what do you do when you have time to yourself? - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-25-2010, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'd like to hear what other mamas do when they have some time to themselves, either at home or time to get out of the house. With a 4yo DD and 1yo DS my time to myself is so limited (partially due to my own difficulty leaving the kids, as well as a lack of childcare) that when I do have an hour or two, I often feel like I don't know what to do and start to feel anxious about that. I'd love to hear what others do. Thanks!
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Old 06-25-2010, 02:04 PM
 
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Hmm...get on the computer, read, lay there and do nothing.
Out of the house, go shopping (even the grocery I consider time to myself if there are no children involved.), pedicure, movies, dinner.
I don't feel anxious anymore, but I used to, so I totally get what you're talking about.
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Old 06-25-2010, 02:16 PM
 
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Read, sew, bath, dinner with a friend, coffee shop with a crossword puzzle, bookstore, massage, antique store, walk on the beach or around the lake, see a movie or a play with a friend, scrapbook, play piano (on the rare occasions I'm home alone), play cards with friends ... the possibilities are endless!

But I don't have the guilt thing -- we equally prioritize family time, one-on-one parent/kid time, couple time, and alone time. They're all important, and none are considered selfish in our family -- in fact, we consider it a success when we devote time to each of those things in a week.

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Old 06-25-2010, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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But I don't have the guilt thing -- we equally prioritize family time, one-on-one parent/kid time, couple time, and alone time. They're all important, and none are considered selfish in our family -- in fact, we consider it a success when we devote time to each of those things in a week.
I really like this way of thinking about it. We do well with family time and somewhat with one-on-one parent time, but not so well with alone time and virtually never do couple time. We could use more balance, I think!
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Old 06-25-2010, 04:25 PM
 
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Alone time is really important for me to maintain sanity

I read, write, or just lay in bed and daydream which is a luxury.

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Old 06-25-2010, 04:47 PM
 
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Depending how much time I have. Also, I dont feel guily about me time I take since it helps with burn out and makes me a better parent having some time to me.

When dd1 started school FT, one day a week I put my 18 mo old in a Parents Day out program one day a week. It was 10-2pm and she came home and napped. She loved it, still attends now as well as 3 day preschool.

On PDO days, I sometimes come home and just clean clean clean and get it done in 1/3 the time than if the kids were here, meet w my personal trainer, or workout, run errands and enjoy without children! go out to lunch w DH near his work, watch tv shoes on dvr I have been wanting to watch, make calls to insurance or calls that need time that tots or young children make impossible to do, go to the library, read and have a coffee, visit with a friend who also has a child in PDO.

Pick and choose what you like to do and go from there.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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Old 06-25-2010, 04:54 PM
 
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I usually spend it cleaning

If I had more alone time....I would scrapbook, watch movies, go out for coffee with friends....maybe someday!
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:52 AM
 
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Read, take a nap, log on to Mothering.com, or take a bath.

If I have a chance to get out of the house I'll either meet a friend for tea, go to yoga, or take the dogs for a walk.
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:04 AM
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Time to myself is really important. I have gone a long time without any, and now I'm feeling burnt out and making it a priority.
I like to read, take a bath, stretch, daydream, knit, hang out on the computer, take a walk with a friend, get some coffee, go to the craft store.
I've found that it doesn't even have to be a really long time. It can be just an hour at the grocery store without the kids, and I come home feeling refreshed.
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:07 AM
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Just want to add---I totally get the anxiety thing. Not so much about leaving the kids (well, not when they're with daddy), but just anxiety from being a person that hangs out with little kids all day, every day. I feel stressed about going into the world sometimes, and feel really out of place. For me, it took a couple months, but after I made it a priority to get out once in while that stress really diminished
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:28 PM
 
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I totally understand this dilemma. I have just begun to feel comfortable leaving my kids...today they are both in a day camp for 4 hours which is a first. They are 4 and 7. So I have 4 hours a day every day this week which is a total luxury and unheard of in my life. My anxiety comes in the form of not wanting to waste the time and being unsure of how to spend it. I start to feel pressured about all the many things to do in addition to the things I want to do. I think I'm going to try to split this time into household stuff, gardening and then also sitting outside and reading or knitting.

It's a really hard balance, for sure.
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:43 AM
 
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Today I had time to look through some patterns I already had, pick out a dress, read the pattern, cut it out entirely, and get as far as sewing most of it with the exception of the interfacing around the neck and arms. I also need to hem it. These are naptime activities, but cutting out a dress is not possible really in spurts--it requires a large chunk of time for me since I'm so slow!

