Ideas for five minutes of peace for Chicago parents

My mom’s favorite book to read us was “Five Minutes’ Peace” by Jill Murphy. It’s a funny tale of an elephant named Mrs. Large who has a plan for some quality mama time in the bathtub, complete with tea and treats. Unfortunately, her little elephants have other plans. Now that I am a mama of a toddler, I understand why my mom read this book to me, and I have passed on the torch and read it to my toddler. In the spirit of the book, I’d like to offer a few simple ideas to keep moms and dads sane within the happy chaos of parenthood.

Coffee for one

My husband rocks and makes coffee just the way I like it and brings it to me in bed on the weekends. The real key to this break time recipe is one small act. He shuts the door on the way out, so I have some respite from all of the toddler shenanigans happening beyond our bedroom.

Post-work pastime

When my husband comes home from work, instead of diving right into the swing at our place, he asks for a little time to unwind alone. This small break makes a big difference, because when he joins the fun, he is ready to play with our little guy and pitch in with whatever needs to be done for the evening. This could be a great fit for fellow moms and dads to help with the transition from work to family each day.

Bubble bath 

After entertaining my little guy on his first flight to San Diego, taking a luxurious bubble bath in a deep soaking tub felt like heaven. But even without that amazing tub, a little at home spa fun usually does the trick for me. When my son is down for the night, I love using the special beauty products on my shelf. A simple lip mask or a little essential oil instead of my regular lotion does the relaxation trick for me. 

Salon fun 

My husband and I both enjoy any time we spend at Salon élan vital in Ravenswood. It has a cozy, relaxing feel and the employees are both knowledgeable and friendly. This salon has helped us look our best for a ton of big events, from our wedding to our baby shower. We used to enjoy going to this salon together, but these days we divide and conquer. Walter opts for the quality haircuts and loves to enjoy a glass of wine. I recently had a wonderful time getting a pedicure and sipping some soothing tea. 

Stroll away 

If you can sneak out for a date night or date afternoon or date whatever, taking a walk with your honey is great way to relax and find a little peace. The important part is just to go out and not worry about packing sippy cups and Cheerios for a change. There are plenty of great restaurants in Evanston and a stroll in Dawes Park (1700 Sheridan Rd.) could be an ideal way to unwind together. Dawes Park features a lagoon and is situated right along the lake. There is sure to be a relaxing view nearby whether it is the waves of lake Michigan, a family of ducks in the lagoon or the changing colors of leaves. 

Finding time to relax for moms and dads isn’t easy, but I hope you’ll be as determined as Mrs. Large and find your own five minutes’ peace.

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