Excellent Hideouts for New Parents by Johanna Stein

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Guest post? Don’t mind if we do!

We are so excited to have Johanna Stein sharing her “Excellent Hiding Places for New Parents” in honor of her new book How Not to Calm A Child on a Plane, which is HILARIOUS. Seriously, so funny. We loved it so much that we tracked down Johanna for an interview to get the skinny on how a barf bag turned into a book deal. Not only is Johanna an talented writer she also wrote and starred in a  laugh out loud video series for Yahoo called “Life of Mom”. Yeah, we know, she’s amazing. We decided to overlook our seething jealousy of her relentless talent and just get on board. It’s tough to stay pissy when you are laughing so hard.


QUICK: What is the single most important thing that a new parent must have?

The correct answer is this: A GOOD HIDEOUT.

If you’re going to survive the first year of your baby’s life, you need to find a place or an activity that legitimately gets you out of parenting duties long enough that you can recharge your batteries – but not so long that you need to, say, apply for a Visa.

It’s possible that you might get lucky – fate may hand you the ultimate hideout, like jury duty; or a trip to the DMV to renew your driver’s license. Even the stomach flu can be a welcome respite from the unrelenting grind of new parenthood. (I once had a pinched nerve in my back that got me out of diaper changes for two weeks; I felt like I’d won the lottery.)

The drawback to those options is, of course, lack of control. Short of getting a Typhoid carrier to cough directly into your mouth, you’re better off finding hideouts that you can control.

Disclaimer: as I’m not advocating child abandonment, please ensure that you have a responsible party covering for you in your absence; like a spouse, a grandparent, a neighbor, or a trained dolphin.



Dog owners often talk about how well animal companionship prepares one for parenthood. I don’t know about that – but I do know that the gift of a dog is that it must be walked — ie: they come pre-packaged with 20–30 minutes of freedom — every single day. True, this hideout requires that you handle the fecal matter of a lesser creature, but at this point, is that really such a shock to your system?

Helpful hint: Salami: dogs love it. Their digestive tracts do not. You do the math.


Before children, taking a trip to the grocery was a boring, thankless chore. Who wants to drag a bacteria-laden shopping cart through a maze of badly lit shelving while a musically lobotomized instrumental version of “Stairway to Heaven” plays?

After becoming a parent you’ll say “YES PLEASE” as you discover that a solo trip to the grocery store can be an exotic getaway filled with sensory delights!

Trust me, there’s nothing more rewarding than engaging a stock-boy in a debate over the merits of pre-shredded cabbage — especially when the alternative is spending an evening with your spouse, trying to decipher at the contents of your newborn’s diaper.


You may not have time to go to the spa anymore – but you do have time for something almost as relaxing: THE DENTIST.

Sure the lights are brighter, and instead of lavender it smells like plaque – but it’s quiet, and you get to lie down in peace. And if you close your eyes, you can almost imagine that four-hour root canal is a deep tissue massage!

Helfpul hint: If you find yourself in a bind, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much damage you can do to a tooth by simply munching on popcorn.


Your number one hideout is right under your nose and it’s as easy as filling your bladder: your bathroom. Its perfection is threefold: it’s a place you already have to be, several times a day; it comes with its own lock; and there’s no end to the relaxing and productive activities you can accomplish within its comfy confines.


Like any good vacation, a good hideout is not intended to become a replacement for your life — it’s merely a chance to re-energize. So find sanctuary where you can, and as often as you can, even if it means faking a bout of the stomach flu.


She’s great, right?? Now go get that book! We recommended reading it somewhere loud snorts are acceptable.


ScienceofParenthood.com - Johanna Stein's Excellent Hideouts for New Parents


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J&N-0315reducedABOUT NORINE & JESSICA: Science of Parenthood was created by writer Norine Dworkin-McDaniel and illustrator/web developer Jessica Ziegler.

Once upon a time, Norine met Jessica at one of those “it stays in Vegas” holiday parties — which actually sounds a lot more salacious than it actually was. A little while later, Jessica had a kid. Then Norine had a kid. Then Norine began developing a series of science-y/parent-y ain’t-that-the-truth-isms. Then Jessica came in and scribbled all over them. And Science of Parenthood was born. Norine and Jessica are not Nobel Prize-winning scientists … though they play them on the blog. Fortunately, Norine and Jessica are both married to their own adorable geeks, who explain all this science-y stuff to them at those times when recalling the laws of thermodynamics on three hours of sleep is simply too tall an order.

Follow Science of Parenthood on: their blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google +


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