Getting Some Peace & Quiet, as a Mom


Ever felt the guilt that comes on when a child asks you to play a game with them, or read to them, but you want to say “no?” I’m not asking about when you *can’t* say “yes” because you’re doing something else. But rather– what do you do when you just want some peace and quiet? What about if your child asks for something, just as you sit down?

Here’s what I do, each day, to get a little quiet time as a mom, and why I think it’s a good thing for us to say “no” to these requests, sometimes:


Related articles you may find helpful:


IN THE COMMENTS: Share– how do you get the rest you need? Do you tell your kids “no” to requests like this sometimes?

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Jess Connell

Jesus-follower, Happy wife, Mom of 8 neat people. Former world-traveler, now settled in Washington. Host of Mom On Purpose podcast ( I write and wrangle kids.

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9 Responses

  1. Beth says:

    Thanks for that, Jess. As our family and my responsibilities have grown, I have found it so helpful to redirect the little ones before I get annoyed by their desire to be underfoot (especially in the kitchen when I’m trying to cook). I’ve also at times had to fight that guilty feeling for not getting up to get someone something they can’t retrieve on their own. They have all benefitted from learning to wait for my help, and the older ones especially have become great problem-solvers when they realize Mom the Maid is having a break. 😉

  2. Kristie says:

    Thanks so much for this! I so often do feel guilty when I say “no” without, in my mind, a valid excuse like some chore or task, so it’s nice to hear that it’s ok and beneficial to do so sometimes. I do think I sometimes go quiet and just ignore the chatter and let my annoyance level grow and then snap. Thanks for the exhortation to pay attention and respond right away. My question is what you do when your child responds negatively? My 3.5 year old sometimes is very compliant with my requests to play by himself for a moment bit, and in general will nap/rest well in the afternoon, but sometimes he’ll run away screaming/whining, and most frustratingly, lately he has started trying to command me. Thanks for the advice!

    • Jess Connell says:

      Well, he should definitely not be allowed to run away screaming and whining. At that point I would insist that he come back to me and control himself before moving on to do something of his choice. If he refused to choose something, I would have him stand against the wall (and tell him what he should be thinking about, “I shouldn’t talk that way to Mama. I must obey Mama and not be grumpy when she says ‘no.’) until his attitude and posture visibly changed. Then I would tell him what he was to do.

      My kids get one chance to choose their own activity peaceably. If they fuss/whine/grump, I coach them through attitude changes and then I choose the first activity they will do. After a time of doing that with a good attitude, I will (if it’s still quiet time) permit them to have another “crack” at choosing their own activity.

      What I’ve found is that the younger the child is (6 & under, especially), they desperately need, and benefit from it when I am highly directive and specific in my instructions to them.

      Here is a collection of articles you should browse- there are several here that apply to what you’re asking:
      MY KIDS DON’T LISTEN TO ME (a collection of parenting articles)



  3. Jamie Butts says:

    Thanks, Jess! That was helpful. Thank you for sharing some of your productive free time with us. Also, thanks again for the podcast on public behavior. I listened to it last week, and today, I went to Costco and paused to apply a few things. My kids were rusty about such outings, because we know have the luxury of doing Walmart Grocery Pick Up. I had Nate push the cart with food, Timmy was my list checker and they had to ask and thank for samples. It wasn’t perfect, but went really well – it was very pleasant overall. I was so thankful for you and your friend who shared on that interview.

    • Jess Connell says:

      Great. I love hearing that!

      It’s funny; we all can get rusty if we aren’t continually reminding ourselves (and our kids) about the norms and expectations. Even this many years in, it can feel (for me) like I shouldn’t have to give warnings before entering a store. But it’s simply not true: if I forget to warn my little guys, I will get plenty of: “CAN I HAVE…” and walking all through the aisles (rather than in an orderly line), etc. I can’t let myself off the hook!!

    • Bethany says:

      I’m glad that podcast was helpful for you!

  4. Jamie Butts says:

    Good word! That is actually helpful for me to chew on coming from your perspective down the road. I often think we’ll “arrive” on various issues like these and yet they do need and will probably keep needing the reminders! Thanks!

  5. Bethany says:

    That little break in the middle of the day is so important for my sanity. And theirs, even if they don’t realize it. :)

  1. March 31, 2017

    […] VIDEO: Getting Some Peace & Quiet, as a Mom […]

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