How to Get Alone Time This Holiday Season
We’ve got ingenious (and sometimes sneaky) solutions for how to get alone time this holiday season. December 26th is National Leave Mom Alone Day… Isn’t it?
I adore my family, really. But too much of even a good thing can be a bad. Too much sunshine? Skin cancer. Too many bananas? Constipation. Even drinking too much water can kill you.
B.C. (Before Covid), my husband was traveling maybe 80% of the time. (He’s a musician.) Now, with no live performances in sight, he’s been home every day since March 14th. My kids, once away six hours every weekday for school, are now home 24/7 as well. I love these people to pieces but there is such a thing as too much family time. I’m sure they are all sick of me as well.
So, I brainstormed some ingenious ways for us moms to find time alone this holiday season. You’re welcome.
-Play hide and seek with young children. And hide REALLY well. I once drank a whole cup of coffee in the coat closet.
-If you can get away, go grocery shopping. Saunter down each aisle languidly, luxuriously, and slowly.
-Lock yourself in a room with gifts to wrap. No one can come in because it would ruin the “surprise” of their gift. Lounge on the bed and occasionally rustle wrapping paper and rip tape for sound effects.
-Laundry Rule. I instituted a family rule that laundry can only be folded in the basement. When I go down to fold, no one follows me because no one wants to help. So far it hasn’t dawned on them that we have a comfy sofa and a 70 inch TV with Netflix down there. I’m all caught up on The Crown now!
-Use tech to your advantage. We’re all missing our extended family this year. Let the grandparents “babysit” via Facetime. It will buy you a few minutes, at least.
-If your kitchen has a door, tell the family that you are preparing a special dinner and anyone who comes in doesn’t get dessert. Then use Mama’s Little Helper aka the microwave to heat up a prepared meal while you just sit down for once.
-Drive around. I have one very high-energy child who never naps unless she’s in the car. Do you know how many times I’ve done a scenic tour of my neighborhood just to get her to doze off so I can have some peace and quiet? Enjoy the silence or listen to a podcast…quietly.
-Depending on your kids’ ages, your bath or shower could be alone time that you stretch waaaay out. This one doesn’t work with my kids yet. They just follow me in and continue talking to me while I bathe.
-Offer to vacuum the family cars. While you’ll still be working, you’ll be outdoors, far away from the family inside and the vacuum will drown out any of their noises. Put in your earphones and enjoy some music or a podcast.
-Another age dependent hack to get some alone time is to blame Aunt Flo. There’s a certain window in their development when preteen boys are so grossed out and embarrassed by the subject of “female problems”that they will avoid being anywhere near them. Anyone else suddenly have cramps?
-Have a phone call with their teacher. Or at least pretend to. Walk outside and hold the phone up to your ear. If they think it’s their teacher on the other end, they are most less likely to interrupt.
-Nap. No, I’m not talking about sleeping while the baby sleeps or getting your kids to nap so that you can nap, too. That doesn’t work in my house because I’m the only one who needs a nap these days. Instead, just tell the family that you are laying down for a rest but when you wake up, you are all going to clean the house as a family. They’ll let you sleep as long as you want!