I'm a believer in time-out for misbehavior. I also believe in using time-out when a child just needs a break and a little bit of calm silence. My children's time-outs were not punishments. I explained the unacceptable behavior, told them they needed time to rest for just a few minutes and when the time was up they would be given a second chance to try to make better choices. Sometimes I would say, "This is a calming time-out. It won't be long and I'll stay with you. We just need to do something quiet to help us rest for a moment; then you can go play again."
As time passed, I realized sometimes I, myself, needed a time-out. I would tell my children when that time arrived, explain why I would be missing for a few minutes, and ask not to be disturbed while I took time to regroup. Darrin was always afraid those moments would seem like "anything goes" times and the kids would erupt while I was absent. To his surprise, they almost always retreated to their bedrooms to read or do some quiet activity until I emerged from my isolation chamber.
My life has spiraled out of control. I am overwhelmed and in constant pain. Emotionally, I am unable to navigate even the smallest of stresses. It's time for me to take a time-out.
I'll be back soon. I need this place to express my thoughts and work through intricate details of my life. Right now, however, I just need to be able to live again.
Thank you to those who have emailed, texted, phoned, or otherwise communicated with me to lend support and offer prayers. I appreciate you and hope you'll continue to communicate with me through those venues even while I'm in time-out.
And while I'm gone--please don't make any big messes or get into large amounts of trouble.