"Sometimes I sit in my car alone": the 'secret' places parents go to hide

Image: Shutterstock
Image: Shutterstock 

I know I'm not the only one to admit this, but sometimes I sit in my car at the supermarket to avoid going home.

It's not that I don't adore my family - it's just the car is a fabulous place to escape them all.

Some of my best thinking time is sitting in my car, whether it's at the supermarket or in my driveway. I've been known to sit there for up to an hour, listening to music, scrolling through social media and snacking on chocolate.

Nobody is asking me to feed them, nobody is complaining or fighting, and nobody is expecting me to help them with anything. I don't have to work, unpack the dishwasher or make beds. And I definitely don't have to put away that massive pile of clean clothes in the corner of my bedroom.

There's no bills or appointments to make in the car. I don't even have to speak to anybody. I can just sit alone, all by myself.

It's awesome.

For a time I thought it was strange of me to seek refuge in my car, but then I talked to other parents and discovered they too sit in their car.

And it's not the only place us parents hide.

You can also find us in the pantry, snacking on our secret stash of chocolate biscuits.

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Or perhaps we are in the shed, hiding with a beer.

Some of us go to the toilet, lock the door and read articles on our phones.

Then if you're lucky enough to leave the house without a child in tow, there are a number of places to flee, under the guise of getting "stuff" done. There's Bunnings (which is the perfect spot because you can also get a sausage sizzle), the local shops, and the "gym".

Gone are the days or heading to the pub or restaurant, some of us now elect to go to the supermarket – for alone time.

You can see the parents without their kids at the supermarket. They walk slower. They walk up-and-down the aisles like they're at an art gallery. Slowly and deliberately, they wander. There's no need to rush, is there?

I've also been known to turn my doctor's appointment into an opportunity to also catch up with a friend for a coffee. I mean - you know how long waiting times at doctors surgeries are these days.

It's not like I can't make time to get out of the house with friends or by myself, but sometimes it's simply too hard. Instead, I have to grab those moments when I can.

Those quiet snippets of borrowed time recharge my soul and give me the strength to face the daily onslaught of demands.

Things I would've taken for granted pre-kids are now seen as luxuries - driving alone, going to the toilet alone, sleeping alone, shopping alone, just for example. And when I sneakily grab a moment to do these things again by myself, I feel a little naughty and a little exhilarated.

It's pretty embarrassing, and a little sad, really, but I know my fellow parents feel the same way. We are all in this together. We all escape to hide and it feels so good.