Step Away From the Baby: Shutting Off from Motherhood


There comes a time in every mother’s day when you just need to switch off your brain for thirty seconds. Or lock the bathroom door behind you against the force of multiple children in pursuit. Or pretend like you forgot something in the garage and take five minutes longer ‘searching’ than you should, while the kids suck up Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the box. Or something equally as unacceptable.

Thing is though, those tiny resets can so often ‘make the mama.’

Mine is the half wall in the kitchen. Yes, most evenings it doesn’t actually take me thirty minutes straight to prepare dinner, so for those few moments in between tasks I plonk my worn out butt down on the linoleum, shielded by the wall from the eyes of my son, and just breathe. Or stuff some tortilla chips in my mouth at record speed. Whatever works, right?


It’s not that I don’t want to interact with my kids. At the end of the day that was the reason I gave up working for the ‘little years’ and chose to stay home in pursuit of all things messy, stressful and wonderful. I live for teachable moments.

But sometimes I need a teachable moment of my own. I need whatever brief moments I can grab while my son is otherwise occupied (admittedly by the mildly irritating voices of Veggie Tale characters) to talk myself back into prime childrearing.

I need to refill, sometimes only one sentence at a time if that’s all I can manage, on The Word or another mom’s perspective on my daily life, or the humor that can be shared so easily between women whose main sources of communication are non-talkers. It helps me to remember who I am and why I do what I do. Reaffirms in me that my choices were right for our family, and that I do in fact have what it takes.

And that I’m only human and that’s okay. Really it is.

And on those brief but glorious days when I get to venture outside of our home alone (insert choir of angels here)? Well, here are my top five K-Town activities for a mom on the loose!:

1. Remedy Coffee Shop, Old City, Knoxville – Delicious coffee (try the coconut!), a book swap, and late hours. Perfect!

2. McKay’s, Papermill Dr., Knoxville – Cheap as chips books of all kinds, music, board games, and DVDs. I could seriously spend hours in here just wandering and reminiscing about the time I could sit down and drink in a book cover to cover without interruption…in lieu of that, I mostly just hoard books now for a later date at the constant dismay of the hubster!

3. Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop, Kingston Pike, Knoxville – Not a whole lot of seating inside, but filled with gorgeous decor, a calm atmosphere and homemade pies with coffee. Any takers?

4. Kid’s Consignment Sales – There are so many of these that take place in Knoxville over the course of the year. I like to stay up-to-date with this handy site and hit them up child free for a browse and a bargain hunt whenever I can!

5. Douglas J Aveda Institute, Gay St, Knoxville – I love this training school! Hair cut, color, nails, facials, waxing…you name it, they do it for a great price (and don’t forget to check Groupon for an even better deal!), and personally I’ve always been pleased with the results and the support/advice of the tutors overseeing the whole gig. Pampering without breaking the bank.

Happy relaxation mamas! Stay sane out there! And if you feel so inclined, share with us what your “mom on the loose” escapes are!



  1. Yes! Thanks for sharing this. I never thought I would enjoy checking the mail or pulling up the trash can as much as I do now. It’s funny how having children helps make you feel grateful for every moment of the day-especially the quiet ones!


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