Mom Time Out: Ways to Make This Happen

Take a Mom Time Out For Yourself: 10 Easy Ways to Make This Happen|

Written By Melanie Studer

Melanie Prather Studer has spent the last thirty years as a mother and teacher- preschool through middle school. When her kids became teenagers, Melanie started keeping notes and doing research to help her children get a head start on getting into college and ultimately out into the real world. She shares real world ideas and solutions for raising teens in today’s world.

February 2, 2020

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Mom Time Out Is Easier Than You May Think!

Let’s get real for a minute…  As moms we are the last person in line for getting any type of care.  Everyone is ahead of us, including the dang dog!  Are you constantly tired?  Cranky?  Stressed?  I feel you!  It’s all the things that we keep track of and take care of…  Take some mom time out and try some of the following ideas.

The mom trenches are a great place to be!  We are on the front lines for our families, but we need to take care of ourselves, as in immediately!!  I’d love for this post to give you some ideas to try.  We’ve heard all of this before, but check out some of the links in this post, and find out why some of this is so important!  Sometimes if I know why, then I’m more apt to listen…

Let me know what works for you!  *This post may contain affiliate links.  This means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click the link and make a purchase.

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Mom Time Out|

What is working?  What isn’t?  What can you change?  What can be eliminated or revised?  Be brutal!  This may take some time, but make this a priority in the next few days.

Here’s the link to a printable for 10 Things Every Mom Needs Yesterday!

Start a list on your phone to get started, and be thoughtful and honest with yourself.  This activity can be great for clearing your mind, and it is the first step towards a good mom time out.

Next, prioritize.

Make a list of your to-dos.  Put them in order of importance or according to when they need to be completed.  Stick to your list.  Add to the bottom, and cross things off as they are finished.  This is the best feeling!!

Meditate or pray

The best time for this activity is first thing in the morning.  Before your peeps are up, grab a cuppa, and cuddle up with your favorite devotional book (here is mine), favorite book of meditations (this is one of my favs), and just be!  A great journal for these times is here.

If morning doesn’t work, find a time–it is so important to be silent with yourself.  Meeting yourself where you are is a great way to get a mom time out.

Now, a little cleaning.

I always think better if I clean up my work zone.  Go through your desk and sort, pitch, recycle etc.  This will help you be able to focus on what needs to be done.  If there are other areas bothering you, then attack them as well.  Maybe pick a “zone” each day until all of these areas are spic and span.  Whew!

Are you tired all the time?

I know that I really start shutting down, “hitting my wall”, as my husband says, when I am overtired.  There are 2 choices at this point.  Try to fit in even just a 10 minute nap.  This is a power nap, and the effects are amazing, and there is science proving it!  It can really refresh you to finish your day out strong.  This is my all-time favorite mom time out!

Another option is to organize the rest of your day to go to bed earlier than usual, as in as much as an hour or more if you can swing it.  It feels amazing the next day!

The best mom time out!

Naps are the best!

Check what you are eating.

When I am super busy and overstressed, I tend to grab whatever is in my pantry, and often it isn’t at all healthy.  Throw all of that away, and do a refresh.

Wash up some lettuce and store it in a large container for the week.  Prepare other veggies to add each day.  Roast or grill some meat (or just grab a rotisserie chicken!), and slice it up as well.  Automatic salads for the week!

The next time you’re at the store, grab some of those little snacks that have cheese and nuts in them-talk about easy!

Try to avoid soda if you can.  Grab some water.  Or for a little bubble, grab some sparkling water–bonus, it is an appetite suppressent.

It’s amazing how quickly this eating tweak will help, and you will feel so much better.

Snacking is not a good mom time out!

There are always snacks in the lounge or workroom.  Holidays, birthdays, retirements, new babies…  You will never escape.  The best thing to do is try to avoid that room for the most part!

