I want to be clear, as a parent, I like to be present for my kids when they really need me. There are times that are non-negotiable when they need me to be present — if they need to go to the toilet, if they are hurt or upset, or have an urgent problem.
I’m just referring to getting 10 minutes (or even 5!) to yourself. It’s now been 5 weeks that I’ve been with my kids 24/7 gee I love them, but it’s a LOT!
These tips are for the whingey times when your child could just help themselves or move on with their perceived need for their parent. I’ve found myself coming up with some creative ways to be alone for a few minutes, and I thought I’d share them here with you.
6 places to hide from your kids when you need a break
1. The spare bedroom or office
If you have a spare bedroom, office or room that doesn’t get used much, sneak in there with your phone for a social media browse, a snack (but not noisy chips, that’s bound to bring them running!) or a book.
Close the door so they can’t hear you if you are watching videos, or use headphones. I like to sit on the bed with a few pillows behind me (and sometimes snuggle under the duvet). I can usually get 10 minutes at least before they hunt me down!
2. The pantry
You need a pantry with a door for this one, although a little cramped it’s a pretty good place to hide since it’s full of all the snacks! It’s not really great for relaxing for too long, but you can get at least 5 minutes to yourself hiding out in here (and sneaking the kids leftover Easter eggs)!
If you don’t have a pantry with a door, you could try hiding in the laundry, but you’ll have to sneak in your own snacks.
3. The bathroom
The bathroom in my house is the only room with a lock. So I CAN lock myself in. The only problem with this is, if the kids come along they know I’m in there when they can’t open the door. Usually if they are asking for me for a minute or so and I don’t answer they go away. It depends how persistent they are, usually if I tell my kids I am in the bathroom or shower they will wander off after a minute or two.
My husband seems to be a master of using the bathroom to escape, he seems to spend an inordinate amount of time in there with his phone! I need to do it myself more I reckon!
You can possibly get away with this one for a more extended period. To make it even better, if you have outdoor chairs, move one to a place the kids can’t easily see you if they pop their head out the door. The other day I moved a chair on our balcony away from the view of the windows and doors and the kids didn’t come out for 30 minutes! (They actually did check once, and didn’t see me!).
This day it worked for a few minutes, with wine! But see who’s coming out the door!
5. The Bedroom
This one isn’t really a stealth move as much as one for reasoning with the kids, it has about a 50% success rate in my experience. I tell my kids I need a rest and go into my room. If they are engrossed in the TV or an activity, I can sometimes get 20 minutes to myself, but if they think they “need” me, then they are often jumping on me two minutes later. Bit hit and miss, but worth a try.
You can also try bargaining with them, if they leave you alone for a few minutes they can have a reward later on.
Found me again!
6. The car
If your partner is home and the kids won’t be alone, hiding in the car is awesome!
You can also use this if you go to the shop and get home, and don’t feel like going inside to deal with the onslaught of requests. Just sit in the car and chill, listen to music or a podcast, read social media or an e-book on your phone.
Another trick, get yourself a sneaky snack from the supermarket and eat it in the car before you go inside so the kids don’t steal half of it! Magnum anyone?
I hope you can manage to try some of these and get a break!
You could also just tell your partner you are losing your mind and need some time alone, you could have a video conference with a friend and a beverage (or three).