When you need some time alone … with your kids

‘SotaGal commented last week about, sometimes, she just wants to be with her kids, alone. Mommy a mano, no DH, no DP, no AP. Just Mom & the kids. There is nothing wrong with that. We all want 1 on 1/2/3 time when we are the only adult in the room.

This is normal, and natural, and common. So, why does it feel so hard to say?

I think that there are two reason it might be awkward to tell your au pair that you don’t need her around just now, and that you wnat to be with your kids yourself.

One is that, for the host mom, mentioning that we need time alone with the kids reminds us of how precious that time can be. Some of us only really get quiet time with one kid or another when they are sick, or when they have crawled into bed with us on a Sunday morning. We are glad to have help, and yet we don’t always want it.

From another perspective, suggesting that you know want your au pair around right now is akin to saying, out loud, that having her/him around cramps your style. It may lead your au pair to thing, just for a minute, that in facher presence is rensent3ed even though it is needed.

(Frankly, sometimes, that’s true. Thankfully, those times are rare.)

I have a question for the au pairs here with my gray area… As a mom who works from home, helps DH run his business and divides time caring for our 3 kids how do I handle/say that I just need some time alone with “my” kids? 201005171358.jpg

Our current AP seems to get very offended when I tell her she can be done early because I want to spend some quality time (alone) with my children.

Once I did ask her to turn on the oven so I could start dinner in a bit but other than that she was done and free for the rest of the day. When I started the conversation I said that I was done working for the day, I had had a long couple of days and missed spending time with the munchkins and I would love to play with them alone now. You can have the rest of the day off!

I really think I made it sure she knew that it was nothing she was doing, just that I wanted to do something fun with them (rather than dinner, sports, errands, getting ready for bed which I do every day). And because of my schedule and the fact that we have 3 year old twins and an 8 year old, she and I often do fun things together with the kids.

Is there something I could have done differently? Mom and Daughter

from VancityAllie

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

kat September 21, 2011 at 6:52 pm

i would personally love it if a parent is able to actually say things like that rather create a bit of an athmosphere because they dont dare to say it. i would ask whether there is anything else i could help with and if there wasnt i would give you the space. but then i am not a 18yo ap anymore ;)


Taking a Computer Lunch September 21, 2011 at 9:18 pm

I agree with Kat. If you want your kids to yourself, tell the AP. You don’t have to put it negatively. Go ahead and say, “You’re great with the kids, and I really appreciate that. I want them to myself right now. Go ahead and take the rest of the day off.”

I’m looking ahead at my schedule – there are certain days that I refuse to go to work because of the craziness in the city where I live. One of those days coincides with a day my kids have off from work. I give the AP the day off and plan an activity with my “people.” (Personally, I love my “people,” it’s just I have to work to be able to afford to keep them — well, The Camel is expensive, but totally worth every penny.)

Quite frankly, my APs have to work hard – caring for a special needs child is not easy – most haven’t had to be told twice to hightail it when I give them time off. The others, I’ve needed to be blunt, “Go visit parts of DC you’ve never seen while I play with the kids.” There’s no need to be obtuse, unless your AP is not one to do things alone and none of her friends have time off…


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