On your last leg? The idea of TV is a bust? Kids wouldn’t have sit still long enough to look at it anyway? Maybe you have a very attached infant, or a 6 year old for that matter…You just want 5 minutes! You need to stop being touched or whined at. Just. FIVE. Minutes.
I hear ya loud and clear- but those kids at your feet? They’ve tuned out your pleas for privacy and quiet hours ago!
What now? Here are some ways to sneak that “me” time, when there isn’t an end in sight;
- A nice long walk (with the stroller facing away from you)
- Baking- kids who want cookies might hang in there long enough to cooperate- feed them while you bake for maximum quiet-ness…
- Build a fort! Dining room chairs and towels for goodness sakes, whatever resembles a barracks for them to tear down or hide in!
- You could try to hide in the bathroom…(works better with dads)
- Clean something! – this repels the older kids rather quickly
- Let them trash the place! (assuming they can be left in another room, and that they will stay there) Stop worrying about the mess and take 5 for yourself!
- Turn on some soft background music- (cue Alexa! from amazon) turn down loud TV, put the dog outside. What is the atmosphere of the house? Quiet the chaotic noises that you can control.
- Start a band- take that loud energy and funnel it into a controlled activity, even starting a band would sound better than constant whining some days
- Color with your kids- everyone with their own book or paper and their own crayons (plan ahead for the fighting over colors)
- Blanket mountain naps in the living room- curl up on the floor! Turn the lights down.
- Read. Read. Read. If they can’t read, have them look at their books and make up a story that go with the pictures that you will listen to… in 5 minutes
- Get to the playground! Those swings are awfully inviting while the kids run away from you to play on the slide…
- A long drive. Put the kids in the back, grab a snack for yourself and take off on some roads you haven’t driven in a while.
- You know it’s okay if your crib-bound kiddos need to spend 5 minutes in their crib so that you can regroup right? If you didn’t know that, you do now. It is OKAY.
- Phone a friend. No you won’t be able to talk, the phone attracts kids and their needs like waves come to the beach. But hopefully that friend will hear you through the insanity and come over to rescue you.
- Plan a date night. All of it, including a sitter. Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel will ease your mind.
- Tag you’re it! Play a game where they have to race somewhere across the yard from you. Every time they return tell them to do it again faster, or backwards, or as. slow. as. possible. This could work for at least 5 minutes before they catch on.
- Try honesty. Is it a big kid that’s driving you nuts? “Dear child ‘o mine, I am human, I need a break, I am tired, frustrated, overwhelmed, (insert your reality here)”
- Set a timer! Tell the kids you will be on the porch, in the living room or another safe location until the timer rings. As soon as it does they can come and find you. Unless there is an emergency, the first one to find you before the timer loses.
- Call Grandma or a nearby Auntie or friend. Someone who isn’t as snuggled out as you are!
Keep on, keeping on! Share with me some of your best tips and tricks for sneaking in your five minutes!