Life in the throes of Dadlands is all about giving. Giving of your time, patience, money, sanity, energy, freedom, extremities, soul. But there are instances when you need to make time for yourself, even if it is to accomplish the most mundane of tasks such as going to the bathroom, washing your hands, getting dressed, finding your contact lense, taking your medication, showering, yoga, meditation…


To that end, here are 4 tactics for surviving fatherhood that will allow you to carve out a little time, even when you’re in charge and the nearest alternate adult is the cat lady up the street.


  1. Naptime – It’s quite possibly the best 1-2 hours of the day. Not that you don’t love spending time with your little guys, but now you can have a moment to yourself. The tricky part occurs when you are driving home for naptime after an exhilarating park excursion and they start falling asleep in the car. This cannot happen because even five minutes of dozing in their car seat will find them feeling refreshed and energized. But two hours later this non-nap child will be your biggest challenge since that college calculus course. This is when your creative juices need to flow. Start talking to them, rolling down the window, singing along to something on the radio or your best acapella rendition of “Thunder Road.” It is crucial that you keep them awake until you get home.
  2. Quiet Time – You’re the dad, so one of the fringe benefits is declaring what event is next on the agenda. There are other fringe benefits such as… uh… we’ll come back to that. But at any given time of the day you have the ability to declare, “Now it’s quiet time. Grab your favorite book and read it to yourself quietly for a while.” If your kids are as precocious as mine this will probably buy you four minutes tops because they typically will reach for the same book and bedlam will ensue. But sometimes four minutes is all you need!
  3. TV Time – (At this point you are probably catching on to the theme here!) Pick their favorite program and start the show. This will probably only produce twenty-two minutes without commercials, but that is five times longer than Quiet Time!
  4. Stroller Time – While this doesn’t exactly provide you with an opportunity to accomplish anything, it does give you fresh air, exercise and the chance to clear your head. Sometimes that is all you need. Plus, once they are strapped into the stroller you have approximately 7.89 seconds to do something before your children will start calling your name. Plenty of time to brush your teeth or comb your hair, but not both. You will have to choose!