After nine long years of parenting, I learned about a parenting technique you don't learn in a parenting class.
Have you ever had a day when breakfast was an hour late, the youngest spilled granola all over the floor, the other two were fighting over the blue bowl, you had a headache from staying up too late watching Netflix the night before instead of going to bed early and at 10 am you're asking yourself, “Is it bedtime yet?”
No? Just me?
Parenting while grumpy is not fun for you or your children. During a venting session with a couple of mom friends discussing this “rare” phenomenon, one of them suggested hiding in a closet with cake. Getting time away from the kids, she said, calmed her down and allowed her to be a better mom. When they started sharing their favourite hiding spots, I began to wonder how many other mothers hide from their children. I asked in my favourite moms’ group and that is when I learned that Hiding From Our Children is a thing.
I am sharing this exclusive list to help moms who need ideas for new hiding places and those like me, who did not know this essential life skill and need help trying to eat their cake. These, in no particular order, are the places moms have been known to hide.
Usually the first place to come to mind, closets are also a good place to bring your wine and take mini-naps. “The kind where you are half asleep and able to hear but also definitely feel rested afterward” to quote one mom who would organize a game of hide-and-seek and escape there for a few minutes.
For some people, the bathroom is the only room in their house with a lock. Many moms report long bathroom breaks and have convinced their families they have GI issues. Another mom recommends the bathtub with the curtain closed.
The key is huddling beside the machine and just out of sight of the kids if they peek in. One mom hides in the laundry room because “it is also the room we keep the stand-up freezer...and the ice cream.”
One mom’s go-to was a side porch where they kept all their recycling. She’d hide there behind all the bottles and cans until the day she looked over and found her neighbour watching her. She was too embarrassed to hide there again.
A good place is behind the chest freezer not visible from the door. Make a spot behind shelves or whatever you store out there. Finally, a messy garage has a reason for being.
If you don’t have a garage, don’t lose hope. You can still hide out in your car. Don't forget the ice cream.
If you have a huge walk-in attic, it is a good place to run away to. If you are feeling generous, you can even open it up to other moms.
One woman reports that her sister has a house with a walk-in pantry that she escapes to regularly, with chocolates, and pretends she was planning dinner when she is found.
A heartwarming story was shared of three women hiding together in the sauna. A mom, her mom, and her friend “giggled like school kids” while listening to the kids wandering around the house, “Mom? Gramma? Where did they go? They can’t have just disappeared.”
A recurring theme noted, was that kids were least likely to look in their own rooms. Several moms have successfully hidden from their child by lying in their child’s bed. The success of this technique may depend on the size of said child’s bed. We do not recommend the crib.
Some moms have lain on their bed with the covers over themselves successfully. Others found that being locked in, with chocolate, is a necessity at crucial times in our parenting journey.
Living on land with outbuildings increases your choice of hiding places. The greenhouse and shed were recommended. Bonus: when it’s raining, kids won’t go out of the house. Moms, to my amusement, have even hidden in the chicken coop.
The sneakiest mothers found that hiding does not necessarily have to involve hiding themselves but can be even more effective when you arrange to have the children go in hiding. They found using headphones or running on the treadmill kept the kids away. Moms-in-the-know say standing at the sink doing dishes or getting the vacuum out to clean the house also has the magical power of making the kids disappear. Once the kids leave, they drop everything and take the cake out of the fridge.
So the next time you need a time-out, mama, you know where to go. Now you too can have your cake and eat it too.