Full disclosure: When I get alone time, I typically have gotten it because I’m unpleasant to be near thanks to looming deadlines and the lack of a door on my office. That said, if I didn’t have any deadlines to meet (and it does happen occasionally), I’d have a few ideas of how to spend the time.
First, what not to do:
- Clean or do housework of any kind, unless you really enjoy it and it’s therapeutic for you. This is “you” time and it’s important for your sanity.
- Sleep, because you’ll just wake up when the kids come back feeling like you didn’t accomplish much. A 20-minute power nap might be okay, if you can actually force yourself out of bed after that long. I can’t.
What to do:
- Remember those hobbies you had? You know, before kids? Did you paint, write, draw, hike, go rock climbing? Whatever you loved to do, do it! This will rejuvenate you in a way that a long nap might not be able to, unless you’re a new mom who hasn’t been able to sleep more than two hours at any one time in ages. Make any plans or purchases you need to in advance so you’re ready to go as soon as you’re alone.
- Invite a friend over for coffee, wine, or food. Then turn on something ridiculous you’ve been dying to watch, something the kids can’t watch with you and your spouse doesn’t want to see, either.
- Go somewhere. Alone. People joke that going on vacation with kids feels like work, but going grocery shopping without kids feels like a vacation. It’s true. Pick a store you want to shop inâ€”not the grocery storeâ€”and just wander around at your own pace, whether it’s Target, the mall, or an antique store.
- Go to the park. Sit on a blanket. Read. Eat. Enjoy.
If you can get enough alone time to squeeze in a power nap and then really seize the day, do it. Plan ahead when possible, so you won’t waste any of that precious time making arrangements, buying paint, looking up class schedules, or anything else that isn’t pure enjoyment.
Photo credit: radioher