For some of us moms, free time (kid free) is a dream. It is this very rare oddity that when we get it, we have to consider strongly what we want to do. Do we want to leave the house? Do we want to start a project we have longed to do for a while? Do we binge watch our favorite show?
I surveyed some moms and got a wide variety of answers. Some stressed that they have no clue what they would do because they never get the opportunity. Where would you fit into these ideas?
Idea #1: Shop ‘Til You Drop
Several moms said they would take their free time and go shopping alone, just getting away from the family. Some stores of choice were Hobby Lobby, TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross, or Target. Take several hours and just mindlessly scour a shopping center. Strip malls are a sort of “hit a bunch at a time” shopping locations. This may be a good thing to do once you get your family’s Christmas lists. Not necessarily to purchase things all at once but maybe price compare and then watch for ads to come out. This way, you know the original price and then can more easily spot a good deal.
Idea #2: Hide & Lock
A popular answer was run for the bathroom and lock the door. Now, this was not to just use the facilities but to do some self pampering while there. The bathroom has a beautiful shower and/or bathtub. For some moms with very small children or several children, it is a rarity to get the time to just soak in the bathtub. Grab that bag of Epsom salt that is tucked in the back of the bathroom sink cabinet, you know, the one that has never been opened, and pour a good amount under the hot flowing water. Maybe a few drops of your favorite essential oils for a soothing aroma and just sit. Light a candle and turn the lights off. This is key moms. If the light is one, little fingers and toes will be drawn to the door. Lights off and they will think it is empty and run off…I may have some experience in this area.
Showers were another popular answer. Just turn on the hot water and stand there. Close your eyes and just let the water run. Quiet time is a definite need, even if it is just for 10 minutes. It will refresh the mind and body and allow you more patience to deal with the family and their “joys”.
Idea #3: Body Balance
Others said they would take the time and do a much needed workout. This could be anything you enjoy. Do you love running? Map out a route you’ve never run and strap on your running shoes. What about a favorite workout or yoga video or class? Go for it! Enjoy a bike ride? Drive to a trail and just go. Added bonus if there is food or drink along the way that is bicycle friendly! Maybe you just like a simple, no particular pace, walk. Grab your phone, earbuds and put on your favorite audiobook, podcast or music. This may or may not include your four-legged best friend.
Idea #4: Personal Reflections
A large number of responses were Bible reading or quiet meditation time. This may look like reading your Bible or favorite book on the back patio or driving to the library or coffee house and relaxing. This may mean setting out a mat on the floor, closing your eyes and just focus on yourself. Turn on some quiet calming music, close your eyes and just release the stresses that pop up in your mind. For many of us, our minds are racing in a million different directions and it is a real challenge to just let that all go and focus on nothing but our breathing. Maybe brew yourself a cup of coffee or tea and just relax. Watch the sunset or do for a drive alone if that relaxes you.
Idea #5: Pretty & Pampered
Moms, how often do we really take the time to make ourselves feel pretty? We focus a lot on the family and making sure everything runs smoothly or that our daughter’s hair isn’t tied in a knot or getting new hairdos for the kids. When was the last time you took that extra step for yourself? Maybe your free time could be used going to a salon and getting that interesting hair color or cut you’ve always wanted to try but figured would be too time consuming. Maybe you could go to the nail salon and get a manicure AND a pedicure…maybe even a wax. What do you say moms? YOU deserve it!
Idea #6: Food with Friends
When was the last time you called up a friend and asked them to dinner? Just the two of you, no little people in toe? Seems like forever ago, doesn’t it? Plan a day or night, moms. It is important for us to model friendship to our children. They need to see the importance of other people in our lives. Relationships are essential to our well being and mental clarity. Our spouses are our friends but sometimes we need someone outside our every day that we can shoot the breeze with. If we have been friends for a long time, we can generally really connect quickly and are able to release a lot of uncommunicated mental blockage. Maybe you have a go to person or maybe you are still looking for that person that really helps you manage. If you don’t try to connect with others, you will never know how fulfilling an outside friendship can be.
Now you have seen what a good number of other moms have done for those rare moments of free time. What would you do? Is there a way you can stencil out a set time once a month or even better, once a week that you can just do you? We can better help our family through the things they need if we are able to help ourselves with fulfilling our own personal needs.
Comment with any additional ideas you may have. I would love to hear them!