From Chicken Soup for the Mother of Preschooler's Soul

On a Role

Be careful to preserve your health. It is a trick of the devil, which he employs to deceive good souls, to incite them to do more than they are able, in order that they may no longer be able to do anything.

Vincent De Paul

Driving them home after a full afternoon together with her grandchildren, my mother-in-law braked suddenly. A speeding car had cut in front of her.

“You idiot!” Her reaction was immediate and forceful.

Flabbergasted at the vulgarity, her three young passengers blurted, “Nana, you said a bad word. That is a time-out!”

An exhausted Nana agreed.

When they arrived home, she diligently reminded them that she did, indeed, deserve a sufficient “time-out.” Together, they settled on a full fifteen minutes, and off Nana went—book in hand—to serve her punishment. Fifteen minutes of peace and quiet in the privacy of her bedroom.


We could all learn a lesson from Nana. Moms need timeout, too.We devote so much of ourselves to others that we often forget to take care of us. Rejuvenation is vital to our well-being and, let’s face facts, feels great. Why not allow ourselves a “girls’ night out”?

Let the dinner dishes sit, grab a magazine—one with more pictures than words—and put up your feet. Forego the last load of laundry; instead, sit down and listen to your favorite radio talk show. Put the kids to bed early; take a nighttime shower—by candlelight.

You get the picture. We need to carve out some alone time, a bit of solitude.We will be healthier for it, and so will our families.

Let Nana be your role model. I’ll share her. As for me, I’m considering taking up swearing. I figure, if I throw around a few bad words, I’ll have to givemyself a time-out.


In the quiet of my room.

For oh, say, forty minutes. After all, isn’t the rule one minute for each year of age? Awesome!

Linda Vujnov

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