8 Things Every Parent Will Do For A Little Alone Time
As usual, I will start by saying I absolutely love my kids. I should probably think about adding this to the disclaimer section of my blog. I love their buoyant energy and enthusiasm about life and their never ending stories and “requests” (AKA nagging pleas). I love their passion and zest for even the smallest things – Seriously my eldest will go on about a sweet he got inside a party pack in enough detail to put a CEO’s presentation on company shares to shame. I love that they need me so much that they feel the need to drag me into every squabble that erupts through out their daily lives I love it that they love me enough to include me in every game so I don’t feel left out drinking my coffee on the couch.
There may be a smidgen of sarcasm in there but the truth is I love my kids and for the most part I seldom have thoughts of getting rid of them. More of than not, I’m pretty happy to have them stick around – and for the record I’m very happy about the fact that my kids are kids and I really wouldn’t change their childlike behaviour for anything. Sans the tantrums – those I would wilfully trade in for my new Mac Book Pro.
But we all know how it can get- don’t you love how I included you there? How I made you feel like we are a team? And truth is we are. We are part of the Universal Team of parents who feel the need to bang our heads against a hard surface from time time. We understand how relentless parenthood can be and how there will be moments in your day or week or month or year where you need to get a away from it all. For some it may happen hourly or at a specific time of the day – post nap, pre nap, meal time, bath time, school pick-up, school drop, bedtime – You guys will relate the most. The fight most certainly is very very real.
I may be speaking out of term and if so feel free to banish me from the Universal group of Perfect parents but I’m secretly hoping to find solitude by opening up my heart to you like this. Here are the things I assume most parents do to get a little alone time. I for one, am guilty as charged. Perhaps I should have titled this post “My confession”.
- You sit in your car for an extra 20 minutes after arriving home from the shops – walking into a house of noise holds little appeal and so you sit quietly and take in the silence. on occasion, I have been know to read a chapter of a book, leaving our nanny (AKA Gagi) to see to the kids. Never done that? What about after your first date night since the new addition arrived where you both sit in the car in the dark after getting home from dinner? Neither of you are strangers to this custom accept these days you aren’t making out or having hot sex at the back of the car, you are staring blankly ahead with zombie like expressions on your faces. You can already hear the crying as you make your way into the driveway and paying the babysitter an extra R100 for going past 10pm seems a worthwhile investment for the few extra moments of peace and quiet before you tackle the two hours of relentless crying yourself. Oh the the sleepless nights!
2. You take the long way home from work or “stay late at the office”– Yes I know most of you are just dying to get home to your little sugerbeans, but let’s be honest, there are times where your capacity for braving the shitstorm at home has reached its limit. Shaving off an little 30 minutes until their bedtime to avoid 10000 meltdowns seems a pretty smart move. My husband will accept his guilty part here and if I really have to think about it, I don’t blame him.
3. You lock yourself in the bathroom with wine or cookies. It often requires drinking out the bottle while sitting in the bath but we know the saying “beggars can’t be choosers” and we take what we can get. I once had a friend over where we locked ourselves in my bedroom with wine while the kids literally trashed the house. The one rule was that they weren’t allowed in unless there was blood. We sat on my bed looking at Pinterest drinking a bottle of wine. The only thing that would have made that moment sweeter was turning on the music to drown out the raucous screams coming from the outside. (Fear not, they were happy children screams – for the most part)
4. You run errands and go to the bank. We live in 2016, who even uses banks anymore? – unless you are a mom who prefers having the excuse to actually go into a bank rather than do it online? Ok sometimes you have a good reason to go into a bank, and sometimes that reason is warm welcome from the madhouse. Saying that, sometimes I tell our nanny that I’m going to the bank and to run errands only to discover the bank has closed early only to nip into a quick movie the way home.
5. You tell them their friends next door are looking for them. Of course I make sure our neighbours are actually home but palming them off that way can be one hell of a treat. If my neighbours are reading this, please know I have a batch of muffins in the oven for you. I’ll send my kids over with them at around 5pm tonight? (That is when Ellen is on right?)
6. You put them to bed at 6.30pm in the winter months and tell them its 8pm. I’m sneaky and I love it. I realise I wont get away with this for too much longer, when my 5 year old begins to actually read the time. (Although I already have plans to tamper with the clock and really mess with his mind.) But for now, on the nights where the long walk to freedom is that much longer, I declare “Look it’s so dark outside, time for bed!” The best part is that we get to cover at least 2 extra episodes of Breaking Bad. Or sit on the couch staring into space, which ever we feel more inclined to do.
7. You go to the gym for an extra long “work-out”. I re-joined the gym after Brody was born and part of the reason was to get my body back into pre pregnancy shape. (*Scoff scoff) The other part of my conspired plan was to make use of the childcare services. I would tell the ladies at the desk that I was going to be having an extra long work out and then meet a friend for coffee after a gruelling 15 minutes on the treadmill. Sometimes I would take my laptop and work for a little bit (That’s what they offer the free internet for right?) and on the odd occasion I have even sat on the couches with a magazine sipping a smoothie. All by my lovely self.
8. You milk being sick. That little sniffle you have been nursing all week that seemed to be working its way out your system? Well, it makes a frightening comeback and turns into full blown flu. The kind that had best keep you away from the rest of the family and the general public. I usually guilt hubs into getting the kids out of the house for a bit so I can get some much needed sleep. Of course by sleep, I mean watch Series, drink wine and read magazines.
Are you guilty of any of these or are you too perfect a parent who loves being with your kids every second of the day? Don’t all go confessing at once now.