Dashboard Lights – How to Tell When I Need a Parenting Break

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The fall schedule is in full swing. All of my jobs are demanding a piece of my attention. As my focus becomes divided, my tank gets closer and closer to empty. When my tank gets close to empty, I get resentful and pissy. And the children call out in delight, “YAY! Mom’s resentful and pissy—Christmas must be coming!”

I was thinking about how great it would be to have a dashboard for my mental stability. Instead of indicating low tire pressure or overheating, it would light up: Hormone levels high! Patience deactivated! Self-control low! Schedule friend maintenance! Rage-day warning!

But then, I realized, I DO have those lights. They are a clearly lit emotional control panel for me to take note of. They come in the form of that sharp tone in my voice with my family, that crazy victim thinking that creeps in, or how overwhelmed I can get when one more email comes in asking me to do one more thing.

I love to blame. Blaming is awesome. It totally makes me feel better when I convince myself that everyone else drained my gas tank. But, I’m a big girl now and it’s up to me to take care of my own car. My challenge is acknowledging the warning signs and scheduling time for mental maintenance. All I have to do is look out my driver’s side window to be reminded that, the objects of my desires are closer than they appear.

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    Welcome to my blog! Here you can read about what’s on my mind as I try my best to recover from screaming at my kids and nagging the bejesus out my husband.

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