“I need me time!” This is a lament that I hear a lot from my younger friends who are moms of young kids – and older ones too. It is hard to get alone time with children running around.
Take for example my daughter, a mom of twin six-year old girls and a four-year old son, who inspired this post. Along with being a parent, she works part time and goes to school part time. My son-in-law travels a lot for his job and leaves my daughter home alone several days a week. No griping from them, as they are living the life they chose and are doing the best they can.
Thankfully, she lives in a neighborhood of families with kids around the age of hers. While I visit as much I can, I don’t live with them so when my daughter needs some time alone, she may not always be able to take it. She offered ideas of how to get some ME time even when you don’t have lots of resources or support.
1) Switch off with a friend to watch each other’s kids for a few hours. Then go for a walk or just stay home to read for a bit.
2) If a friend has a responsible child that is old enough to babysit, do something quid pro quo. For example, offer to make the other family a dinner casserole or dessert in exchange for an hour or two of free time.
3) Share a babysitter with friends. Make sure, of course, the sitter can handle more then one child. Then, for a few dollars each, you can all participate in an exercise class or play Bunco for a bit.
4) Put the kids to be EARLY. 7:30/8:00 is not too early to put the kids to bed, even if they don’t go to school. That 8:00 to 10:00 time frame, before you collapse with fatigue, is great for straightening up and catching up on few shows.
5) Do sleepover exchanges with your kid’s friend’s parents. The kids think it is great and then you have either quality time with the child left at home or just glorious time to yourself for an evening.
6) Plan activities that you like for yourself that the kids also enjoy. For example, my niece plays kid music when she uses her elliptical machine. She gets her exercise accomplished and the kids dance away and enjoy too.
7) When a trusted family member offers to watch the kids, LET THEM!! Give yourself a break and enjoy the time. Your kids get the opportunity to build relationships and you get to take a shower without anyone interrupting.
8) Park time is great too. The kids play and you can catch up with emails on your smart phone, play words with friends or just chat with the other mothers, also known as ADULTS!!
You don’t always have to worry about cleaning the house or being productive when your child naps. Let the clutter be and take of yourself. A contented parent with a messy home, is far better then a mom ready to pop her cork at the slightest provocation. Not only are the kids happier, but I am certain that you will be too.