Whether you’re a working parent or a stay-at-home parent, finding alone time is next to impossible when you have kids. After you get the laundry done, dinner made and cleaned up, dishwasher loaded, house picked up- all you want to do is eat your damn candy bar without a kid trying to take it from you. Over the past three years I have been perfecting the art of ghosting out on my kid. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my son and love spending time with him. HOWEVER, every mother knows it’s hard to get a moment to yourself some days without hearing the dreaded “Mom. Mom. Mama. Mommy! MOMMY!” and knowing that when you finally go see what they need, you realize they only screamed your name incessantly so you can watch them jump up and down on the couch cushion they pulled onto the floor. Or when they beg you to come into the room to ask you for a glass of water…when theirs is three feet away on the TV stand. This is where the ghosting out technique comes into play. I’ve described five techniques that I’ve tried out. I’m sure the possibilities to this game are endless.
- Pretend Pooper
You know how seemingly all husbands take 20-minute-long “bathroom visits” while women are in and out in 45 seconds? Aren’t we living in a time of women demanding and receiving equal rights? You get in that bathroom and get the 20 minutes you deserve girl! Who cares if dinner still needs to be cleaned up? Who cares that your kids just destroyed the living room? Who cares if you even have to go to the bathroom at all? Whether you do or not, get a book, open up Facebook, or just put in your headphones and lock that door and enjoy your break.
- Uncharted Territory
Are there any places in your home that your children aren’t allowed to go? I put stop signs on all of the doors in our house that lead outside. Eli acknowledges them and knows that he can only open if we are present with him or he asks permission. Use this to your advantage. Find one of these forbidden areas that would work for your quiet time (maybe an area blocked off with a baby gate). For me, it’s the garage. It is right underneath the living room so I can still hear everything that goes on upstairs, but unless I’m spotted going down there, Eli would have no Idea I’m there.
- Behind closed doors
For this technique any inconspicuous closet will do (as long as you’re not spotted going in, remember, the most important rule of ghosting is to move without being seen) One you are situated in the closet, close the door and remain as quiet as you can. You can hear your child but he can’t hear you. You have just enough time to finish a snack, or read an article on your phone before your child started ripping open random doors to find you.
- Beneath the Sheets
This may not always be an option. The only time I can really get this one to work is when Eli is preoccupied downstairs either with a movie or playing with his dad. A lot of times after I get dinner cleaned up and the boys are playing video games in the living room, I drift upstairs and lay in bed and watch some Netflix on my phone. I can get up to a good 20 minutes sometimes before I’m spotted. It’s not only your children who can bust you; you’re wide open for a spousal bust as well. In fact, most of the time when I get busted with this technique, it’s by my husband. When questioned about what you’re doing ALWAYS answer “I came up to put away laundry but I got a cramp in my leg and I fell down and I’ve been waiting for it to go away.” Don’t believe me? Prove it. I’m gonna go start Eli’s bath now…
- Hidden in Plain Sight
Once your child get’s sick of your hiding antics, they’re going to get better at finding you. This is a good time to switch up your hiding spots. A clever idea is to hide where they’d least expect you. This one has a lot of room for error, but no risk no reward right? While your child is off tearing your bedroom apart or banging on the bathroom door looking for you, you will be hiding in their territory. My son has a loft bed so a good place for me is in the play area underneath his bed. If hidden far enough back he would have no idea I was in there (unless of course he goes under there to play while I’m hiding; which, be warned, is a good possibility). Also, instead of hiding in your closet, you could switch it up and hide in your child’s closet. What are the odds they’d open their own closet looking for you?
Know that this was all in good fun. I really don’t spend my entire day hiding from my child and responsibilities. At the end of the day, my house is clean, my family is fed, and my son is happy. I live a very dull life revolving around my son’s schedule and housework, creating a game for myself makes life a little more fun. Well, that and wine.
(Photo Credit: My husband)