Parent Time Out: How to Escape the Kids

June 22, 2015
Parent Time Out: How to Escape the Kids


Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great Father’s Day weekend. I had a fantastic weekend visiting with family. Staying in a house with at least three other adults meant that I actually got a break from mommy duties! I had at least 3 cups of coffee without once having to re-heat my cup! I even got to take a shower without little ones banging on the door. It was marvelous.

I love visiting with family, because they take the kids and I get to just be. I don’t have to do anything at all except sit there, drinking my cup of coffee. Unfortunately, our closest family lives 2.5 hours away, so those moments of silent, childless bliss are few and far between.

I love my kids to the moon and back, but sometimes I need to get away for a minute, clear my head, and refill my energy tank. Days when my kids pester with their never-ending demands and Oscar worthy tantrums can leave me wanting to pull my hair out. When family isn’t there to entertain the kids, I look to my husband to watch the kids while I escape for a moment to regroup. The problem is, on the particularly trying days, he may not be willing to take on the angry kid monsters by himself. So…sometimes I may stretch the truth to sneak away. I don’t normally advocate for dishonesty in a relationship, but here are 7 ways to pull one over on your spouse so you can escape your kids for a few blessed moments of silence.

7 (little white) lies to tell your spouse:

1. I’m answering an important email

When the kids are especially rowdy (think pre bed time), leave the kids with daddy to “answer an important email.” Shut yourself in the office and give yourself a 10 minute time-out to watch cat videos on YouTube. Hang on to those feelings of fuzzy contentment when you head out to endure the endlessly painful “I need a story, song, and glass of water” bedtime routine.

2. I need to go look for something in the car

To sneak in 5 precious minutes of time where little children can’t bite, crawl on, hang off of, or generally harass you, use the pretense of going to your car to look for your wallet, phone charger, or important piece of paperwork. With a little bit a forethought, you can actually leave something important in your car, knowing that you’ll need to eventually return with evidence in hand. Utilize this tactic in early spring and autumn, so you don’t roast or freeze to death in the car.

3. I have diarrhea, I’m going to be a while.

For this to work, you actually have to be able to shut the bathroom door and lock it before your kids realize that mommy has to “go”. Distract the kids with dad, and make a break for it. Make sure to stash a book and a candy bar in the bathroom ahead of time.  Flush every few minutes and moan for effect. This tactic can buy you a solid 25-35 minutes of alone time. When you decide to leave your haven, be sure to spray some air freshener, turn on the fan, and say “trust me, you don’t want to go in there for a while.”

4. I’ll be in the basement (or attic) trying to find…

If you are feeling especially evil, set up a messy craft that your kids adore that will keep them occupied for at least 30 minutes (like finger paints, bubbles, or Legos etc.).  As soon as your little Da Vinci’ are occupied, leave your spouse in charge and “go look for…” whatever. It doesn’t really matter. Just mumble under your breath about needing to find something and then don’t return until they are all done with craft time. Make sure not to post or like anything on Facebook during this time, or you’ll be found out. Using your kindle app for some quiet reading time is a safer bet.

5. Dinner isn’t done cooking yet

While your spouse fends off the hangry hostiles, surreptitiously sip some wine while you cook dinner on a lower heat for longer. You’ll give yourself an extra 5 minutes for the wine to take effect before your food flinging chimps kids descend upon the table for dinner.

6. Don’t let them in here, there’s cleaner on the floor

This one takes an ounce of effort, but it’s worth it. Leave your spouse to deal with the kids, and lock yourself into the bathroom with a mop, cleaning spray, and some rubber gloves. You may actually have to clean the bathroom, but once you’re done, enjoy a hot bubble bath in your freshly cleaned tub. If your spouse knocks and asks if you’re done yet, just shout, “Don’t come in here! There’s cleaner everywhere, and I mopped myself into the corner.”

