I’ve been working since high school, and every employer I’ve ever worked for has offered break time. Actually, by law, they’ve required them.

I’ve learned CPR as a lifeguard. I’ve cashed out a register, scrubbed tables, set budgets, and presented strategy. 

And along with every paycheck I deposited came a sense of accomplishment and a challenge to keep on. And so I pressed on and climbed the proverbial ladder of success.

But not without taking breaks.

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Google says the human brain is believed to process thousands of thoughts per hour. Thousands.

That’s a lot of spent energy the world doesn’t even see.

Add little hands tugging you in opposite directions, kids arguing over whose turn it is to talk, and a nonstop game of keep-away now that the baby can hunt down the remote, and your calling to mother turns to chaos in no time flat.

Now, I’m not your supervisor, but I’m a mama who gets it, and I’m here to tell you it’s time to take a break.

Because motherhood is just as demanding a job as anything else, and it needs the same respect. 

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I decided to resign from my position in higher education after the birth of my first son. Then his little brother joined us 15 months later, which meant in less than two years, I went from shopping Ann Taylor and paid time-off as a career woman to carrying a babe on both hips as a stay-at-home mom.

I went from killing time on social media to using it to keep me company when my babies couldn’t talk back.

Schedules changed. Priorities changed. And whether you also work outside the home or not, there’s no clocking out at being mom.

It’s not that you even really want a break from your family. There’s no one in the world you love more.

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It’s needing a break from the noise.

The tugging.

The arguing.

The worry.

The tears.

And not feeling guilty about it.

So, shut yourself in that bathroom, mama, and eat that donut.

Grab a coffee and turn off your phone. Step outside and exhale.

There’s not a job out there that’s more rewarding or important.

And you’ll love it even more as long as you make time to take your breaks.

Jaclyn Warren

Stay-at-home mommy of four on mission to encourage parents to savor the meaningful in the midst of the messy. Take your 15 minutes; it’s your turn for timeout. You can find her at www.mommys15minutes.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Mommys15Minutes-543229312706302/.