I just want 5 minutes. 5 minutes where I can watch a snippet of the Real Housewives. Where I can go to the bathroom in peace without someone looking for me. Where I can take a moment and breathe. Is that too much to ask for?
I’ve found a few ways I can steal 5, 10 even 30 minutes to myself. To throw on some music and tune out the kids. To watch Tamara & Vicki fight about Vicki’s new face on the RHOC. To take a shower without a kid banging on the door. Here are some of my tricks.
1. Laundry. I save the laundry to do on Sundays. Sunday night, the Tivo is nice and full and I’m ready to watch, but the kids keep wanting to play video games at top sound level or scream or whatever kids do when they know you want alone time. My laundry trick has been working for years. I simply tell the kids they can play quietly by themselves, or they can help me fold and put away the clothes. They take one look at the massive pile and bolt to their rooms for lego creations and handheld video games and I’m left with at least a good hour of drama and catfights on the TV. Granted, I usually end up so engrossed in my reality TV shenanigans that it takes me twice as long to do the laundry I claimed I needed to do so badly, but hey, I’ll take it for some quiet time.
Benadryl. Okay, okay, I’m not really doping my kids to be quiet. The thought has crossed my mind. Instead, I get the kids nice and tired the old fashioned way. By making them walk the dog with me. We aren’t talking a quick around the block walk, but a 1.5-2 mile loop around our neighborhood at a semi fast pace. By the time we are done, they are ready to collapse and veg out and I can steal time to check facebook, write this post or read a bit of my book.
3. I just want a 10 minute shower. Ten Minutes. I’ll be quick, I promise. For this I save the kids favorite TV show or movie. Want to watch the Regular Show? Not until I say so kids. How about Toy Story for the 569th time? You gotta wait. Finally when they just can’t take waiting anymore, I let them watch and I’m guaranteed to have at least until the first commercial break before their concentration breaks and they are whining again. Say what you want about TV as a babysitter, but in our house, it’s the best invention since, well, ever.
4. Dog walks. If the kids aren’t with me, I wait for the hubby to be home, or have my 14 yr old babysit the younger 2 kids and I’m out the door with a puppy, leash and my iPod. I’ll listen to music, audiobooks, podcasts, anything that isn’t Spongebob or Adventure Time. My pooch loves the outside time and exercise and I love the fact that I get fresh air and a break. Even if it’s just a block up the road to get the mail. Sometimes any break is good, no matter how short.
5. Enlist help. Husbands/Spouse/Significant Other. Whatever you call it, get someone to watch the kids for you so you can have a break. Hell, invite the grandparents over for playtime if you have to. Trade babysitting with a neighbor or friend.
Sell the kids to the gypsies. Getting some alone time is perfect to recharge your soul so you are better prepared to break up fights over toys or have your 803rd tea party.
Never feel guilty about needing a break or alone time. Don’t forget about YOU. Mommies need breaks too.