Effective moms have hiding places | Living with Gleigh

This column may or may not be what you think it is, because the subject of effective hiding for moms is two-fold. There are times in every mom’s motherhood career when she really just wants to hide. It can be wherever she feels she can effectively get away from her kids, husband or both. I’ve heard some moms even tell their children that “Mommy needs a time-out.”

When mom needs a time-out, it’s important she takes one; the urge for a time-out can come when mom has just had enough, a kid or husband makes her angry and she knows she needs to leave before she bursts into rage, or she just needs a break.

Before I had children I used to hate grocery shopping. When I had children and became a stay-at-home mom, I came to love grocery shopping after I’d been home with them all day. I’d wait until after my husband got home from work and leave the kids with him. I learned early on taking kids (or my husband) grocery shopping was more expensive than going alone. Plus, I could take my time shopping, ponder items I didn’t really need to ponder just to waste time and delay my homecoming.

This was an especially effective hiding place if it was almost the kids’ bedtime. I would even call before I came home to make sure they were in bed. I’ve made the mistake of just coming home and having the kids running around the house like little banshees. Upon questioning my husband about why they weren’t in bed, he’d say “They got a second wind.” All moms know that a second wind just means they are more tired now than they were before their second wind and should have been put down a long time ago. I really wasn’t going to come home knowing they had a second wind; putting a child to bed in that state can make the parents go to bed crying. So I’d go have coffee, glancing at my watch every once in awhile to judge when it was safe to come home.

Then there were times when I knew my patience was about to bubble over and I needed to hide, I’d just storm out for a walk the moment my husband walked in the door. He knew better than to question my insanity at those times.

Now that my kids are teens I have to plan ahead for my escapes. They spend most of their time at home ignoring me so I can actually hide in my house. They don’t look very closely for anything and I can hide in my bedroom in the chair next to my bed; my bed is very tall and the chair is very low. But as soon as I go out they start looking for me; with cell phones they can contact me at a moment’s notice.

This brings me to the second phase of effective hiding for moms. Not only do we need to know where to hide, we have to have places to hide things. I was grocery shopping the other day when I received a text from my oldest daughter: “I’m craving chocolate or a smoothie.” I texted her back that I had a chocolate stash at home. I didn’t hear back from her, so I figured she just moved on from her craving state or was waiting for me to get home.

When I got home, I walked into my bedroom to find my husband and both daughters frantically looking for my chocolate stash. My husband lives in that bedroom with me and if anyone would know where chocolate would be stashed, it should be him. He was as baffled as my daughters. Because I’m no fool and know a good hiding place when I see my family searching for it, I sent them all out of the room so I could retrieve the chocolate. And if that spot ever fails, I have additional effective hiding places scattered throughout the house.

So here I am, in a place in my motherhood career where I know I’m very effective: I can hide and I can hide things. If you need me, I’ll be sitting in the chair in my bedroom munching on chocolate.

Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Covington. She is committed to writing about the humor amidst the chaos of a family. You can read more of her writing and her daily blog on her website

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