Can I go to the break room now?

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When I was in high school I had an after-school job at a local grocery store chain.  Many of my classmates also worked at this chain, and it was a good way to make a little extra money.  State policy dictated that for every three hours worked, an employee must have a ten-minute break.  Our manager was very scrupulous about this law (fine by me).

I found that even though ten minutes is a relatively short period of time, it was enough to have a small snack, read a magazine article, or just relax, which was enough to energize me for the rest of my shift.

Our baby started crawling shortly after Pesach, and my toddler has been both thrilled and dismayed at this development.  Thrilled because now his brother can actually follow him around, and dismayed because, well, his brother can actually follow him around (and chew on all his toys!  The nerve!).  Because of this, my job as mom-referee has kicked into high gear.  And I am exhausted.

The amount of down time I’ve had has been basically cut to nothing, and the down time I do have is so short that it’s difficult to accomplish much.  From my meager motherly experience, I know that once this phase mellows, or I find a reasonable way to manage the current situation, I’ll have more time to accomplish what I need (and want) to, which is fine.  But right now, I really just want a manager to come and say, “Okay, time for your break.”

What are some ways you take a “break” when life is at its more hectic periods?

12 thoughts on “Can I go to the break room now?

  1. well my kids are sleeping now so this is my break— I’m packing another 10-12 boxes tonight… oh wait, that’s not a break! ok so tomorrow while they’re sleeping I’ll get some work done…. hmmmm that’s not a break either. Break??? :) Enjoy having 2 going in 2 different directions– always fun….

  2. I understand the feeling. I hate giving oral exams when we are not supposed to leave the room for four hours on end. Sometimes you must welcome evenings.

  3. Sometimes you just don’t get that break when you need it and that’s part of life and part of the juggle. We accpet the challenges of motherhood and then when we look back, we feel accomplished! Like, hey, I did it and I pulled through the day, even though I thought I’d collapse!

    The reward is in the challenge!

    Of course it’s nice to get to relax but reality is that motherhood is a hectic and challenging life!

    My main time to relax is once the kids are asleep for the night, but while they are awake I remind myself that this is my job and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Even if they’re both crying at the same time and I’m trying to make supper and have a million things on my head.
    We need to enjoy this stage in our lives – it’s good to be busy!!

  4. I K-N-O-W the feeling you are referring to about not having ANY downtime AT ALL. My daughter was 18 months old when my son was born, so that all adds up to no downtime (how about negative downtime?). How did I cope? I determined that the bathroom was my downtime (no joke). If I went in there, that meant that I needed peace and to not be bothered, so my husband figured out that that is sacred time for me. How did I cope when I was at home with both kids? I took micro-breaks. 2 min on the internet or a quick bite or a quick magazine read while both kids were occupied. I also did activities with the kids that were soothing to me too, like strolling around the neighborhood with them, or driving anywhere (I know I’m strange – I find driving to be relaxing), or even going to my favorite grocery store with them (another strange quirk of mine). And finally – knowing that at the end of the day is sleep!!! I may have also eaten lots of ice cream during this time (the time at home eventually ended once I got a full-time outside-the-home job).

  5. Devorah – that’s a good perspective, and a good reminder for myself on those days that I find more frustrating. And, yes, I wouldn’t trade it for anything, either. :)

    A – I can’t believe you know Hy-Vee! Small world. They were a great company to work for.

    Houston Ima – lol about the ice cream! We also take lots of walks. I also find driving relaxing (though gas prices are not, and I like the exercise of a walk better). Now that the weather has started cooperating, we’ve made many trips to the park, which has been a good thing for all of us. :)

  6. I used to work on the house during naptime but i have a serious serious case of mommy burn out so I am trying to hang out during naptime… of course the entire moving thing through that for a loop! but I’m trying to get back into the habit of doing that. (I make my older kids take a rest time for an hour and a half every day. they can do whatever quiet activity they like in their room.)

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