Stay at home moms definitely don’t get enough credit. Whether your child has a disability or not, a toddler is a toddler; and toddlers are crazy. Staying home all day with a crazy, hyper, emotional, screaming, crying, yelling child is enough to make anyone hit the wine bottle at the end of the night. Whether you are a single parent or doing it with someone else, parenting is still a full time job. Being a stay at home parent is a non-stop unpaid job with no paid time off.
I often get jealous of other parents, and even my husband, who work. They go out everyday, get to see new people, make work friends, have a life. My life is a 3-year-old, therapists, playgrounds, and tantrums. (Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade being a stay at home mom, it was the right choice for our family and I will never regret that. Its just, the grass is always greener on the other side kind of thing). When my husband comes home from work I run for the hills for alone time. The days that he comes home from work too exhausted to do anything are the worst because that means no alone time for mommy (until bedtime). Even when my husband is home I, apparently, am the only one who can get more water or change the show on Netflix. Yes, Eli, your dad can do things too, not just your mommy.
What is my solution? Wine. Wine is always the solution. I usually end my night with a glass or two and all the day’s cries, meltdowns, cooking, cleaning, and annoyance of other people’s children melt away with my Pinot Grigio. If you’re not into wine, or alcohol at all for that matter, I have made a list of other sneaky ways to get alone time.
- Putting away clean laundry. Did you slave all day washing, drying, and folding clean clothes? Don’t put them away until your significant other comes home. That way you can spend 15 minutes putting away clothes and an extra 45 minutes in the closet on the floor (so no one will find you) watching Netflix.
- Find any excuse to go to the store. It’s 7pm but you’re certain you need chicken broth for that crockpot dinner for tomorrow; better run to the store. Take the long way, put in one of your old mixed cds and have an impromptu dance party with the music turned up, because after all, there’s no kids in your car.
- When you don’t have a family dinner one night due to everyone’s busy schedule, whip something together for everyone else (very important so no one is waiting on you) and tell you’re significant other you’re going to run and pick yourself up a sub. Drive to Subway, get your sub to go, and eat it in your car while watching Netflix on your phone. I got through a whole episode of Grey’s Anatomy while eating a quiet meal alone. IT. WAS. AWESOME. I showed back up like 40 minutes later and told him there was a long line.
I’m sure someone out there will say, but I don’t have a significant other, it’s just me. Don’t worry, I got you. My husband has a deployment coming up and I have thought of ways to get me through it.
- Set the kids up with all their favorite distractions. Sure, kids shouldn’t watch too much tv but is that going to stop me from putting on Zootopia, opening the ipad to his favorite game, and turning on the wii U? No. Once he picks his poison I slowly reverse out of the living room and sprint to my bedroom. I can almost guarantee myself a good 20, sometimes even 30, minutes of non-interrupted alone time.
- Make one part of the house look desirable to play in and hide somewhere else. Maybe take out all of your playdoh and put it up on the dining room table, throw in some cookie cutters, maybe even play Disney music in the background. When your child walks in and starts playing, hide as far away from that room as possible.
- Take advantage of nap times. Do I mean get all your housework done? Hell no. I mean be a bum, lounge around, watch that episode of Real Housewives you’ve been trying to watch in peace for a week. This is a perfect alone time. To be really proactive, take a morning trip to the park so they wear their tiny ass out and take and even longer nap, because after all, that’s a longer alone time for you.
I love my kid, I swear.