It’s hard to listen to sometimes, isn’t it? All these parents moaning and groaning all day long about the unrelenting reality of parenting young children?

How they never get any time to themselves? Never have any time to shower or even use the bathroom alone? No break? No downtime? No “me” time to speak of? All their time is taken up by their demanding offspring? Blah Blah etc Blah.

I know right? Find something else to complain about and stop clogging up my newsfeed!

Personally, I don’t know what people are bellyaching about. All these parents having a whinge are clearly just lacking in some good old-fashioned creativity and ingenuity.

I myself have found innumerable ways of getting a much-needed break in my day.

There’s going out in the car for instance! The best way to get a small respite from the voices of my children is to strap them in to their car-seats and close the passenger doors. Lo and behold, silence. I find I need to take a few steps back from the car to really appreciate the noise cancelling effects of the soccer Mum car exterior but in doing so you can achieve at least 3 entire seconds of peace. Of course, society says you mustn’t leave them in the car unattended, so you will have to eventually get in there with them and suffer the inevitable “He’s looking at me” soundtrack from the backseat. There were 3 whole seconds before that though!

Obviously, the children will begin to cotton on to the fact that you are starting to attain some sort of semblance of independence from them, so they will try to draw you back in to their clutches with a sudden onset of separation anxiety only present when you’re attempting to return the shopping cart an entire metre away. You will always have those first initial 3 seconds of peace to remember though. Cherish them.

You also can always try to use the bathroom on your own as well. Many others have failed in this attempted parenting hiatus but that doesn’t mean you will too! (Disclaimer: Yeah, it probably does mean you will fail too. Children have a sixth sense for these things and will likely know even before you do when you need to use the loo.) There’s nothing quite as relaxing as seeing those chubby little fingers reaching under the door during a private porcelain moment…

As the “experts” are always harping on about setting up activities to keep your children entertained, you can use this as a two birds – one stone opportunity.  Setting children up with activities to do will often provide you with a much-needed few minutes of solitude. There needs to be a balance though of the quiet time versus inevitable clean-up ratio. You see, no good deed goes unpunished. Give the children play dough – enjoy ten minutes of zero interruption, expect to find they have broken it up in to teeny tiny balls and thrown it like confetti – spend a full hour sweeping, mopping and vacuuming. Were the ten minutes worth it? ……… Actually, I would still say yes. Always worth it.

When striving for time away from your mini beasts, it is important to utilise all ammunition in your arsenal even if it means, let’s say, being economical with the truth. At my place, for instance, the postman comes a few times a day to our house. (Disclaimer: He doesn’t.) He does not always deliver anything either, but he does afford me a few moments of quietude whilst wandering out to check the letterbox. Sometimes, just to shake things up a bit, I even like to send the children out to check the mail while I wait inside. If I close the front door while I watch them, I can almost pretend they belong to some one else. As good as a trip to the Mediterranean that is.

It’s obviously imperative to ensure that your children aren’t feeling slighted and ignored while you’re aspiring for “me” time so you will also need to attempt to make them feel included. Don’t have the time or the inclination to go to a spa for a massage? Ask your children to do it! If you close your eyes, it can actually feel like the real thing. (Disclaimer: if the real thing feels like two tiny, angry garden gnomes with the strength of wildebeests pounding at your neck. All the while shrieking “it’s my turn! It’s myyyyy turn!!!!” directly in to your ear.) Yep, just like the real thing.

You see, all these dissatisfied parents bleating about their children – they’re clearly just harbouring a limited imagination. It’s so easy to be at home all day with young kids, I personally don’t understand what all the fuss is about.

(Disclaimer: no children were harmed in the making of this article. My sarcastic muscle is feeling a bit overworked however…)


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The importance of me time

What I understand about motherhood the second time around

Time Management goes out the Window with Kids