There is a whirlwind of activity every day as a parent. When you are a single mom, the whirlwind seems to join with a tornado and things just never seem to get done. One of the things I struggled with more in my venture into single motherhood was getting any time to myself.
Sure, my ex has standard visitation and I got the every other weekend deal when he started to exercise his rights. But those weekends flew by as piles of laundry were folded, the messy house was cleaned, a trip to the grocery store was made without three kids in tow.
It all seemed to go so fast and I never felt like I actually got to relax! My kids would come home and I would be right in the middle of the craziness once again.
One weekend when I handed the kids over, I replayed the list of ‘have to do’s in my head and almost cried. I would be scrambling the entire 48 hours they were gone. I, literally, felt the weight on my shoulders. I was alone but had not time for me. So right then I decided to change things up. Give myself a break.
Here are some ideas on How to Spend a Day Alone as a Single Mom:
Just do IT!
Put the scribbled list of things you have been making notes to get done while your kids are away and pick up the remote. Plant yourself on the couch on Friday night EVERY time they are gone and zone out. Eat poorly, drink a glass of wine. But let your body and mind unwind. It does a world of good. After a night ‘off’, I wake Saturday and feel ready to go! I get a lot more done with a much better spirit.
Accept that Invitation that You ‘Do Not Have Time For’
My friends invite me out occasionally and I used to turn them all down. I had too much to do. I can’t take an entire afternoon and go have Mexican Food with my friends! Guess what? YES YOU CAN! The laundry will be there the next day. The grocery store with three kids can sometimes be fun. And your friends love you and would not have invited you if they did not want you there!
I can’t do this every ‘free’ weekend because it can get expensive. But there is something to be said for getting up, getting my coffee and heading to the nail salon for a mani/ pedi. After that, head to the hairstylist. Even if you don’t need a cut, get it styled for the dinner out with your girlfriends. Just… be… spoiled.
Take a Staycation
One of my favorite things to do it take a staycation all by my self! It seems lonely to some but the truth is, it is a fulfilling, relaxing way to spend a day. I won’t even book a room. But I will get up early, head into town (I leave an hour from Houston) and will spend the day strolling the Art Museums, the beautiful parks and eating at places that IO did not even know existed.
I can do the entire day, with food and tickets, for less than $100. Heading home at night, after taking in a live band at a dive bar hidden in the city, I feel like I really got away. I met awesome people, had good conversations and recharged for the days ahead!
These are just some of the ways that I choose to spend my downtime. None of them have to do with chores, stress or guilt! Getting away from it all is just a decision you have to make. As single moms, we have to take time for us. Otherwise, the whole family suffers from a stressed out, overworked, overwhelmed woman who is operating on all cylinders all the time!