Alone Time for Mom--Is It Possible?


Photo by cajunjenn

My pre-schooler and kindergartener are my world, and I'd like nothing better than to spend most of my free time reading and playing with them. But the reality is, if my kids want to play with Happy Mommy most of the time, they need to give Stressed-Out Mommy alone time for a fraction of the time. Some days I'd even settle for 10 minutes!

So thanks to the anonymous mom in Answers who brought up the problem I've often wondered about: Her 3-year-old daughter wants to play with her every second of every day. Is there a way to tell her that Mommy needs some alone time, and to teach her to play by herself, without hurting her feelings?

Here's what's worked for some moms:


"I got my 4 year old daughter at the time a baby doll and would tell her it's time to play house. After about 5 minutes of playing, I would tell her that it is nap time for you and the doll. Explain to her that nap time is quiet time and while you (fake) sleep (on the couch) and the doll sleeps (whereever she wants the doll to sleep) she is to do what you do, go in her room and do something quietly so the two of you can sleep. Now this may last only 5 minutes, but it's better than nothing." --puresouthern

"Get a coloring book and crayons/colored pencils... etc... make sure you have plenty of magnets on the fridge, tell her you want her to color her a couple of pretty pictures, and be sure to add lots of color to it. That'll keep her busy for a while. My DD also has a kitchen set with a full utensil set and everything. If I want a few minutes to read or crochet, I ask her to go fix me a big snack. You're still playing but you can get her to give you a few minutes of peace." --Jordanplustwo

"I read a parenting book where they suggest you teach a kid to have 'room time.' This builds up their creativity and time they can occupy themselves (by them playing with creative things like blocks, toy people, etc.). You start with a small amount of time (15 mins) and work your way up. Once they get that, they have to stay in there and play. If you have it for 30-45 mins, you at least get a short break while they're learning to concentrate and play by themselves." --Anonymous


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