Confessions of a Stressed-Out Mom

We polled local mothers on what they do to escape their kids. Come on, we know you do it, too.

Photograph courtesy of Carter Smith. Portraits by Stephen Voss. Photograph of juice by Maren Caruso/Getty Images. Illustrations by Edel Rodriguez. Photographs by Kate Warren. Creative By Design Army/Photography By Kip Dawkins/Styling By Marcie Blough. Photographs by Kip Dawkins. Ceramic elephant bookends with 22-karat-gold accents by Waylande Gregory Studios, $460 at Dalton Pratt (1742 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-333-3256). Photograph by Jeff Elkins Photograph by Kip Dawkins. Illustrations by Koren Shadmi. Photograph via Shutterstock.

“I had a couple of moments when my kids were younger where I cried in the closet . . . and ate chocolate.”
—McLean mom

“I turn on music, exercise, and imagine myself onstage accepting an Academy Award, or living a completely different life, married to some high-powered executive or an actor. The fantasy life gives me relief from my day-to-day.””
—Chevy Chase mom

“After my son goes to bed, I head to my office, which is conveniently located just down the hall. I tell my husband I’m going to do work, but I end up streaming my favorite shows online, like The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. Having a beverage cooler in the office is also a plus.”
—Georgetown Mom

“I say I have to run to a meeting, but really I go to BlackSalt, sit at the bar, suck down a dozen oysters, and drink a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.”
—Palisades Mom

“I take my son to his parkour class and tell him I need to make a work call from my car. Then I run to the bar at Whole Foods in Alexandria and chill out with a pint of DC Brau and an issue of Real Simple.”

“You know that horrible flu that’s been going around? I pretended I was sick two days longer than I really was so I could stay in bed and watch all ten episodes of Mr. Selfridge.

“When my kids were two and three, I started running, just to get out of the house. I was never a runner; I became one out of necessity—it was the only way I could escape. I would sign up for races so I could say I had to train for something, just so I could run for hours.”
—Arlington Mom

“It is extremely important for me to have very good friends whom I can text things like, ‘I’m going to kill my children!’ and get a response like, ‘Me, too. Let’s get a drink later.’ Would not survive without them.”
—Crestwood Mom

“Retail therapy in the form of my favorite websites, such as Gilt or One Kings Lane. I look for deals; I usually don’t buy, and if I do I often end up returning the stuff. It’s taking myself away from reality that works as a mental break.”

“When I’m really, really stressed, my husband tells me to check into a hotel for a night. I order room service and watch bad romantic comedies. I’m a new woman in the morning.”
—DC mom

“I ask my sitter to stay an extra hour or two so I can grab a mani-pedi, a blowout, and a much-needed glass of Champs. When the kids ask where I was, I say, ‘Mommy was stuck in traffic.’ ”

“I sometimes force my kids to bed extremely early and have them all asleep by 8 so I can open a bottle of fabulous red wine and hang on my porch solo for a cigarette.”
—Potomac mom