A New Rule, The Kid Free Zone


A New Rule


A lot of parenting seems to revolve around setting rules. We decide on things that we think are appropriate, attempt to implement them and do our best at enforcement. These rules evolve as our children age, edicts against stuffing food up their noses turning to eating everything on their plate turning to washing dishes and after dinner clean up. For every expectation applied there seems to be a compensatory refusal to comply. It’s probably too late for most of you reading this, but if you don’t want to spend your life arguing with a smaller version of yourself about every aspect of their life, you might want to consider dog ownership as an alternative way to satisfy your need to nurture.

There has been a new rule decided on here, one that I have debated for a while and finally decided needed to be be made. Barring special circumstances, previously agreed on exceptions, or sleepwalking occurrences, after a certain time of night the downstairs has been declared an “adults only” zone.

That’s not to say that there are hedonistic, drug fueled orgies happening here. No “key parties” or naked parties in the sauna. We actually do have a sauna in our basement, it’s proven to be a great place to store Christmas decorations and hide presents. It’s been about eight years since it’s been used for it’s intended purpose and about the same amount of time since I’ve been nude outside of the bedroom.

Nowadays “adults only” means freedom to speak, to gossip, to talk about work and even the kids in ways that we might not do if they were sitting on the other side of the couch. It means wings that we might not feel like sharing, language that we don’t want them to think we use, alcoholic beverages and peeing with the door open. It means a few hours a week when we are a couple and not partners in parenting. Some nights it might even mean a bit of sexy time on the couch.

The six year old is in bed by 8:00, the teenager’s assumption that this rule is directed at her a correct one. If she’s reading this I’ll reiterate that it’s not personal. We still like you, still want you around.

Just not right now. You may be sick of hearing this, might think it’s an easy excuse, a cop out, but trust me on this, on all our apparently unfair and ridiculous rules that you’ve spent your whole life fighting: one day you’ll get it, you’ll understand.

If this isn’t persuasive enough, refer back to that bit about possible sexy time on the couch. Do you really want to see that?




22 thoughts on “A New Rule, The Kid Free Zone”

  1. We did something similar when our kids were younger – for our own sanity….and the odd glass of vino! Now we can’t get them out of their rooms to interact when they are here – funny how things change!

  2. We’ve always had strict bedtimes for our kids – much to the hilarity of some of our friends! But as we sat down to do all of the things you mentioned – without children – and our friends still had their kids playing, hanging around and whinging (overtired and needing to go to bed!) we had the last laugh. #TweensTeensBeyond

  3. Jeremy, I always thoroughly enjoy reading your posts and this one is no exception. And yes to adult time! I really laughed about your sauna. A little envious in that we don’t have a similar vessel to store ours. Thanks for joining #tweensteensbeyond, it’s great to have you here

  4. I laughed so hard at the thought of your teenage daughter reading the words “sexy time on the couch” on your blog. If that had been me, I would never have sat on my parent’s couch ever again! Nice work mate! #ThatFridayLinky

  5. My parents had this rule. One time they found me and my brothers having a movie party in our bedroom but they didn’t care as long as we stayed in there. The living room was for the adults after 9. #ThatFridayLinky

  6. Most kids don’t like rules but you got to have them we certainly do like it or lump it that’s the deal Thank you for linking to #ThatFridayLinky Please come back next week

  7. A man after my own heart Jeremy. When the kids are young those kid free times are so much more attainable because they are in bed earlier. Then along come the tween and teen years and just when you thought it was safe to talk about stuff they shouldn’t hear and watch something that they may find offensive or have another glass of wine along they trot! We have an absolute cut off in our house for adult time downstairs. If they cross the line it is at their peril for sure. #TweensTeensBeyond

  8. Jeremy, is it possible for you to send some sort of formalized letter to our home, that makes this look as if it is law? I love it and I want to enforce it, but see no way to currently. Me and my <rs., we could use some adult time! xoxo #ThatFridayLinky

  9. Ahh Jeremy I too have tried to introduce rules with varying degrees of success! Some adult time in the evening seems like a grand plan and one that is not unreachable now that kids have tablets etc. to amuse themselves in their rooms. It also means that we get to watch what we want on the TV instead of the tween and teens choosing! Thanks so much for sharing with us at #TweensTeensBeyond

  10. We run the same way – though we’ve never quite implemented it as a “rule.” Somehow it was implied and we never speak of it!
    (There is always an exception, if the child needs something and we don’t hear them making noise upstairs, they will come down.)
    I think it’s a great rule, as a couple we don’t spend a lot of time connecting, so having that space at the end of the day – when I’m not blogging! – can be so great for a relationship!

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