I have zero mommy guilt. It was running me ragged and then I realized that I was being held a prisoner by my own brain, so I pushed it out and haven't looked back since. I also put my little one in a MMO during the school year, and she LOVES it. I found it after I booted the mommy guilt out since I had a quasi-meltdown.

Sometimes I will go to the gym and just sit in the steamroom and do nothing. I won't even work out--just go sit in a too-small towel and pretend I am in a sweatlodge in the mountains.

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Old 06-29-2010, 08:48 PM
 
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I totally get the not knowing what to do with yourself thing. I often feel lost on the rare occasion I go out without dd. It's not a guilt thing it's more that because I'm so used to having her with me that I sort of don't remember how to be my own adult person. It's gotten better as time goes by but still there are times that I'll insist I need me time, go out for an hour to shop or have a coffee and spend the whole time kind of scattered. I don't know if that makes any sense .. it's hard to explain.
Anyway, I do like to read and relax and do nothing for alone time. It's nice to just have some quiet and uninterrupted time to sit with my own thoughts now and again.

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Old 06-30-2010, 01:43 AM
 
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Go to knit night with the local Ravelry group.
Go to the bookstore, library, or for coffee.
I'd like to go get a pedicure someday, but I never seem to deem it worthy enough for my free time!

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Old 06-30-2010, 03:47 PM
 
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I totally agree with all those suggestions to let go of the guilt! My daughters are 6 & 4 and I still sometimes feel guilty and anxious leaving, but I've noticed that my alone time AND our together time is SO much better when I relax and enjoy myself. They know they are loved and adored and that I'll be back soon.

As far as what I do with the loads of alone time I have? I mostly bead, get online, read or meditate. If I'm out somewhere alone it's usually the grocery store! But I usually bring good music or a podcast to listen to on the way there, and I have occasionally brought a book and chilled in the parking lot for a few minutes prior to going in. I have recently started going hiking and just wandering around looking for photo ops. It's so, so important to remember that while being a mama is amazing, and the center of most of our lives, we need to nourish the other parts of us too

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Old 06-30-2010, 10:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I totally get the not knowing what to do with yourself thing. I often feel lost on the rare occasion I go out without dd. It's not a guilt thing it's more that because I'm so used to having her with me that I sort of don't remember how to be my own adult person. It's gotten better as time goes by but still there are times that I'll insist I need me time, go out for an hour to shop or have a coffee and spend the whole time kind of scattered. I don't know if that makes any sense .. it's hard to explain.
This is how I feel more than guilty. It's more like I'm out of practice doing adult things and have forgotten how. So, my plan is to try to keep having regular time to myself and hopefully I will get more comfortable with it because I do feel that it's really important for my sanity. I was getting very burned out. I did go out for a couple of hours on Saturday and just went to a coffee shop and read for a while and it was enjoyable.
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:48 PM
 
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Oh luxurious free time! Love it.

I'm a huuuge reader. So reading is a big one for me. Trip to the book store, surfing the internet, watching a movie, enjoying a nice beverage in peace (doesn't matter what..milkshake, coffee, wine, smoothie...Just being able to drink it in peace is perfection.), Mothering.com , Video games, sit outside and knit/read/daydream.

If I'm feeling social I really enjoy going out to eat with 2 of my girlfriends. We usually just go to IHOP or somewhere as equally casual but that time is precious to me.

Lately I've been considering going to see a movie but I just can't seem to justify the cost. Tickets are expensive now!!

I know what it's like to forget how to be an adult. I remember when 2 close friends came over to visit and my friend H asked me, "So how have you been doing?" and I answered her by talking about the pregnancy, my DS, husband and then more about the kids. She smiled and then said, "But really, YOU how are YOU doing?" I kind of sat there baffled for a second not even knowing how to answer the question.
It made me realize how easy it is to forget to take that extra bit of time to devote to just being me and investing in my own interests.

I've been very lucky to have a few close friends and my DH to remind and encourage me to just "do anything or even nothing" when I get free time. I used to feel like I was wasting time or not being a "good wife" or "good mom". I've come to see that taking the time for myself makes me more peaceful and a much better mother and wife. It also gives me confidence and makes me feel good about myself. I think my DS and husband pick up on that and it makes for a happier home.

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Old 07-01-2010, 12:56 AM
 
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Yoga, cook/bake, bathe, pilates, kempo, TV (baseball & World Cup right now)

And read various books about different parent topics. Food and herbs are my favorite!
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Old 07-01-2010, 01:56 PM
 
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sleep, read, sleep, read.

