10 Safe Havens You Go To When You Need To Escape Your Kids


A 65-inch flat screen on the living room wall, a 50-inch flat screen on the porch wall and 32-inch televisions on the walls of each of my two oldest daughter’s bedroom walls and they are screaming over an insanely old iPhone 4 we use as our Netflix remote control because they want to watch “My Little Pony” and my 4-year-old won’t hold the phone equally between both girls. And no; they don’t want to watch “My Little Pony” on Netflix on the actual television. They want to watch it on the tiny little iPhone 4 screen because that makes more sense. This is just the first of 100,000 arguments and fits my 7 and 4-year-olds will have today, and that doesn’t even include the fact that they will manhandle and irritate my 15-month-old twins for the next 8 hours.

I love my kids, but sometimes I need a safe haven in which I can escape their bickering, arguing and their incessant “Why?” “But she…” “I want…” “MOMMY!” I’m a pretty good mom (Definitely worth the ‘Okayest mom in the world’ coffee mug I keep seeing on Pinterest), but my kids make me nuts sometimes. Summer vacation is probably the worst time of year in our house because we’re all a bit sick of each other by the time the 10 longest weeks of our lives are over, and that’s why I have to find a way to escape. And I know I’m not the only one; lucky for you, I have some exceptionally amazing suggestions for safe havens you can escape to when your kids are making you crazy – some free, some inexpensive, some a bit more expensive and some you can use right in the middle of the day.

The Bathroom

I know, I know; kids never let you use the bathroom alone. What I like to do, however, is head to the master bathroom right after I take my twins upstairs for their nap. My older girls don’t see me come down the stairs so they think I’m still up there and I can sneak in the sliding door from my office, into the master and into the bathroom without their knowledge. I can lock the sliding door into the bathroom and then lock myself in the “toilet room” in the bathroom for further protection from my kids. Sometimes it’s the only way I get 5 minutes to myself throughout the day.

The Supermarket

Call me a liar and tell me I’m depriving my kids; I don’t care. I practically mow my husband over at the end of the day when he walks in the garage door and I make a beeline for my car. The supermarket; here I come! It’s going to be an hour of me time. I will walk every single aisle as slowly as possible, let people with fewer groceries (more groceries, whatever) in line ahead of me, and I’ll circle the neighborhood two or three times to keep listening to music with the windows down and the sunroof open before I make peace with myself and head home. My kids love the supermarket – I hate it with them. I like to tell them it’s raining really hard there and they’ll get all wet and be cold, and the bakery is out of cookies. That makes them want to stay home.

The Front Porch

Rocking chairs, a wine barrel table and a beautiful sunset – it’s what makes the end of the day lovely. But then there are the kids. Easy – I tell them there are bugs on the porch. They’ll stay inside. It’s not a lie, really, since it is outside and there are bugs outside somewhere, right?

The Upstairs Balcony

I know this is not an option for everyone, but in our new house it is the best thing that ever happened to me. I can’t do this when my husband isn’t home, but I’m known to do it when he gets home and I need a few minutes. We have a balcony on the second floor that everyone seems to forget about. I will head out there and sit down in my chair and watch the evening go by. I can’t hear the kids, they can’t see me. Everyone is happy. I keep my Kindle up there on charge so I always have a good book to read while I’m hiding out relaxing.

The Shower

I have to hide all the butter knives first so that I can lock the door and my kids can’t find anything to unlock it with (evil little geniuses) but I can take a shower and hide out from them without their knowledge. The best part is that I can turn the surround sound on in there and that, combined with the water, blocks out the sound of the kids beating on the door asking me questions that make me want to cry like, “Why is my hair long?” or “How many more minutes until my birthday in March?”

The Gym

I wonder if my husband will ever notice that I don’t seem to have much in the way of muscle mass as often as I go to the gym. I mean, there is a sauna there, but I’m not into the public workout so much. But I go; oh, I go. I just hope that being thin is enough to keep him from suspecting I’m not really doing all that much working out so much as I am the sitting down.

The Doctor

You are looking at the world’s healthiest woman right here. I never miss a year or bi-annual exam of any type? Do I love the doctor? Not even a little; I hate the doctor. But I love that my kids do not want to accompany me to the doctor – ever – because they are mistakenly under the impression that people have to get a shot if they go to the doctor. No idea where they got that idea from. I never miss an exam. It’s me time.

Grandma’s House

My mom is a teacher, so she has summers off. We just visit her. Or when she calls and asks if she can visit us, I ditch her with the kids and run errands. Really, really long errands. Some call it escape, I call it “Honey, you won’t need bail money tonight.”

Date Night

My husband and I say we love date night because it keeps us close. We love one another and we like to be together without the kids and without interruption. We like to focus on our marriage and keep it a priority. It’s all true. But what we love about date night is that there are no kids invited. When our bottle of wine arrives to the table, the first thing we do is toast to “No kids” and then laugh maniacally and wonder how long we can stay out before we die of exhaustion.


There comes a point in the life of all mothers when we realize that we’re going to end up on the news really soon if we don’t get a break. For me, this happens every year like clockwork following the holidays and again not long after summer. But we have a very simple solution for that; a trip without the kids. Or as we like to call it: Vacation. We take a long weekend with our two favorite other couples without kids for Valentine’s weekend and we take another long trip around August/September without kids. It’s because the holidays and summer mean LOTS of kid-friendly activities and trips, and we need a break.

To give you an example; we leave Sunday for a week in a lake house in Tennessee. Boating from sun up to sun down every single day; skiing, tubing, swimming, lots of cold, refreshing cocktails – and kids. We go with our two favorite couples and their kids, and that means nonstop kids for one week. We’re excited, and it’s our favorite week of the year, but we will need a mommy/daddy vacation before too long after we get back from that kind of trip.

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images


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