Your house is a disaster, your hair is a worse disaster, your children are hanging onto both of your legs asking you to play with them, and your in-laws are due to arrive in 30 minutes. It’s too late to escape to Tahiti and even if you did manage to book a flight you forgot to renew your passport three years ago.
So you’re screwed.
But maybe not.
Enter the ultimate parenting hack disguised as a game, Hide and Seek!
Here’s the plan.
Tell your offspring you will play Hide and Seek with them and that it’s their turn to hide first. You count to 30 as slowly as humanly possible while they giggle uncontrollable and hide in plain view behind the sofa.
During that 30 seconds you have time to throw at least half of the dishes into the dishwasher. You will not have time to rinse said dishes, don’t bother.
Now it’s time for “Seek.” As you start seeking out your children, loudly proclaim everywhere you are looking so they know you are making an effort. But as you seek, pick up the dirty socks in the hallway, the dog’s tumbleweed of hair in the kitchen, and the plate of toast someone strangely left in the bathroom. Don’t question any of it, just keep moving.
When you have searched/picked up items from every room in your home except where your children are hiding, find them and delight in their joy and your nomination for mother of the year.
Now it’s your turn to hide and tackle your hair situation. As your kids count, grab your hairbrush and head straight for the shower. You don’t have time for a shower, don’t be ridiculous, but it’s a good hiding spot for brushing your hair. You’ll get a one solid minutes of brushing it and three minutes of taking deep cathartic breaths.
Switch roles and repeat your seeking/cleaning process but this time grab a cloth and start power dusting through the house as you seek. Maybe even put dusting pads on your feet to give the floor a nice shine. Look at you, you’re a machine!
Hiding time! Your mobile is in your pocket right? Get yourself to a dark closet that the kids often forget exists since you’ll need a little extra time for this one. You need takeaway and you need it fast. Find the number for that one place who makes those sandwiches your mother in law likes. Make the call and then whisper into the phone as if you are trying to desperately call for help while being hunted in your own home…which you sort of are. Remember to offer bribes for quick back door delivery.
If you managed your time well you might be able to scroll Instagram or pin some cute crafts you’ll never make.
Your children have gone through four rounds of Hide and Seek with you at this point and think you’re Mary Poppins. They will now happily listen to your requests/orders/demands so play this to your advantage. Declare in your best Poppins voice that before the next round of Hide and Seek each kid has to race to pick up every toy that is on the ground. Ready go!
Now grab your disinfecting spray and go to town. Make it a spray with a floral scent so that you’re sort of cleaning but mostly disguising. Fake it till you make it, girl.
Back to Hide and Seek! Your house is looking better, you’re looking respectable, and your children are happy but you aren’t done quite yet.
Volunteer to hide again and hope that they don’t remember whose turn it was. Grab a cheeky wine glass that proclaims something about “Mummy Juice” or “It’s Wine O’Clock Somewhere” or “It’s Been a CaberDAY.” Then go hide behind the curtain and enjoy your beverage in a location where you can’t see the clock. You can’t slow down time, so just ignore it.
If you offered a big enough bribe to the delivery people, your sandwiches should be arriving soon. But before the doorbell rings take a wet wipe to your children’s faces so they appear presentable and close all the doors to rooms that didn’t get cleaned.
See, you did it! You’re amazing. Crack open another bottle of wine though, your father in law wants to talk politics and it’s going to be a long afternoon.
Other related blog posts