What I am about to describe, I call the no kids paradox. Picture this. It’s the moment every parent dreams of. Either Grandma, or some God sent individual requests, or agrees after some whining, to take your kids off your hands. If you had plans already, then you are too busy or distracted to notice this time, but wait until you get surprised with a few hours of delightful, solitary, kid-free time. Maybe it is different with couples, but as the only parent, and therefore only adult in the house, I may get overwhelmed with the constant questions, requests, messes and demands on my time when the kids are home, but unless I already have plans, I just don’t know what to do with myself when they are not.
Maybe it is not that I actually miss the kids five minutes after they leave, but rather the fact that I do not have practice concentrating for more than three minutes at a time anymore. Maybe instead, because there are so many things I would like to do sans kids, that as soon as I get the chance, I am too overwhelmed with choices. There are studies proving that humans can only make so many decisions in a day. When your six year old asks 400 questions, expecting answers, by noon every day, you surpass your threshold, and even given the best alternatives to choose from, you may just be completely incapable of deciding.
So what do you do? Well, right now I am sitting here writing, but I could have easily found myself napping, binge watching Netflix, reading, cleaning or doing some other mundane, mindless task. I did manage to get a text out to a friend that I was kid free, immediately upon finding out, so if anything is going on tonight, I can get a text, throw on some clothes and have a life for a few hours. Fingers crossed.
Here Are Some Ideas on How to Spend Your Kid-Free Time:
Take a Bubble Bath-
Whether you light candles, pour wine, add music or just jump straight in, a bath is a great way to de-stress when the kids are away. For added benefits, add a cup of Epsom salt and a cup of baking soda or check out these awesome Bath Bombs to keep on hand.
Go For a Long Walk-
Throw on your fit bit and get excited. You are about to surpass your average daily step count. With no children to drag, no diaper bag to carry, no little ones who will need to pee and no pre-teens to complain, you will feel like you can walk for ever.
Throw on your favorite guided meditation, repeat your favorite mantra or just ommmmm to your hearts content. With no kids interrupting every 30 seconds, you’ll find a deeper meaning in no time.
Find Your New Favorite Yoga Pose-
Whether you want to feel close to nature with a tree pose or find your inner courage with the Warrior Pose, there is a perfect pose for you. You can even find some kid friendly poses, practice them, and wow your kids with how good you are when you show them how to do it.
Learn Some New Dance Moves-
Whether you are looking to chaperone your child’s school dance and once again wow them with your new moves (which in teen talk translates to make them want to crawl in a hole and disappear,) shake off a few calories, or relive your party days, dancing will get you there.
Call A Friend-
They may be half way across the globe, the country or the block, but regardless, the quickest way to get in in touch is probably in your hands right now anyway. Enjoy an actual adult conversation without your kids fighting for your attention.
Plan Your Next Getaway
From a day trip to the zoo to your dream trip of back packing through Europe and everything in between, the best time to start planning is right now.
Eat your Hidden Chocolate in Plain Sight
It might be ice-cream, chocolate or a hidden box of Twinkies. What ever it is, pull it out from the vegetable crisper, the top shelf the kids can’t reach, or the bottom of that heart-healthy bland cereal box it has been hiding in. You do not even have to worry about muffling the sounds of the wrapper being opened.
I don’t know what it is that keeps you going on those long stressful days, but this day, hour or few minutes are yours! Live them up.
What are you going to do in your next kid free moment? Let me know in the comments. We can all use some unwinding.