Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Tuesday Tips: When Necessary, Hide

One of the great contradictions of my life is that I am an introvert who has difficulties with excess stimulation, and yet . . . I have four children.

Children are pretty much nothing but a guarantee of constant company and stimulation. Usually of the excessively loud auditory variety. Over the years, I have mostly learned to deal with this and kind of tune it out.*

But sometimes, escape is the only solution.

My options for escape, however, are pretty limited. I mean, it's not as if I'm just going to run out to the nearest coffee shop. Although, given that that's a 180-mile roundtrip drive, that would be quite a bit of time out of the house.

It recently occurred to me that this is now a common situation for many people, because even if there is a coffee shop near your house, it's probably closed or only offers carry-out.

So where do you go when you need a break and can't leave the house? I will tell you: Behind any locked door, that's where.

Our bedroom door has a lock, so when four o'clock rolls around and I've been dealing with three children on and off Zoom for school all week, with the bonus of a nosy toddler who has the unfortunate habit of going into fits over things like wearing socks, and constant demands for food or clean pants or arbitration over who is hogging all the guys in the soldier set or . . .

Well. You get it.

At such times, I hide in my bedroom.

Welcome to my Mom Cave.

I am usually opposed to eating or drinking anywhere but the kitchen, but I make an exception for this case.

I provide myself with a drink--sometimes alcoholic, sometimes not--and occassionally a snack, because there are few things more satisfying to me than eating or drinking without inevitably having to provide something similar to my children. I bring my laptop, and I spend 45 minutes aimlessly watching YouTube videos or listening to music.

I don't always know what's happening on the other side of the locked door. Sometimes I put on a video to keep the children occupied; sometimes I leave them to the mercy of their father. 

In any case, it doesn't matter. All that matters is that I am not the one on call.

So if you find yourself in a similar situation, I absolutely encourage you to get behind a locked door, however you can manage it. It's not the same as a real outing, but these days, we take what we can get.

* With the exception of music and reading aloud. If there are children screaming and running around--which, of course, there almost always are--I absolutely cannot read aloud to a child or listen to music. Something about the competing noises just triggers me beyond bearing.


Anonymous said...

I'm all for the hiding.

Andra said...

I need to start doing this!

Tu mere said...

Like that the drapes are drawn to provide maximum solitude, with just the perfect lighting. Much better than a bright, people filled coffee shop! Whatever it takes to recharge.

Kristin @ Going Country said...

Andra: If you're even thinking that, then I can almost guarantee that you REALLY need to do it. :-)

Anonymous said...

A room of your own--as least for a short time. Mary in MN

Kristin @ Going Country said...

Mary: Good thing I'm not trying to write great fiction.

Steph said...

Hello! I found your blog from "other" Kristen's. I'll be following along for the ride. I'de like to offer a good ice cream sub for you (I know, I know it's the middle of winter, but it's ice cream!):


I don't bother with the Seville orange and just go for using lime juice (often bottled). It works well and has a great texture.

I don't have kids but can empathise with the homeschooling issues. Lots of my colleagues are having the internet connection fall over with so many people online at once. Another primary school has requested the parents upload all the activities the kids have completed in real time so their inputs can be discussed with the "live" class in the school for key workers children. They have had to split their working week in two as a couple to keep up with the commitments!

Kristin @ Going Country said...

Steph: Hello, and thank you for the recipe! It looks really good. We usually have bottled lemon juice, although the cream supply is bit more spotty.

Steph said...

Cream in the coffee before making ice cream. I get you on that one. Coffee is a sacred ritual that must not be disturbed. Recipe in the back pocket in case you get a glut of cream?

You would have been pleased with my bargains yesterday. 2 packs of 400g grated cheese for £0.10 each. It's gone straight in the freezer and will be getting used! Also a kilo of organic carrots for £0.10. I see carrot soup for the freezer in my future maybe some kind of carrot fritter too. Gotta love the supermarket late night bargains.

Kristin @ Going Country said...

Steph: Cheese for the freezer, carrots for the refrigerator. Sounds good.