20 Ways Parents Can Get Alone Time Away From The Kids

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How Parents Can Find Alone Time Away From Kids In Quarantine

Parents truly are the unsung heroes of this pandemic and deserve a lot more than just a pile full of laundry and a screaming toddler as thanks.

In theory, spending months at home without having to deal with office dramas and work commutes sounds delightful. In practice, there’s a lot more bickering, spillages, and temper tantrums than we anticipated, and not just from the kids!

Who knew spending 24/7 trapped with your children would be so stressful? Well, you probably did already.

But no one could have predicted all of the things kids would come up with in order to ruin any chance you have to unwind and get some alone time. 

Having time to ourselves allows us to connect with ourselves and center our thoughts to overcome anxiety and stress. But as parents know all too well, doing this is impossible when your house is a full-time playpen and school.

That’s why parents have to get creative to get their much-needed "me time."

Here's how parents can find alone time away from the kids, especially while in quarantine.

RELATED: 11 Healthy & Educational Ways To Keep Kids Busy While Cooped Up At Home In Coronavirus Quarantine

1. Pretend to be in a meeting.

Hide out in your bedroom or office for an hour by saying you have an important call that can’t be interrupted. This time can be used to watch a show or just take a breather.

It’s a little white lie, yes, but it will improve your mood and encourage the kids to not bother you. There's nothing to feel bad about!

2. Get up a bit earlier.

Or stay up a little later! Giving yourself some alone time in the morning or evening allows you to take a breather and get you pumped (or unwind) after a long day.

Use this time wisely with a little meditation or to get some chores done. 

3. Swap childcare duty with your partner.

If you’re quarantining with a partner, make sure the childcare is distributed equally. If one of you helps out with schoolwork while the other catches up on emails, swap out later on so everyone gets time to do their work. 

4. Set the kids up on a video call with their grandparents.

Quarantine really teaches us the value of family support. If you’re missing having a helping hand with keeping an eye on the kids, video call their grandparents or other family members.

They can keep an eye on them while you take some time to yourself. Your loved ones are probably missing your kids too, so they will be happy to help.

5. Give them puzzles to try.

Keeping your kids occupied is the key to stopping them from interrupting your tasks.

A challenging puzzle or board game will be far more engaging than a screen, and will give them something to focus on for a prolonged period of time. You could even set up a scavenger hunt with clues for them to really keep them busy.

RELATED: 21 Fun Activities & Outdoor Games For Kids

6. Hide in the bathroom.

It might seem ridiculous, but this could be one of the few places they will leave you alone. And even if they don’t, at least there’s a lock on the door.

Practice deep breathing exercises on the toilet seat or take a long, hot shower to ease your stress. You could blast a few tunes in there and have a solo dance party.

7. Get some fresh air.

If you can get out alone for a walk, cherish this time! Your partner can watch young kids while you get some fresh air.

It doesn’t have to be fast-paced or particularly long, just use this time to focus on your breathing and fight off cabin fever. You could even do a few laps of your garden or do stretches on a balcony. 

8. Designate a daily quiet time.

They may not realize it, but your kids would benefit from some silence in their day, too. Setting aside an hour of silence will help calm the whole household.

Encourage them to read or play quietly during this time. That means no noisy toys, blaring TV, or kids running through the house for a whole hour. Bliss!

9. Plan a date night.

While you both tag-team childcare and working from home, it’s easy to feel like you and your partner are living separate lives under the same roof.

Having a weekly date night will give you some much-needed adult time. Send the kids to bed early while you watch a movie and have a glass of wine.    

RELATED: A Pediatrician’s Guide To Parenting & Protecting Kids During COVID-19

10. Make a no-kid zone. 

You wouldn’t take the kids to the office with you, so why should your home be any different?

Explain to them that your home office or bedroom is off limits, and if you’re in there you aren't to be bothered. They can ask you all of their burning questions once you’re back in shared spaces.

11. Make use of headphones.

As much as we try to keep our kids off of screens, sometimes they’re necessary.

Get them earphones so their devices aren’t distracting you when you’re busy. The same goes for you, too — play relaxing music while you work so you’re transported away from their pestering. 

12. Encourage them to work alone.

Home schooling is hard for them, too. Outside of their usual working scenario, they might feel they need to ask you for help a lot because they don’t have their teachers to rely on.

Encourage them to spend at least 5 minutes working on a problem before they ask for your help.  

13. Give them chores.

Having a strict cleaning roster will ensure they are kept busy, and you have fewer things to worry about. You’re all living under the same roof, so there’s no reason why you should be doing all of the work.

Reward them with stars or their favorite snacks once they complete a few tasks. 

14. Schedule nap times — for you and them.

No matter how old you are, napping has lots of benefits. Setting aside time for both the kids and yourself to replenish your energy levels will keep you focused during your work and allow them to wind down for a little. 

RELATED: 16 Best Educational Learning Apps For Kids

15. Plan everything.

Having order and structure in your new routine will keep things running like clockwork and allow you to maximize your alone time. Plan out meals, lay out clothes the night before, schedule your work, and set aside alone time for yourself.

16. Have the kids practice mindfulness with you.

Meditation and mindfulness aren’t just for adults. Encourage your kids to journal, practice breathing techniques, and do other destressing activities.

Teaching them the value of self-care will make them respect your need for alone time a bit more. 

17. Eat dinner without them.

Family mealtime is important, but can also be a source of stress when you have kids trying to leave the table, refusing to eat their vegetables, and making a mess.

A couple of times a week, try feeding the kids first, then eating separately while they play or watch TV. You can enjoy your meal in peace with or without your partner. 

18. Tire them out with exercise. 

When the kids are pumped full of energy, it’s impossible to keep them still. Encourage them to run a few laps around the garden or follow along with a kid-friendly dance workout. 

19. Have separate spaces.

Make the most out of your home by spreading the whole family across different rooms, or even into opposite corners. Keep their toys and games away from where you work, and have a designated room for school or even a relaxation zone.

20. Rotate their toys. 

A lot of the time, kids are just bothering you because they're bored.

Keep their entertainment fresh by not giving them all their toys at once. Swap out different activities on different days so they aren’t playing the same game over and over again.

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Alice Kelly is a writer with a passion for lifestyle, entertainment, and trending topics.