plus, we benefit from a bit of space and I believe that we come back feeling more energised and better parents after taking our own time out.

What do you do to take a bit of time out?  Do you think leaving your child for small amounts of time is an important part of encouraging independence?


Image Source: David Castillo Dominici / Free Digital Photos