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There are many times in my week that I have no idea what my son is thinking. Like the times he decides I have to pull on a lever (his arm) to get him to go upstairs, or when he decides to sit upside-down on the couch and waves his feet at me, or when he starts a conversation in the middle of a pretend story and I can't keep up.

Mostly, I am OK with these instances. Confused, but OK.

But there are lots of times when I do need to make sure I understand my son - like when he is stressed out or can't control his own emotions.

But this is often easier said than done. You see, if Mom is stressed then she has trouble understanding her child's point of view. (What's weird is that the study has shown this on a biological level with brain waves.) At first, it's hard to think that a little bit of mama stress could keep a parent from fully understanding her child's side of the story, but...yeah. I get it.

When I am stressed out, I know that my senses are not paying as close attention as they should be. So all those little cues that I've become an expert in over the past nine years that tell me my son is experiencing some heightened emotions? Yup, I am going to miss seeing those triggers ahead of time.

So, what's a Mom to do? As usual, the answer is that we have to learn to take care of ourselves the way we take care of everyone else. Moms need breaks so we can be better Moms. Even if that just means a half-hour of quiet time to ourselves so we can be more in tune with the family.

How do you give yourself a micro break when you get stressed out? Talk about it in the comments.

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