In my seven years as a mom, I've perfected the art that is hiding from my children. And, honestly, any parent who tells you they haven't hid from their children at some point are straight lying. I mean, do you know what it's like to be needed all the damn time? It's exhausting. Everyone needs a break from that kind of pressure! Of course, any break can be hard to come by, so I'm here to share with you some sneaky ways to hide from your kids, because we parents need to stick together.
Thankfully, when you're a mom it doesn't take much to bring you back to neutral. Hell, even a little bit of "alone time" can feel like a vacation. There have been times when a regular old shower felt like a day at the spa. So when I say "hide from your kids" I'm not talking about extended, unsupervised periods where they have to wonder where you are and worry that they've been abandoned. I just mean a few minutes here and there, where you don't have a tiny human staring at you expectantly for no reason other than the fact that they're completely obsessed with you. That obsession can actually be really nice when you're in the right frame of mind for it, but on days when you're totally touched out... OMG, WTF, kid? Leave me alone.
Yes, your options here are limited. Once you sign up for parenthood there's not too much you can do to get out of it without great personal expense. But I've gathered some ideas that I think might do the trick, in case you're needing a break:
Tell Them You Have To Poop
Claiming Number Two is probably the number one way moms escape their children. (See what I did there?) Kids understand poop. It's one of the very few things they do understand. And they understand that, when you're pooping, you can't do anything but poop. Sure, they might bang on the door every five seconds to see if you're done, but they at least get what's going on. So if you need a few minutes away from your children, lock yourself in the bathroom and tell them you're pooping.
Variations On Hide & Seek
This twist on an old classic is a winner that can make you seem like a loving, engaged parent and snag you some quiet time. When it's their turn to hide, count very slowly and then take forever to find them. I mean, you'll almost certainly know exactly where they are, so just look everywhere but there. Hang out in another room and pretend you're turning over every nook and cranny while you scroll through IG for a bit. When it's your turn to hide, either hide in the shower (they never look in the shower), or move around as they look so they can legitimately never find you. I call this "nomadic hide and seek" and it's bought me some valuable "me time."
Find The Wardrobe That Takes You To Narnia
That's a thing, right? It was in a book so it must be true. Once you find the right wardrobe (check your uncle's house) just go ahead and crawl into it, past the old furs or whatever and boom. You know you're there when you see snow and a satyr and someone offers you Turkish delights. It's a great place to hide from your kids and also come up with elaborate Christian metaphors.
Freeze In Place
Don't move a muscle. Their visual acuity is based on movement... or is that T-Rexes? Either way, it's worth a shot. After a while your child/dinosaur is bound to assume you're an incredibly lifelike statue and, as a result, gain an appreciation of fine art.
Invest In An Enchanted Cave
Some people are all about the Man Cave or She Shed, but I'm a big proponent of having one's very own enchanted cave or cavern. This may be harder if you live in an apartment, and even if you have a house with some property you're going to want to check your local zoning laws, but I think having an enchanted cave is a great way to find a space to yourself. Not only that, your child will develop important life skills like bravery, wit, and running from falling boulders as they try to get to you.
Tell Them They Have To Clean Their Room & Then Go There
Because, as we all know, our children will do anything to avoid cleaning their room. Seriously, anything. So just go ahead and chill in their messy room for a bit while they putter around the rest of the home doing anything they can to avoid cleaning.
Fair warning: there's a good chance they will make a second mess around the rest of the house as they avoid confronting the one that exists in their room. But what is the alone time worth to you? Sometimes it's worth having to pick up your living room.
Hide Behind Their Tablet
Go ahead and give them a tablet and then make sure you stand directly behind it. They will never, ever notice you.
"Wait a minute! Isn't this just using screens to babysit your kids and buy some time to yourself."
Wear A Cloak Of Invisibility
Just as Harry Potter was able to accomplish all kinds of shenanigans with the aid of his cloak of invisibility, so too will you. It's a great way to escape your child while being able to keep a close eye on them. And nothing is going to keep them on their toes than the knowledge that, even when they think they're alone, someone is watching their every move.
It will also probably make them intensely paranoid adults but, like, this is a give and take, you guys.
Dish Towel Over The Head
Tossing a blanket over a cage tricks parakeets into thinking it's night time, so I'm thinking this might trick some of the younger kids out there? It's worth a shot. Put it over their head or your head. Their object permanence might be just shoddy enough for you to get away with this one.
OK, I hate that I have to say this, but please don't actually put a dish towel over your baby's head. These are jokes, you guys.
Sphinx Guard Outside Your Bedroom
In Greek mythology, the sphinx had the head of a woman, the body of a lion, and eagle wings, and if you couldn't answer its riddle it would eat you. Dude: set one of those outside your door. Your child will either leave you alone (because sphinxes are scary), be eaten by the sphinx, or develop the intellectual skills to solve the riddle.
I'm guessing you could probably train your sphinx not to eat your toddler, but I'm not here to tell you how to raise your kid (or your sphnix for that matter). Because it's important to carve out this time for yourself and no one knows the best way to do that than you.