But, there are some yummy things that are always a favorite.  Grab a small plate, and put just a few tastes of your favorites on it.  Then, walk away!  This way you can enjoy, but not overdo.  You will thank yourself later.

Also, a great idea is to drink a large glass of water before even heading that way to trick your body into thinking that it’s already full.

Mom time out does not have to look like this!

Stay healthy with one bowl of popcorn, not the whole bag!

Take a walk.

If you have a break, take a walk.  Leave your phone on your desk, and head outside.  If it’s cold, raining, or your break is short, then just walk up and down the hall.  If you’re a teacher, walk the perimeter of the playground if you have recess duty.  Start an incentive program at your place of work to make it something that everyone is doing!  Your body will thank you!

Take a night off!

This can be tricky…

Are your kids in various and multiple activities?  Are you going full blast until they all go to bed?  This is the best time to take a night off.  This will only work when they are younger (or when they’re older, if they are sick).  Make sure that there is no imminent game or recital.  Check with your spouse or significant other to make sure that they are onboard with this plan.

Declare a night off.  Some kids will resist this, but be firm.  Make sure that you make this a fun night!  Put all phones away!  Make a easy, yummy dinner that you wouldn’t have had time to do otherwise.  A favorite at our house was always homemade pizza.  Make it a special night by playing a game or watching a seasonal movie.  Read some fun stories out loud if they are smaller.

Slowing down to connect, even if it’s just one night in the middle of many busy nights can mean a lot to everyone involved, and the stress of hurrying and scurrying is out the window for one night!  Mom time out can take many forms, but time with just family is one of my favs!

Mom time out with take out pizza!

Grab a pizza and save yourself work!

Let go of trying to control everything.

Time for some self honesty.  If you are trying to do all the things and be all the places, then it’s time to slow down and really take stock.  What do you need to cut out, and where do you need to cut back?  Just say NO–and mean it!

Figure out where you want to put your energies, and focus on those things.  Let the rest go!  This is really hard to do.  Start small, and give up little things, and you will get better as you exercise that NO muscle:)  Give yourself a break!

Bonus tip!  Ask for help!!!

Remember that you can ask your kids for help.  It is good for them to be helpful, and they just might learn something in the process!  There are so many skills that they need to know before moving out–they might as well start learning now:)

Ask you spouse or significant other specifically what you need.  Divide and conquer, then sit down together and open a bottle of wine!!

I hope that these ideas for mom time out will help.

Try to figure out which of these things will work for you, and look for other ways as well.  Another post that has some great ideas for self-care is here.

Here’s the link to a printable for 10 Things Every Mom Needs Yesterday!  Print this out for your family to see what you need for a mom time out!

Have you read my book, College Bound: The Ultimate List of Conversations to Help Your Teen Through High School.

Here is a blog post all about College Bound.

Let me know what works for your mom time out!  Share in the comments below:)

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Mom Time Out!|




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  1. Hey Mel, taking time for yourself as a wife and mom should be at the top of our to do lists. It’s too bad so many of us aren’t even on the list. I know first hand how detrimental it can be for your whole family. Moms often feel taken for granted, but I’m realizing we take ourselves for granted too…we aren’t machines that can just keep going without maintenance as much as we want everyone,including ourselves to see us as superwoman.

    • You are so right! It really does take effort to take time for ourselves. And, we shouldn’t feel guilty! Take each day as it comes, and try to add in something for yourself, even if it’s just 15 minutes of “me” time! Baby steps!

  2. Thank you for these reminders especially getting sleep and eating right as it really does make a difference.

    • Yes, I need to listen to myself more! I have been trying to get to the gym 3 times a week, no excuses. Sooooo hard! Sleep is my favorite:)

  3. That dog is brilliant and hilarious! Wish he was mine. Great tips. No one is good to anyone all out of sorts.

    • Isn’t he the best?! I had to include him in this post. My bed is so my favorite place to be most of the time! Glad you liked him:)


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