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No rules for a moment: ‘sometimes my sons can easily spend five hours in a row on Fortnite’

Nobody smells it

Manon (33): “Children’s sweat doesn’t stink. So no one notices that my four-year-old son hasn’t been in the bath for three days when we’re just the two of us for a few days. He hates bathing, and so do I. So I’ll go back to the fight when my boyfriend is home; In the meantime we two enjoy a few dirty, pleasant days. ”

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Chips are also a vegetable

Birgit (33): “Dad on a business trip means vacation to us. Eight-year-old son, five-year-old daughter and I already enforced that rule before they reached school age. Pretty busy, that care on your own. So I just turned a blind eye when they only wanted chips in the evening after an afternoon in the pancake house. Hey: potatoes are just a vegetable in France. ”

Tosti in the bath

Lillian (36): “Husband was away for the weekend and my boys – all three plus – wanted a bath. And no longer out. Good dude. When it was lunchtime I parked three grilled sandwiches on the edge of the bath and read the newspaper on my own in the living room. I’ll never get around to my full-time job. When my husband came home, our children were especially upset: now they had to listen again and follow the rules. ‘Can’t we stay with mom just a little longer,’ they shouted. ”

My time, my rules

Beate (38): “We have one strict rule at home: no screens before five in the afternoon. But yes, when Dad is away on a business trip for a week, you can of course celebrate a little bit – so do I. So my seven-and-ten-year-olds sit comfortably on Fortnite for five consecutive hours, while I binge one Netflix series after another. My time, my rules. And the children benefit: when my husband returns home, they fly into his arms – and immediately ask carefully when his next trip is planned. ”

Pajama day

Mirjam (37): “Just before my third son (now four years old) started primary school, I promised him that we would have a pajama day together. Man at work, two oldest children at school; no one saw it. But after two hours of playing with Lego on the ground, I was ready for coffee in town. Son refused to dress, because: pajama day. So an hour later he was sitting in his Batman pajamas on a croissant in the pub. Doesn’t interest me. He his way, so do I. Fine. ”

Second dessert

Aïda (31): “My four-year-old daughter knows perfectly well that she can get more done for me when her father is not at home. It’s not that often, so when he’s gone for a night, she tries to get everything out of it. Watching TV for an extra long time, sleeping in my bed, and even though she has left her dinner there, she does have a second dessert. I think that’s fine, for that one evening. But then she has to go to bed at seven: mom also has an evening off. ”

Brown cheeks

Carlijn (36): “Sister and I were away for a weekend with our children, five in total. She was constantly on the go, but I didn’t really understand why. No one was watching us, the kids were having a good time, so I lay on my sunbed with a thick book. My youngest of four ran in and out of our tent quite a bit, yes. So what? Not that much could happen. “He does have really brown cheeks, Car,” my sister said at one point. My son turned out to have nearly gotten rid of two chocolate bars. Well, for a moment I was afraid it was shit. In any case, I no longer had to cook for him – and once he got home he really just had to go back to our low-sugar regime. ”

In the big bed

Fayza (32): “My friend and I have two rules: the kids (three and seven) don’t sleep in our bed and once they’re in bed they won’t get out unless they are a) sick, b) nauseous or c) terrified. My friend in particular is quite straightforward about this. I don’t feel like fighting when I’m alone for a weekend. So I put them in the big bed in advance, if they promise that they will stay nice until I put them in their own bed at ‘Mom bedtime’. Saves a lot of hassle, and if they make a fuss about their own bed when my husband returns, that’s not my problem because, well, my husband is back. ”

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Will pass by itself

Lorena (34): “There’s nothing better than a weekend alone with my seven and nine-year-old boys. Then I sleep in for hours and do not feel obliged to get out early in any way. Unless they threaten to set the house on fire. Or do other life-threatening tricks. Like the one time they’d climbed to the roof of our house through the dormer – barely five and seven years old. Or trying to light a fire on the wooden floor in the kitchen with a magnifying glass and the sun’s rays that fell through the glass roof of our extension. But arguments, fights: I just don’t hear them. They will pass by themselves. Until my husband comes home, because then I’ll raise it again. Or he. Rules only exist when you know how to break them, right? ”

