Timeouts are Absolutely Necessary – But Not For Who You Think

At this very moment, I am sitting in a closed room upstairs letting my fingers fly on the keyboard.  My husband is downstairs wrangling our two teething, growth spurting, leaping, tired toddlers.  They woke early and took nap early today, which leaves them more accurately described as “toddlerbeasts” (I can’t own that….someone I know came up with that incredible phrase).

Friends, I am in a timeout.  And it is absolutely 100% necessary for our home to function.

Hubby changed the girls for bed while I got the bedroom and myself ready.  I took them both upstairs, snuggle down into the soft bed with them, and pulled down my shirt.  Tandem nursing in bed is how we have been doing bed time since they were teenie little things..lighter than a bag of flour.
11667548_10154215270563475_5386344639998447544_nSometimes, they snuggle in, give me a kiss, and nurse right to sleep.  Other times, like tonight, they were your typical gymnurstics toddlerbeasts.  Standing on the bed with their face smooshed into my breast blowing raspberries…throwing one leg up into the air and losing their balance…falling onto their back and trying to take my nipple along for the ride…Serenity thought it was cool to bite and then laugh hysterically at me…both wanted to twiddle and since I was tandem nursing they were gouging each other’s eyes out instead…pounding on the wall…trying to climb off the bed…trying to grab the phone and shove a pacifier in my nose and scratch and pull my lips….

Friends…..there is good reason for my timeout.

I came downstairs upset, exasperated, angry, frustrated, short fused, and triggered.  Twiddling, biting, and scratching are full stop under no circumstances can this happen in our nursing relationship things for me.  I will get into the why’s on another post down the line I’m sure.

Downstairs they were just as crazy.  Throwing things, screaming, asking for 6 things at once, hitting, and clamoring to sit on my lap.

My husband looked at me and said, “I think they’re feeding off of you.  Go upstairs and take 10 minutes.”

A nice way of saying, “Go to timeout.”

So, here I am.  I just got a text from him that the girls are very tired, if I am ready, and I asked for 5 minutes to finish this blog post.  He said ok.  I can hear River at the stairs intermittently calling, “Hey!” up the stairs for me.  Often, my timeouts include indulgent food, messing around on my phone, creating something, or listening to music.  Today, it was writing.

11048703_10154178337958475_353479500602769359_nNursing is not easy.  It is not always fun.  It is not always the beautiful amazing pictures and all the gooey feelings.  Sometimes it is.  But sometimes, it is just really really hard.  Often, it is tiring and triggering and leaves you run bare.  And sometimes, it is so triggering you have to walk away.

So now that I have been flying my hands on a keyboard for 15 minutes instead of fighting with tired and grumpy and super touchy toddlers who just want to sleep but can’t slow down their bodies enough to do so, I feel much more in control.  Much more capable.  Entirely more calm.  No longer triggered.  Why?  Because I am doing something for me to recenter.

It is ok to take a few minutes for yourself when you feel stretched past your limit.

This is the best advice I have ever been given, so I am sharing it with you.  It is absolutely necessary, even in the most attachment parenting and gentle parenting homes, for timeout to be a part of the household structure.

It is not at all for the children though.

It is for us.

And it is perfect.

 

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