Sometimes, I Need a Timeout

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I’m gonna be real for a second – sometimes I need a TO.

Like, more than hiding in the closet for a few minutes or taking an extra-long shower. Between the loads of laundry, weekday schedules, sleep schedules (or lack thereof), disciplining, the question of “what’s for dinner?”, trying to keep the house from not looking like a toy bomb went off, keeping up with the way our house should be decorated, when I only took the Fourth of July wreath down a week ago and Target has Christmas decorations out already. I. just. can’t.

I have come to realize the only way for me to keep my sanity, and be able to give 100 percent, is to take some ME time. I don’t do this often, and it’s not an entire weekend, or even a day – if you can, fantastic! Do it! But normally a few times a month to help me recharge and remind myself what is important and that it’s okay if I don’t look like every other perfect-Pinterest mom or wife.

Here are three suggestions that I have found helpful when I can’t “mom” and need a recharge.

  1. Find a Supportive Women’s Group – I think the key word here is “supportive.” This needs to be a place where you can go and be – YOU! Not somewhere you feel inferior to others. It needs to be an environment where other women and/or moms are supportive, encouraging, understanding and accepting. We all have trials and we’ve all had good and bad times in our life. No one is perfect, even if it looks that way. Find a group – whether it’s through a church, the pediatrician, daycare, your neighborhood, your local coffee shop. Even try a few of them at first. If it doesn’t feel like a good fit – try another one. Trust me, I’ve done it. There are good groups out there. You will find one that you like. As a working mom, I have a few groups: professional women; a faith-based one; and also a group of us that have been friends for years. And, if all else fails, start your own! Ask a few other women/moms that you’d like to spend time talking with. It doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. It’s about connecting with others and lifting each other up.
  1. Have a Girl’s Night – This can be something after work or in the evening or it can be something bigger on the weekend. Go have dinner. Go to a new store that opened or one that’s having a sale. Go play Bingo one night. Or plan a Saturday or Sunday to do something bigger. There’s a ton of awesome Fall Festivals, Craft Shows, or even biking in and around the area. As a side note, if you are married or have a partner, encourage them to do this too. We all need breaks. Guys enjoy a night out too or even going to a sports game with their friends. It is healthy to have breaks and to do things separately. It is healthier to have a supportive partner who is willing to do double-duty so the other can take that break.

Which leads me to my third suggestion…

  1. Have Date Night – In my opinion, this is even more important than time on your own. You need time with your partner, to have adult conversations that aren’t stopped every two seconds by a little one. You need time together to do something fun. Even if this is once every few months, it is something to look forward to and can also be fun to plan – together. Hire a babysitter. Ask your neighbor if the kids can come over and play for a few hours and have dinner at home. Take the kids to your parents for the night and Uber somewhere. Go bowling. Go to a movie. Just go have pizza. Take your parenting hat off for a moment and focus on your relationship. One reminder with this – if you get to have date night, disconnect from your phones too. Leave your phone in your purse or in the car while you’re out. This is time you don’t get often with each other. Enjoy it.

What do you do with your “me” time? Or time with your partner/spouse?

Have you found venues or restaurants or activities to do that you’d like to share with others?

Do you have suggestions for women/moms who are looking to do something to recharge?

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Katie is a wife and mom of 3 boys, Lucas, Zeke and Toby. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, with a degree in Marketing & Communications. Katie has worked in the construction industry for the past 12 years, building and restructuring brands and marketing departments, for companies in the Baltimore and Washington DC market, before returning to Pittsburgh and starting a family. Their second son, Toby, was born May 27, 2016 and died suddenly in August from SIDS, at 12 weeks and 5 days old. Katie and her husband, Dan, made a promise to Toby that they would work to do good in his name and never let the story of his life be forgotten. Through this loss, they have founded The Little Fox | Toby’s Foundation with the hopes of bringing joy, laughter, and lots of smiles to families within the Pittsburgh community, while working to spread awareness about child-loss and the lives of grieving parents. This is not the path they would have chosen for their lives, but it is the journey they are now on and will strive to be the best parents they can be, to one child on earth and one in Heaven. Katie is currently the Director of Marketing for A. Martini & Co., and General Contracting and Construction Management Firm. She has been heavily involved with juvenile diabetes research, because she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 2. Currently, Katie sits on the Executive Leadership Council for the American Diabetes Association, Pittsburgh Chapter and is part of the planning committee for Step Out: Pittsburgh each year. Their family moved to Monroeville, one week after Toby was born, and have enjoyed getting to know that area of Pittsburgh and what it has to offer. While in the throes of motherhood, Katie is also active throughout the week with exercise routines, Paw Patrol and PJ Masks episodes, blogging at Our Happy Place & Co., a lifestyle blog she started in 2013, and working with her husband on the mission of The Little Fox.