Everyone with a young child has been in this scenario before: You’re unshowered and exhausted, in the middle of feeding your kid dinner (while simultaneously tackling endless loads of dishes and laundry), when your partner gets home and casually strolls right past you and into the bathroom. Seconds later, you hear the faint but distinct sound of video content coming out of an iPhone speaker. All you can think in that moment is, “Is this motherfucker is taking a break? A BREAK? When they’ve been home for ten minutes, and I’ve been here grinding for the past fourteen hours?!”
Oh, hell no.
Do these guys honestly think that we believe they’ve developed some form of Irritable Bowel Syndrome overnight?
Well, we don’t. And now we must expose their not-so-secret break-behaviour and take back our freedom (even if that freedom only comes in five-to-ten-minute increments). Here’s how to beat them at their own clever game:
- Say you have to run to the store to get tampons: Men are afraid of tampons, and they hate buying them. They’re never going to say, “Don’t worry, babe, I’ll just grab them for you on my lunch tomorrow.” Use the tampon excuse to go to the drugstore, wander aimlessly through the aisles, and buy yourself a new lipstick.
- Say you’re going to go do the laundry: Men don’t know what happens in the basement and they don’t want to know. Bring your phone with you, toss in a load of towels, then sit on the stairs scrolling through Instagram for ten blissful minutes.
- Take up a hobby that’s as “serious” as his: “I have to go to yoga on Friday, because I really can’t let the other yogis in my class down!” He doesn’t know how yoga works. Go team!
- Say you’re going to have a bath with the kid(s): Fill the tub half-way, get yourself and the baby / babies undressed, hop in the bath, wash them down quickly, then yell, “HEY, BABE! THE KIDS ARE CLEAN; CAN YOU COME GET THEM?” Once they have been removed from the tub, say, “Can you shut the door, please?” Turn on the hot water, throw some Epsom salts up in there, and enjoy. If you’re a planner, toss a bottle of wine and a wineglass in the cabinet beforehand.
- Say you have to prepare (insert something very complicated-sounding here) for the baby: Go into the kitchen, pour yourself a martini or a cup of tea and get into the groove. The baby DOES need to eat, after all. (P.S. This is why your grandma always kicked you out of the kitchen when you were little; it was never about the possibility of you burning yourself on the stove.)
- Say you need to change the linens: Men have no idea what this actually entails, meaning they have no concept of how much time it takes to do it. Bring your phone with you, call a friend, write down some creative ideas, creep people on Facebook, watch TV in your room, WHATEVER! You just scored yourself half-an-hour of me-time.
- Announce that YOU need to use the bathroom: Your tummy’s not feeling great. Maybe mention your period, too. Whatever it takes. If you need a few minutes in a hurry, this will get you there.
- Play the honesty card: On some level, every partner knows that we mamas are overworked and underappreciated, so if you need a breather, just get up and say, “I need five goddamn minutes to myself.” Go lay in your bed in shavasana, take the dog for a walk around the block, or stand in the shower and let the hot water beat down on your sore shoulders. Don’t forget to lock the door.
The OG version of our guide to getting five goddamn minutes to yourself from way back in 2016 can be found right in the hyperlink.
Featured Image: Kate Moss by Mario Testino