How I Became a Better Mommy in My Chicken Coop?
by Susie E. Caron © 8/16/15
Like most parents, I became exasperated from time to time, especially when I struggled to understand and discipline my children. However, I never gave up and I never let them know. Instead I retreated to my chicken coop. That’s right. I had chickens (and at one point a goat shared their space as well.) So whenever I got upset and needed some space and time to think (and pray) I got to the chicken coop as fast as I could to think, regroup and plan. Truthfully, this actually began early in my marriage.
One day, as young newlyweds sometimes do, my husband and I argued. I came from a family that yelled. He didn’t. So when I received absolutely no satisfaction from standing my ground and saying my piece (at high volume), I stormed out of the house. I had no other place to go, so I ran to the chicken coop. It was early autumn and just before dusk.
It was a nice coop, as they go, and along with chickens for company, there was my warm fuzzy goat. Maggie had begun growing a winter coat. We cuddled while I yelled and cried. When I was done, and had figured how to proceed further, I tried the door of the coop. It wouldn’t open. To my surprise I was totally locked in the chicken coop.
The door to this coop was fitted from the outside with a board-bar that ‘dropped’ into a kind of ‘arm.’ Apparently when I entered the coop (and slammed the door) the bar had dropped to nestle in arm. Now I had several problems. I was stuck and my husband was in our house about 60 yards away. I was stuck and now going to be embarrassed. I was getting really chilly too. What if he didn’t come out? What if he fell asleep? What will he do if he does come outside? Will I holler to him? Will he let me out or stand stand there, for a while?
Just as I pondered my awful fate, my guy came out of the house, shrugging on his jacket as he walked, head down and looking sad. I did it. I hollered his name, (rather weakly). He looked up, and to his credit stifled a smile, and came to let me out. I will tell you, I did my best dignified look as I strode back to the house. I don’t remember what we’d argued about, but after that, if I retired to the coop, I made sure the bar was moved clear out of the way.
Later, I told the kids this story. I wanted them to know that Mommies get upset too, but it’s not the end of the world. It doesn’t mean I give up, or don’t love them (or their dad) anymore. It means I need time to feel my feelings and to consider my options and choices. So then whenever my husband and I ‘discussed’ an issue, (and I’d learned to do so in a quieter voice) or I became exasperated with the kids, I told them “Don’t worry, I’ll be in the chicken coop (or the barn with my horses).” They knew that in a little while, I would come back ready to continue the struggle of being a good human, wonderful wife and great mother.
Maybe you don’t have a chicken coop, but you can do this too. Set it up with your spouse and kids that there is a place for you to be alone sometimes. Tell your kids something like “Sometimes Mommies need to take ‘time-out’, to feel and to think. That way I can go back to being your good Mommy. So when I am sad, or mad or feeling yukky, I will tell you I’m having my adult feelings and need time out. I love you and believe in you, but right now I need to be alone.” That's how you will be able to de-stress, feel your feelings and plan your next moves without saying or doing things that could needlessly hurt you spouse or kids.
I hope you enjoyed my true story. Please tell me what you think and how you take time outs. If you really liked my story, please share on your favorite social site by clicking the tabs on this page. Thank you!
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Susie E. Caron
Susie E. Caron MA,
Author, Blogger, Podcaster,
Christian, Wife, & Mother, helps build parent-child relationships, 1 blog, book & podcast at a time.
Welcome! I recently retired from combined careers in teaching, psychotherapy, and parent coaching to spend more time writing.
When I'm not busy creating books or articles, you might find me looking for dark chocolate or riding my beautiful horse Apple in the woods and fields of Vermont.
These articles are for educational and self-help purposes only and are not intended as psychotherapy.
If you experience unusual symptoms or discomfort please see your medical or mental health practitioner.
No patent liability is assumed for use of the information contained. The author disclaims any responsibility for loss or risk for use or application of this material.
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Blog Reviews & Thank You!
July 13 at 7:17pm ·
Just wanted to say that I love your posts about the different ways to connect/relate/understand your child. It has given me a new approach towards understanding my daughter and allowing HER to tell me how she feels instead of me suggesting to her how she should feel. Thanks Susie!