7. I’m not done here, I’ll text you when I’m on my way.

Embrace that elusive chance to get errands done sans children by taking as much time as you please. Push the grocery cart slowly up and down every aisle, let one or two people ahead of you in line at the bank, and stop at a coffee shop on your way home. Circle the neighborhood one or two times to finish your drink while it’s still hot, and crank up the radio with your own music. Relish the fact that you’re in your car without having to endure painful torture listen to the soundtrack of Frozen for the 8 millionth time.

Try one or two of these, and you’ll get at least a 5 minute time out from the kids. Enjoy the silence, relax, and regroup. You’ll be a better parent for it. You deserve a few minutes to yourself. Don’t feel bad for taking advantage of your spouse every now and again. I promise, they do the same thing to you when they can.

Do you ever take advantage of your spouse to get some alone time? Does your spouse use any of these tactics for getting quiet time away from the kids?

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  • Reply Jennifer @ WanderlustWallet June 22, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    I can only imagine how exhausting parenting can be! While I don’t have any little ones yet, I will have to keep these in mind for the future. 😉 I especially like numbers 4 and 5.

    • Reply ModerateMuse June 22, 2015 at 2:26 pm

      My kids are so great, and I feel so blessed to be their mommy. Sometimes though, number 5 is what it takes to get through another exhausting day =]

  • Reply Christina @ Embracing Simple June 22, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Haha this gave me a good laugh. I usually just tell my husband “I’m about to lose my shit, I’m leaving for a few minutes” and that tends to do the trick lol. Like this Saturday I got out of the house for an hour and a half to work at Starbucks and it was like heaven. I got the recharge I needed and then was excited to come back home and hang with the family and was a much better Mom for it.

    • Reply ModerateMuse June 22, 2015 at 3:49 pm

      Working for an hour or so at Starbucks sounds like heaven! I’m glad you got a chance to get out by yourself for a bit!

  • Reply aprilmariemail June 23, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    Ha-ha number 7 is definitely me. I’ll stretch those “errands” and add a few more to the list. So something that should have taken 15 min turns into an hour…

    • Reply ModerateMuse June 23, 2015 at 8:39 pm

      I’m right there with you! I so rarely get the chance to get out of the house without the kids, that I when I can, I tend to linger way longer than necessary.

  • Reply femmefrugality June 26, 2015 at 2:46 am

    This is great! I’ve only ever done #7, but I’m sure he’s used most if not all of these on me. Except maybe the bubble bath. He knows I know he never cleans the bathroom.

    • Reply ModerateMuse June 26, 2015 at 2:50 am

      I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one whose husband rarely cleans the bathroom!

  • Reply Tennille June 28, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    I love your list it’s so funny! I’m going to have to try one or five of these on my own husband. I find that faking a headache comes in handy now and then. I can take a nap or get some things done in a quite room. Now and then I may hear, “shhhh… Mommy has a headache”. If I’m lucky he will even take the kids outside to play.

    This little white lie sometimes gets me an hour all to myself.

    • Reply moderatemuseblog June 28, 2015 at 2:15 pm

      Thank you! Headaches are a good one. I usually don’t even have to fake those!

  • Reply Joe June 29, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    My wife is great at taking a load off. It’s a lot tougher when she’s not home (at work.) At least my kid is getting a bit more self sufficient now. I can tell him – I need 10 minutes, go play by yourself a bit. That’s a huge improvement from a few months ago.
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    • Reply moderatemuseblog June 29, 2015 at 2:17 pm

      I love four year-olds for that reason! They start to play a bit more independently around this age. It’s tough with the 16 month old as well, though. I would lose my sanity if he didn’t take a solid nap every day where I could get things done.

  • Reply Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore July 15, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    Ok – no kids here, but this was hilarious to read about. I could definitely see my mom doing that when I was a kid.
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    • Reply moderatemuseblog July 15, 2015 at 10:05 pm

      My mom used to mow the lawn to get out of the house and away from the noise of screaming children. I do the same thing now, too =] I’m pretty sure all moms try to escape for a bit at one point or another, haha.

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