You love your kids. I know you do. And I love mine. But sometimes, you just need a minute. Whether you’re taking it to dip into your secret candy stash, or just need a moment of silence, it can be hard to find a spot to get away from it all. I’ve come up with this handy list of hiding spots to help you out in case you’re out of ideas.
1. Your Bedroom
Estimated time alone: 37 seconds
What are you, some kind of rookie? Do not hide here. Your bedroom is the first place they will look. Even hiding under the covers of your bed will not be enough. They will zero in on you in seconds and probably dive bomb directly onto your head. Don’t bother with this one.
2. The Bathroom
Estimated time alone: 3 minutes
The bathroom is a tried and true hiding spot, not because your kids won’t know that you’re there, but because it more than likely has a door that locks. Make no mistake, they will find you in mere minutes and be banging on the door until you let them in. You might be able to buy yourself a little extra time if you remain extremely still, but remember: even the quietest sound you make will be amplified x100, and children have canine-like hearing when it comes to locating a parent who is longing for a second of privacy. Do not bring anything with a noisy wrapper if you choose to hide here.
3. The Basement
Estimated time alone: 7 minutes (in Heaven)
From my experience, children tend to scour the upper levels of the home when searching for a missing parent before the venture into the depths of the basement. If you leave all of the lights off and hide in the furnace room, you may be able to count on the scary factor to buy you a couple of extra minutes. It may be worth it to try making monster noises to ward them off, but this could also backfire and give away your location.
4. The Garage
Estimated time alone: 7.3 minutes
If you don’t typically frequent the garage, this might be a good spot to try. My husband spends a lot of time tinkering away in our garage, so it’s the first place my kids would look, but you’ll have to assess your own family dynamic to decide if this location is a good one for you. For an extra layer of protection, consider locking yourself in the trunk of the car. You may just get to hide out there all night (just make sure that someone else is home to take care of the kids in this case). Actually, that might be dangerous, so maybe opt for the back seat instead.
5. Their Bedrooms
Estimated time alone: 11 minutes
Trust me – their own room, you know, the one filled to the brim with toys, books, a really cool bed and everything a kid could ever want or need to be entertained is one of the last places your child will go during quarantine. They would much rather be rifling through your shit and making weapons out of your cutlery or using your wedding album as a colouring book. If you can squeeze yourself into their closet and throw a few old blankets over yourself, you may even reach the 1/4 hour mark.
6. The Shed
Estimated time alone: 23 minutes
My kids have been fed very distinct messaging around the shed. It is not a place to play. There are chemicals and sharp things in there and probably a creature that will devour you in seconds if you step inside. For this reason, the shed is an excellent hiding spot, but it also loses points because after about 20 minutes the smell of fertilizer and gasoline will bring on a headache stronger than the one you were trying to escape in the first place, and you will be forced to evacuate.
7. The Roof
Estimated time alone: As long as you need
There is one place in your home where you are absolutely untouchable, and that is the roof. Only the most dedicated parent can access this hiding place, because it requires either a well-placed ladder, or a secret window that can be exited through without detection. If you can make it onto the roof without being caught, and providing the weather cooperates, you’ve found the ultimate oasis. Take an umbrella drink and all the cookies, because no one can bother you here. If, by chance, someone does hear you crawling around up there, you can always pretend to be Santa and threaten to throw all their toys in the chimney if they get any closer.
Once you have taken a few moments to gather your thoughts, eat your treats, and take a quiet breath or two, you will be ready to return to whatever quarantine activities you and your children were previously enjoying. Don’t get me wrong – I’m thankful for the time I get to spend with my kids, but even the most zen parent (not me) needs a couple minutes in the day to themselves.
Got any great hiding spots that I missed? Drop ’em in the comments!