Finding time to be alone when things were a little more normal in the world was already a challenge. For myself, my only real alone time was when I would leave for work. Once I came home, trying to be alone did not exist and for the most part I had missed my kids all day so it was not a major priority for me. In the new reality of “Quarantine Life” , the task of finding time for myself seemed to be an even bigger challenge. Strapped with the daily routine of three meals, virtual school, and an endless list of chores, alone time has become very high on my priority list. I have come up with my own 4 tips to achieving some form of peace while home with the kids all day.
1. Add it into the routine
For the most part, me and the kids follow the same routine everyday. We start around 8:15 every morning. My 18-month old generally gets sleepy around the same time everyday and having a somewhat independent 5-year old has its benefits. Since Jurni generally naps for about 2-hours, I have now added “mommy alone time” into my schedule during the time she goes down for her nap. During this time, I instruct my 5-year old to also take a nap. He doesn’t necessarily have to go to sleep but he does have to play quietly in his room and not wake his sister. Once she wakes up, our routine resumes as normal.
2. Utilize your Spouse/Partner when you can
Sometimes you just have to go to your partner and say, “hey I’m going to sit in my room for a minute and catch some “me” time”. A good partner will catch the hint and keep the kids busy so you can get some space. This has worked well for me over the last few weeks. My kids are generally excited when their dad gets home and they want to be in his face anyway. I take advantage of this and generally sneak off to my room quietly and just relax. I can usually get in a good hour before the kids are looking for me again. During this time I catch up on blogs, check out Netflix, and do some online window shopping. Sometimes I even doze a little. It is absolutely ok to close your door if you need to during this time.
3. Actively communicate with your oldest
I mentioned before that my 5-year old is pretty independent. Having an open dialogue with him allows me to let him know when “mommy just needs a moment”. If I catch myself feeling overwhelmed or exhausted during the day, I let my 5-year old know. It warms my heart that my son and daughter have such a close relationship because he will then take his sister into his room and find something for them to do together. He will even say, “I got Jurni” mom and he’s so happy to help because it makes him feel good as a big brother. For those with kids under 5, this may not be the easiest task. However, if you do have an older child this technique comes in handy quite often even if only for 15-20 minutes.
4. Don’t over complicate and Don’t stress
Sometimes the best trick is to actually include the kids in your daily activities, whether it is cleaning, cooking, or laundry. The kids learn a little responsibility and they are generally tired when the tasks are complete and just want you to stop asking them to do things. Instead of stressing about the dishes or that same living room you have cleaned 4 times, get them to help you. Make a game out of it. When everything is over I bet they will be ready for you to leave them alone. This always works with my kids and before I know it, they have snuck off to their rooms so they don’t have to do anymore cleaning. Instantly, I am all alone and the peace and quiet is the most rewarding sound. On top of that, most of my cleaning is done and I can finally sit down.
What tricks have worked for you during this time to find your own peace?