A mum has popped up on the parenting forum Mumsnet to find out what other parents think of her sanity-saving holiday tip.
“It does not stop”
She’s a solo parent and explains that she has taken her children on holiday without another adult … and that necessity is the mother of invention!
“I’m on my own with them,” this mum writes. “We are having a lovely time. But my goodness – the talking. It does not stop. And they constantly need my validation – watching them jump in the pool/dive/throw a beach ball etc.”
Desperate for a little bit of relief from that well-intentioned but relentless chatter, she’s come up with a simple way to restore her equilibrium at the end of the day.
“I’ve been imposing a silent one hour after we get back from the beach,” the mum reveals. “And I take it seriously … If they attempt to talk to me, about anything – I cut them off with a shush.”
“[To] an outsider looking in – it would certainly seem appalling,” she concedes. “The child trying to engage with mother, the mother not even allowing them to finish their first word without telling them to shush. But I just feel it’s never ending otherwise.”
Unreasonable or total genius?
She asked other forum users if this idea struck a chord with them or if she’s “taking it a step too far?”
Almost every parent who responded thought this was an excellent way to manage this family’s energy levels and happiness. Some parents said they do this even when they’re not on holidays!
“We have silence everyday but we call it ‘quiet time’. We can read, draw, write or just chill in our rooms for about an hour,” one mum revealed. “We all enjoy it. The children appreciate not being interrupted too.”
“It’s not a holiday for you when you are a single parent, it’s hard work,” someone else pointed out. “Enjoy that hour’s silence and you will feel recharged again afterwards.”
“Your one hour rule seems very fair as long as you’ve explained why and don’t make sound like a terrible punishment,” another Mumsnet user wrote. “As long as they have enough to keep them busy during that time and you then resume talking say over dinner, I think it’s an excellent way to allow you to have a breather and remain sane.”
But a few parents worried that this strategy was too harsh and that it might impact on how this family communicates in the future.
“I want mine to be able to tell me anything in the future,” one parent posted. “If you’re teaching them they cannot talk to you at times, I’d be worried they wouldn’t talk to you when they need to one day.”
“Quiet time ok … like having siesta. Read, nap, do craft. Silent time not ok, that is too harsh,” one non-fan of this method wrote.
Holiday mum was relieved to receive so much support from other parents. Overlooking the odd critic, she confirmed that the silent hour was working like a charm.
“Thank you all, really mean it,” she told supportive Mumsnet commenters. “That hour rejuvenates me for round 2!”
And surely that’s the end goal? Happy mum, happy kids!