With the bathroom and the garage both falling into the man-cave domain, where’s a woman to find her zen?

Rather than taking out a home equity line of credit to build a three-quarter scale cottage in the area currently known as your driveway, carve out some much-needed “me” time in common locations you probably go to anyway.

Here are my favorite options:

1. The public library.

The library offers mom-cave potential, with the promise of air conditioning (or heat) and periods of silence. During story time, movie viewings and other children’s events, many libraries allow kids to be dropped off while parents remain on the premises. This is when I catch up on emails, brainstorm on a new project, check out an R-rated DVD, or buy a new pair of running shoes online. If nothing else, use the library bathroom, alone.

2. Your closet.

We once had a closet that not only housed my husband’s and my clothes, but also our son’s crib and dresser, and there was a window and a carpeted floor. If we still lived in that rental cottage, I’d have set up a mom-cave as soon as my son graduated into a proper room. Take a look at your closet. If it can accommodate a floor pillow and a $9.99 lamp from Target, make that space yours.  

3. The grocery store.

Go grocery shopping, alone. The grocery store is loaded with virtual mom-cave potential. First stop: The wide selection of magazines. Indulge in staring at before and after photos of low budget bathroom makeovers, gorgeous images of empty infinity pools at 5-star resorts in Thailand, and reading about the beauty secrets of the stars. From there, select a new color of nail polish at the end of the first aid aisle, and consider splurging on a new Goody hairbrush. This is decadence. (Warning: When you grocery shop alone, it can be hard to leave the store. As a song from The Breakfast Club soundtrack is pumped through the speakers in the ceiling, it’s totally normal to linger, pushing your overloaded cart on a mission to find a cracker alternative to Goldfish that doesn’t pack in so many chemicals, and won’t taste half as good.)


IKEA can be a wonderland of mom-caves, or a maze of chaos. It’s all how you feel about inexpensive Swedish home furnishings and how early in the day you arrive. First, check your kids into the free childcare club, Smaland. Next, make your way to the showroom and find an empty living room, ideally one with ambient lighting. While reclining on a colorful couch, relax with reading material or your Smartphone, or take a nap. Arrive early for the best/cleanest mock living room selection, and leave after the first random kid topples over the fake cardboard TV nearest you.

5. Aboard an airplane.

Kids ages 4+ are often either reading, playing games or watching movies on the plane. Once you’ve reached cruising altitude, sitting in economy can feel like catching time alone in your home, yet you’re 35,000 feet in the air with about one inch of space between your knees and the seat in front of you. The mom-cave element is that nobody asks you to do anything but decide whether or not you’d like wine with your teriyaki meatball meal, a perfectly heated dinner you didn’t cook or buy the groceries for. And you don’t have to pick up any crumbs or do any dishes. Zen.  

6. Your car.

Where do you think I’m writing this from?

AdrienneOct2014 circleAdrienne Robillard is a freelance writer in the East Bay and a Maybrooks Ambassador. Follow her blog:http://foundtoys.blogspot.com/