couples

Can they see me? Why sometimes you just have to hide from your kids.

All Bern Morely wants is some alone time. Even if it’s in the smallest room in the house. But the thing is, when she gets it, she doesn’t want it anymore…

I am writing here today about the sad loss I have suffered recently. Something I held very dear to my heart and that has been rudely taken away from me by the people who I love the most.

That something, is my alone time. In particular, my alone time, if you know what I mean. Still not catching my drift?

MY QUIET TIME ON THE LOO, that’s what I miss the most.

Once upon a time, not so long ago, going to the toilet gave either myself or my husband, basically carte blanche to spend as much time in there as we wanted. I vividly remember the days when I would see him desperately trying to scope out something to read and thinking to myself, oh bless, I won’t be seeing him for the next 30 minutes.

But then we had children and for some inexplicable reason, moved into a house with only one toilet. Look, I’m not particularly good at maths, but even I know that 5 into 1 does not go.

Even if I did manage to secure the holy throne, it was like all three children developed some kind of special built-in radar that activated their dire need to poo or ask me a question, the minute my bum hit that seat.

It got to the point where I seriously considered setting up a ticketing system like the ones they have in the Deli at the supermarket. But then again, this wouldn’t work. When you gotta go, you gotta go and I’m sad to say, our shower copped it more than once.

Oh, for a peaceful toilet break.

My biggest mistake was thinking that when we moved into a place with a second toilet that I would find my sanctuary once again. But no. It’s like there is an open-all-hours sign plastered to my forehead and a flickering 'Open for Inspection' sign hung above the toilet door when I enter.

To be honest, the only time I have to myself these days is the 15-minute drive into work. Who would have thought that getting stuck in traffic would actually be a highlight?

It starts from the moment I wake up when the cat attempts to use my leg as an actual scratching post while as I sit on the toilet. This is also the time my 7-year-old bounds out of his room to tell me he needs a “hot Milo”. Like now.

ADVERTISEMENT

Generally my other son will wake up around this time and come to tell me, about two inches away from my face, that he would like a Milo also and that he will be in the lounge room. You know, when I’m ready of course. Keeping in mind, I am yet to even leave the toilet at this stage. Before I do though, there are approximately seven more questions about where each of them are going that day, who will be picking them up and what will be for dinner that night.

But you miss them when they're not around, right?

I could lock the door, but what would be the point? There would just be constant knocks on the door and droning of “Muuuuum, what are you doing???  A number one or a number two?”  Then, inevitably a UFC-inspired brawl erupting on the floor outside.

Yet here’s where I totally understand that this is my circus and my monkeys and it’s all of my own making. And that even though I long for some ‘alone time’, I’m not sure if I’d exactly cope with it. Actually I KNOW I wouldn’t.

Not so long ago, we had a light bulb moment and realised that my lovely in-laws could possibly come and look after the children while we went on a very long-awaited solo holiday overseas. The thought of it was exhilarating. Seven unadulterated days of uninterrupted….. sleep.

Yet after day two, I was like “I wish we could be showing the kids this place”. And as much as I realise that that it was much easier to get only the two of us breakfast or to take in a movie or to luxuriate in an entire night’s uninterrupted sleep, I missed the chaos and I miss them like a lost limb.

So maybe the lesson here is that although they drive me completely nuts at times and although I’d like to one day be able to luxuriate in a toilet break without interruption, too soon I will be doing just that. Too soon they will be gone and forging their own paths and the mayhem of today will seem like it was a dream.

Do you insist on alone time? Did you love it or did it just make you realise how much you miss your kids?