Draw curtains and build huts

Bianca (34): “A few days alone with my four children between the ages of three and nine means closing the curtains for a few days. From seven in the morning to seven in the evening, the TV is on, cabins in the living room and the toys that must be officially cleaned up every evening are scattered on the floor for three days. I care; no one sees it, and we alone make the rules. Until my husband comes home, at least. Whether someone comes to visit. My children understand the distinction between them very well, so once they have to get back in line, there is no pain. And I know: when I’m out of sight for a few days, the mess will be ten times bigger. ”

Day order and regularity

Marieke (41): “My husband is quite orderly and regular. Get up at regular times, eat and sleep, do not skip naps, and the pacifier is only for bed. My two and three-year-old sons don’t get it and I don’t always feel like it. So we give the front door another sweep as soon as my husband leaves the house for a few days, follow our own rhythm with or without naps and a pacifier within reach all day long. But as soon as he gets home, we hug him. And they can just as easily get back in line. Because I also know that it is better this way, and otherwise I would just raise a bunch of irregularities. It is these exceptions that make life more fun – and my children adapt wonderfully. ”

Just get naughty

Bibi (28): “Usually I am the one who strictly adheres to the parenting rules. But as soon as my boyfriend closes the door behind him, my three-year-old daughter and I keep our little secrets. That the TV is on all day, for example. And she can jump on the couch. That we eat two sweet sandwiches instead of at least one savory, and only go to sleep an hour later than normal. Those moments make life a party. And they ensure that the daily grind is fine again. On the days when we secretly get naughty together, we make memories. She also has those moments with her father. They are not that secretive, those days when we do not educate for a while, but we both have our own ways for it. ”

Open a glass of wine

Bouchra (30): “My friend is very dependent on our children not seeing that we are drinking alcohol. I think that’s a bit nonsense. We don’t drink every day and never get drunk (in front of the kids), so what’s the problem? As soon as my friend is not around, the neighbor and I just open a glass of wine. With the children next door. Do I have to be on the blisters when my oldest nine-year-old daughter says: “Well, Dad, Mommy drank two wines when you weren’t there.” Although he is the really sneaky one, when he and his friends make a crate of beer soldier with the children in deep sleep, while I am out for a night.

Six in bed

Bernice (35): “I have three children, my girlfriend has one son. Her ex-husband is quite a parenting rule. Their son has to stay in his own bed from eight in the evening to seven in the morning, does not receive any sweets and lives according to a fixed rhythm. He’s doing fine, he’s a lovely child, but on the weekends – when my girlfriend and her son live with me – we let the reins loosen extra. Then the six of us have breakfast in the big bed, stay in pajamas all day, and bedtime is when the movie is over and the popcorn bowl is empty. Enjoy with capital letters and nobody sees it: that line will come again on Monday. ”

Manual in the trash

Marnix (41): “Separated lives means separate upbringing. So I throw the manual that my ex gives every two weeks with our nine-year-old daughter in the trash before she even takes off her coat. Without neglecting important things like medication, school hours and healthy food, of course, but in our way. Showering: we skip if she had swimming lessons the day before. And we eat pizza, because the toppings are vegetables too. We see her regular bedtime as the start time of our reading ritual. Children can easily distinguish between the rules with mom and dad, I think; I probably don’t hear everything that happens there. “

A beer with the neighbor

John (39): “What a pleasure when you are three and have no obligations yet. Not that my wife sees it that way: she considers rest, cleanliness and regularity of vital importance to our son. Fortunately she works in the catering industry in the evenings, and our son is not yet that talkative. Every now and then we have a nice beer with the neighbor after dinner. Cosiness is also worth something. We just make sure he is in bed well before Mom gets home. Oh, and that we are not in the cafe where she works, of course. ”

This article has previously appeared in Kek Mama.

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