Monday, April 07, 2008

How To Get More Me-Time

I am loving this article. For those of you too lazy to click (and what is your problem, anyway?) , it talks about a recent spate of deaths among high-profile, posting-every-day bloggers. If you read the article (c'mon, click already!), however, you will notice a pattern: all the "victims" are men. Apparently, they can't handle the mental and physical stress of being on call 24/7.

Think about that for a minute. You don't see any Mommy bloggers dropping dead, do you? No, of course not; because we are used to those working conditions. Mental and physical stress, 24/7? That's our job description, for heaven's sake. So, gentlemen? My advice to you is, if you can't take the heat...

And speaking about not being able to take the heat, a lot of you are stressed out by the demands of being an Idle Parent. "I'd like to pay less attention to my kids, Suburban Correspondent, but I don't know how." That's what a lot of people are telling me (at least according to the voices in my head). So let me give you a few pointers on...


How to Get Your Children to Leave You Alone
(without resorting to screentime)
(because that's too easy, that's why; so quit whining and listen to me)

1. Hide in your bedroom closet (bring your knitting and a good book, of course); make sure to have a mini-fridge in there well-stocked with the libation of your choice and a bag of chocolate or two. Don't forget the Ott-Lite!
2. Announce to the kids that it is time to clean house and...and...hey! Where'd they go?! Works like magic...
3. Tell them you have hidden candy all over the house and they have to find it. This technique can buy you a lot of time; but it is not for the weak of heart, as the children tend to start crying when they (finally) realize you lied to them.
4. Send them outside to play; but remember to lock the door behind them. The little sneaks are always trying to get back inside, and they're not even bleeding! What's up with that, anyway?












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39 comments:

  1. I like to combine #1 WITH # 2; head down to the basement with some trash bags and a broom yelling "I'm cleaning the basement". Hidden in one of the bags is a book and a bottle of wine. Good for an hour at LEAST.

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  2. I would like to admit to number one. Years ago at the end of my rope and having been literally climbed by 3 children under age 5 all day long. I hid in the walk in closet to get away from them...hoping they would have their daddy cater to their whims and whining. It was peaceful and dark in the closet. I fell asleep. I awoke to hear my husband frantically calling the neighbor, asking if anyone had seen me. I wearily threw open the closet and said through clenched teeth. "I am right here." I swear on a stack of bibles, the man didn't miss a beat, but said into the phone..."oh, never mind, she just came out of the closet."

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  3. I am getting a frig for the closet. I love that idea.

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  4. I love number 4! That might keep my kids busy for about 30 minutes but if they didn't find any after that there would be hell to pay!

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  5. The other thing about hiding the candy is that the kids really trash the house looking for it. Of course, once they do that, you could always make them clean up after themselves and (theoretically) get even more time to yourself! (I say 'theoretically' because we all know what will really happen- they'll start arguing about who made what mess and before you know it you'll have a migraine the size of Texas. Wow, I guess I do need help being a slacker mom. Thanks, Suburban Correspondent!)

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  6. I like this list. I'm going to work on adding to it (with all due attribution to you, of course!).

    In re the article...I WANNA GET PAID $10 FOR EACH BLOG POST I WRITE!

    I'll use it to pay a babysitter.

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  7. If they're young, you can play "Hide" with your kids.

    (It's like "Hide and Seek", minus the "Seek". Doesn't matter who hides, so long as the other person doesn't seek.)

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  8. I read this article and thought it was a bit of a stretch, but, hey, anything for a good story.

    If I want some time alone, all I have to say is "it's cleaning day" and they all scatter like roaches.

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  9. Funny, funny, funny.

    NOt funny that my computer is acting up and won't let me say how funny it is! HOpefully this one sticks!
    This is my first time on here and I'm loving it so far!
    -- Jonny's Mommy

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  10. Men! Such wimps. Can't hang with the big girls.

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  11. Well, three of my girls just spent 30mins playing 'doctor' and I didn't hear a single "MUM!" the whole time, so maybe I am on my way to becoming an Idle Parent. (I wish! This was actually a very rare occurence.)

    By the way, if you ever come do Down Under please feel free to drop in on the Aussie Half-Dozen and their frazzled mum-me.

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  12. Thank you for your astute observation that none of the bloggers were women in that NYT article.

    Funny and practical list. I like it.

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  13. You are boundlessly creative. I've resorted to one or two of these--especially since my kids can hardly be wrangled into screen time. And they call themselves Americans.

