Whether your children are going to be away for six hours, six days, or possibly even six weeks, you need to make the most of your independence and freedom. When you start planning their break or holiday, plan yours too. Or at least make a list of some ideas of what you would like to do.
Embrace the Quiet
Even though you will miss them while they are gone, enjoy the quiet serenity of no carpools, no homework, no bickering, no school lunches, no playdates, and no one shouting, “Mom, mom, mom!”. Use the time to re-design or re-arrange your space. Attack the clutter in your home, one space at a time. Donate unwanted furniture, clothes, books, and toys to charity. Here lies another option of a great way to use your free time: volunteering. Giving back to the community is an amazing way to get in touch with your self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction.
Take long, uninterrupted candlelit baths, or showers: use up all the hot water if you want to! Walk around the house naked: freedom is yours with no little giggling faces (just beware the neighbors’ prying eyes!). Spice things up with your spouse. Plan romantic picnics, and reconnect with your playfulness. Take time to read – parents rarely have much time to immerse themselves in a book. Use this time wisely and get hold of that book you have been dying to read. Sit back with a cup of your favorite beverage and relax.
Catch up on sleep. This is not really possible, but while the children are away, go to bed as early or as late as you want, and sleep in the next day. No one will be waking you up to ask what is for breakfast!
Make a Noise
Make your kind of noise! Buy a new CD or haul out all your old favorites. Play them loud. Dance as crazily and wildly as you wish. Try something new – you could take a yoga class, an art course, or even a cooking class. Be adventurous. Keep your body moving. Take long leisurely walks or do your workouts with no rush or interruptions or places to be. Reconnect with friends – you could arrange a cocktail party, an online poker night with lucky nugget, or even a night on the town. You won’t have to rush home early to pay the babysitter, so paint the town red.
Nourish Your Mind, Body and Soul
You have free rein to eat whatever you choose, so no more chicken nuggets or mac ‘n cheese! You do not have to think of all the things the children don’t or won’t eat, which means you can make what you like! Eat out as often as you like, or eat bagels with salmon and cream cheese for every meal – follow your whims!
Go to the movies, by yourself, or with your partner. What a treat to not have to watch an animated film or a teen romance!
Pamper yourself. Go to that expensive salon that takes all day to give you a full hair treatment. Book a manicure, pedicure, and massage. Spoil yourself. Let your body relax and unwind. Go for a makeover at your local department store and arrange a personalized photo shoot.
Whatever it is you decide to do with your free time, make sure it’s exciting and provides you with a break from routine. Do more of what you love. Visit an art gallery, or a different coffee shop every afternoon. Once your children get home, you will be ready to welcome them with open (relaxed) arms as you will be rejuvenated and more in love with yourself. Seize the day!