Early on in my motherhood journey I had what I consider a full blown anxiety attack. I didn’t know what was going on or who suddenly placed an elephant on my chest and sucked all the oxygen out of the room. It was a very confusing and scary experience.
I’m usually pretty aware of my emotions and can express myself well, but not this time. I had no idea what I was feeling, why I was feeling it or how to make it go away.
Looking back a year later. I now know that I was well past my “need a break” signs. Back then I didn’t know what to look for or felt too guilty to listen because moms don’t need breaks?! FALSE!
Now I try to look out for the Signs that Mama Needs a Break, so I can avoid Dumbo on my chest.
It took some times but these are all the tall tail indicators that I need a break soon or I’ll have a break down.
Lack of Patience-
You know when you almost lose it because your husband didn’t change the toilet paper roll and left you stranded or when you flip your lid because you stepped on a lego again. Yeah, you’re patience needs to be put in check and sometimes stepping away is the best solution.
I may be alone on this one, but when I haven’t had any time alone I start to feel like the walls are closing in and I can’t breathe. I’m not exactly sure why this one happens but I know it does and it’s not good. So, I try to avoid it by being proactive and scheduling some “me time.”
You’ll know you’re at this point when you cry because someone didn’t put their dish in the dishwasher after you had just cleaned up or when you become a blubbering mess because you fell in the toilet after someone didn’t put the toilet seat down. You know the crying but I don’t know why I’m crying stage. You need a break mama.
Sometimes you just have sad days. Everything feels gloomy and you’re not really sure why. This is usually a sign that you need to step away and breathe. When you get inside your head you can make a good day go bad very quickly.
I know as moms being tired is kind of a normal and expected feeling. But, when I need a break I get even more tired that usual. I feel unmotivated and like I can’t be the mom I want to be. It really is amazing how even 5-10 minutes by yourself can give you a little boost.
I struggle with anxiety and worry on the daily, but when I haven’t had any time to myself it’s so much worse. When I start to become more anxious than normal I know that I just need a second for me.
When I start to resent my washing machine because I waited too long to put the washed, wet clothes in the drier so now they are soured and I have to wash them again. When silly things start to make you bitter it’s time to take ten.
I’ve talked about how moms need to hear nice things and it’s easy to feel like what we do goes unnoticed. When you start to feel this way first, give your husband this list and second, go get a coffee…by yourself.
Lack of Perspective-
When you’re unable to rationalize that this “no napping”, “picky eating”, “throwing everything” phase will not last forever and that this is just the way you live now. Give your hubby the deuces and peace out for a few.
Most times if I notice myself getting frustrated for ridiculous things, like never having a good hair day. I know that I need a break.
Okay mamas, I hope these signs help you avoid a full on panic attack. As moms we tend to feel guilty for admitting we need some time to ourselves, even if it’s just ten minutes.
I’m trying to remember that I’m not selfish for wanting/needing some time by myself. Actually, when I listen to these signs and get the time I know I need. I’m a much better mom and wife!
Next week I’ll give you some ideas on how to take a quick break.
Side note: This is my experience and how I know I need a break. I know these can also be signs for other conditions as well.