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  14. OMG ... there are others like me!!! My hubby and I actually discussed being idle parents before we ever had kids. We watched many of our friends running their kids from one thing to another - sometimes three different activities in one day and it scared us. So, we actaully made a rule. They may only participate in one activity at time. Music lessons (if they choose to take them) are the only exception. We sign the children up for nothing they have not expressed an intrest in at least 5 times and then they are free to stop any time they are no longer enjoying what they are doing. So far, so good. We're just entering the teen years - we'll see if we can maintain. Keep spreading the word! ;)

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  15. #2 - So very, very true.

    When they're grouchy and bored I like to give them an early dinner then tell them it's bedtime (they can't tell time). Then they play together happily for HOURS. Because they're not SUPPOSED to be playing. They think they're getting away with something.

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  16. Those wussy bloggers! Poor saps can't handle a little stress in life posting about somebody else's work. BAH!

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  17. I swear the following is true. I had a friend who called in a panic once because her husband was taking the kids out of town for the week and had banned her from doing any housework while he was gone. She actually had no idea what she was going to do for the week. After I laughed and cried a little, I gave her many, many, many suggestions!

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  18. I love #1. My kids have actually learned that "clean your room" means "go away and play quietly." But I'd like their room to at least not get any messier than it already is, and this technique always results in the entire contents of the toy box and play house strewn all over the room where there may have only been a few toys before.

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  19. I used to be ashamed that I did some of these things. Now I can walk with my head held high. Idle Parent Pride. IPP.

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  20. I read that whole article and it kinda freaked me out. Sometimes I feel a little stressed to keep up with my blog but Geeze - that's NUTS!

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  21. I assign chores anytime my daughters mention they're bored. Of course, now that they're older, I don't see so much of them...

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  22. Good techniques all. Mary Alice, I totally relate to the Mom as Jungle Gym phenom--the closet was a stroke of genius!

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  23. Bahahaha! Yes, us Mommy bloggers do have to know how to handle the stress. I'd take handling a potential nuclear meltdown over dealing with my "difficult" toddler. My favorite hideout is in the bathroom and the laundry room. I like the closet idea though. I could have a whole little set up in their. Books, bar, laptop, etc. hehehe

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  24. How come blogging doesn't make me lose weight, like in the article?

    Go figure that coffee mixed with protein and no sleep causes people to drop dead. ;)

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  25. The house cleaning trick works like a charm. I use that all the time. But sometimes I actually catch one of them and make them help, it's good for their souls. :)

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  26. he he.... that is pretty funny!

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  27. My mother used to lock us out of the house for hours on end during Summer Break. I used to think she was mean....then I had kids of my own. Now they know how to pick the locks, so locking them out isn't the fun it used to be *SIGH*
    I have, however, been known to lock our bedroom door, the door to the master bathroom and hid in the closet. By the time I hear them pick the first lock, I have barricaded the bathroom door with a heavily-loaded clothes hamper. The Gestapo would have had nothing on me.

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  28. During outside time, my children are only allowed to come back inside if the blood is actually dripping onto the ground. No minor cut or scrape will do.

    Heidi

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  29. Men are so whiny, aren't they? Also? Long-winded. ;) Love the list!

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  30. "death by blogging". Seriously, sometimes I think my blog saves my life.

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  31. Appearing from the laundry room with a basket full of clothes that need to be folded works, too. My six-year-old bemoans this task, which I don't even have him do that often, so if he thinks that I am about to announce Laundry Folding Time he makes himself scarce in a hurry. (There is another benefit to this chore--when I fold his laundry for him, the thank-you's just tumble out of his mouth.)

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  32. Death by blogging. Wow! And, for the record, I wasn't too lazy to click the link. I didn't want to but I did it anyway. Go me!

    Great advice. Thanks. I'm off to lock my kids outside. Let's all say a prayer they keep their clothes on!

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  33. That's good advice! I put mine on Craigs List. I figure I should at least make a profit in the process...

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  34. I am guilty of ALL of them. Now that they're all in school, I have another easy one for you: "Hey, it's outside to play, or do your homework." They go outside; I lock the doors. Works like a charm every time. No matter the weather ...
    Amy

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  35. Love the pointers. I'm going to need a closet that locks from the inside.

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  36. so you totally got me to click.

    and your ways to get alone time are awesome. Especially candy. Tears with definitely ensue.

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  37. Loved your list & love the retro humor magnet/pic, those things are hilarious- I just used one on my blog, too. Thanks for the laughs.

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  38. And that is why I don't write about anything anyone would want to read...then I don't have to stress.

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  39. I just announce loudly that I'm going to pull weeds and if anyone is interested, they should come and help me! My 27 yo can't to this day identify a weed. She still thinks they're all flowers.
    Love the blog. Thanks for the laughs !

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