"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength," I mumble through deep breaths during my time-outs. It's something I often tell myself through the challenges of motherhood. During a rare outing with my kids, we were at the mall and I was trying to complete a purchase while I gave Elijah the 'mom look', death glare, and several verbal warnings to stop acting like an uncivilized heathenistic monkey. Instead of complying, he batted his big blue eyes and told me,
"No way, I'm bored you mad cow," to which I mentally noted, no more Loony Tune Cartoons from which he learned the phrase 'mad cow' and immediately began paraphrasing my strength verse in hopes I would have the strength to stay calm and not strangle this beloved babe in public. The cashiers doubled over in laughter after watching me get on eye level with my son and telling him,
"Young man, I'm beginning to lose my patience. If I lose my patience, that means Mommy is going to need a very long time-out. And if Mommy gets a long time-out, you will also get a time-out, have I made myself clear?"
Apparently the idea of moms getting time-out's is funny. I don't see the funniness in it at all. Jesus took time-outs away from his disciples and family in order to be closer to God, to clear his head, and to pray. If the Son of God purposely took regular time-outs, why shouldn't we as mothers? I recently read in a James Dobson book that moms should take at least one time-out a week, and yet we as mothers feel guilty doing it. Why should we feel guilty when we all know the end result of a time-out is rest, clarity, collected saneness, and maybe a cute outfit or two?
The next time you find yourself threatening your child with a time-out, make a mental note to plan one for yourself this week. I know I will!