By Heather Keenan
I am a hider. I hide from my kids. Please, don’t get me wrong, I love my three offspring more than I love a nice, cold, frothy White Russian (trust me, that is a lot), but there are times where my low fuel light is on and five minutes of silence is all that is going to fix it. If that five minutes has to be obtained by hiding in the bathroom, then so be it.
Kids have no concept of what it means to “need a break.” They have no clue that it is physically and mentally exhausting to take care of their every want and need on a daily basis. It isn’t their fault, they’re wired to be non-stop, semi-ungrateful beings. They don’t know that asking for a glass of milk just after asking for a cookie, a toy they’ve seen on TV and a bag of fruit snacks, will send you over the edge. They want what they want, when they want it. End of story. So rather than try to explain the ins and outs of why mommy so desperately wants, and needs, to sit down and breathe, I hide. And it works.
Sure, I hear them outside of that bathroom door, fighting and asking each other where I am. Little do they know that it is in their best interest to not find me. At that moment, I can not make another snack, I can not play Simon Says again, and while my oldest child is an amazing artist, I can not look at one more mermaid picture. I just can’t do it. Hence the hiding.
I am writing this, not to encourage you to spend your days locked in a half bath clutching your Kindle, but to encourage moms to take time for themselves. Kids are beyond draining and if you don’t refill your metaphorical cup from time to time, you have nothing for them to drain. Quantity does not necessarily equal quality. Sure, you may be on your seventh game of Candy Land, but are you into it? Or are you mad playing because all you can think of is how much you would rather be scouring Amazon for those rubber, all weather, high top Chuck Taylor’s that are going to live on your feet this Fall? (Hit the bathroom, you can have those ordered in five and be back for the next game!)
So, don’t beat yourself up if you’re a hider, too. It’s ok. Everyone deserves a recharge when they need it. While your Facebook feed is probably filled with photos of moms with their kids doing all things fun, just know this, she probably read a few chapters in the bathroom yesterday, while sporting her new Chuck’s, so she could not wait to get her loving children to the park this morning!
Please note, once I do reappear, I am more than happy to fill snack bowls, milk cups, be the gum drop player (that no one else likes to be) in Candy Land and “ooo and ahhh” over each and every one of those delightful fish folk.