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Old 07-02-2010, 03:40 AM
 
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Depends on how much time/money I have. If I have just an hour or so I will usually read, play on the computer, or nap. More time I will go out with a friend, go to the library or bookstore, roam a store,run errands, or get a coffee and take a drive.

I let go of the guilt a long time ago but it was hard. I finally just accepted that to be functioning adult I had to have some time away from my family to just be Sara. Like Limabean we do family time, couple time, alone time, etc and we are all mentally healthier for it. But it does take "practice" to know what to do after being with my kids/family with out a break.

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Old 07-04-2010, 07:08 PM
 
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Ah.......alone time? Ha ha. Never lately. And I mean....never. Unless taking a shower with the baby seated in the bathroom and not the actual tub means alone.......
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:15 PM
 
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I don't get much time to myself, but last week when DH was off I went to see Eclipse and ran some errands, today he is off and I locked myself in our room and took a much needed nap. Sometimes just running out for 30 minutes is enough of a refresher for me. I am lucky to have an understanding DH who knows that being with a 2 yr old and 3 yr old 24/7 is not easy!

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Old 07-05-2010, 09:44 PM
 
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I'd like to go get a pedicure someday, but I never seem to deem it worthy enough for my free time!
Oh it's so worth it!! Very relaxing, you should try it out at least once! If I don't go with a friend, I bring something to read, and kill two birds with one stone.
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:49 AM
 
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If I'm at home, I sleep or take a bath!

I might have an hour when DH can watch the baby so I might run to a store without her. I haven't had any excursions yet that aren't immediate-need-based. At the end of this month I plan on going to a yoga class by myself (my studio has a great end-of-month class I haven't attended since early in my pregnancy). We can work out our schedules so this will happen. I just hope I feel like I can do it...and not decide to nap instead!

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Old 07-06-2010, 01:04 AM
 
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If I'm home with some time to myself, I either play some music or read. Sometimes I clean, but I usually try to devote any me time to something fun- I only clean if the house is so messy I couldn't enjoy the me time without cleaning first When I'm out and about on my own it's usually to run errands, but I do go to a Mom's Night Out once a month. It felt really wierd at first to out at night by myself, I almost felt like I was sneaking out or something! It gets easier, though, and now I don't think I could maintain my sanity without those mom's nights!


Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post
But I don't have the guilt thing -- we equally prioritize family time, one-on-one parent/kid time, couple time, and alone time. They're all important, and none are considered selfish in our family -- in fact, we consider it a success when we devote time to each of those things in a week.
I totally agree, all of those are so important!! As parents, it's so easy to forget to take that time to yourself, but I think everyone in the family is happier and healthier if all relationships (including and especially your relationship with yourself!) are nurtured!
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:57 AM
 
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Well what I usually do is read books. Or I go to the gym for some me time and if I'm on the bike or treadmill I read there too! But when I have lots of time I like to get my hair done. But last time I did that it was awful. I was stressed about the baby and my hair suffered for it.

So I just stick to books and exercise, I always feel so much better about everything. I do hear you though about floundering when you actually have a minute. There are so many things I would love to do sans kids, but it all flies out my head when I get the go ahead- which rarely happens anyway.

Is it sad that I really love going to the grocery store without kids. I rather do that than get a pedicure- I suck LOL
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Old 07-13-2010, 02:13 PM
 
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I totally get the not knowing what to do with yourself thing. I often feel lost on the rare occasion I go out without dd. It's not a guilt thing it's more that because I'm so used to having her with me that I sort of don't remember how to be my own adult person. It's gotten better as time goes by but still there are times that I'll insist I need me time, go out for an hour to shop or have a coffee and spend the whole time kind of scattered. I don't know if that makes any sense .. it's hard to explain.
Anyway, I do like to read and relax and do nothing for alone time. It's nice to just have some quiet and uninterrupted time to sit with my own thoughts now and again.
I agree with you 100% I also feel like I am who I am because of my kids but with a 2.5 DS and 6month DD and no ALONE time I have started demanding it and then when I get it I don't know what to do and feel like I look so frumpy I want my kids with me so people know I look this was because I have two small kids. I still have 10 pounds to lose from DD and I am very self conscious even though I am small to begin with but I just feel like they make me now also feels like a little bit of PPD, because when I am with them I wish I wasn't but without them I am lost...argh motherhood!
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Old 07-13-2010, 03:07 PM
 
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Is it sad that I really love going to the grocery store without kids. I rather do that than get a pedicure- I suck LOL
me too! me too! me too!

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Old 07-13-2010, 04:31 PM
 
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I mow. I put on my ear plugs and just mow. No one can come near me, lol. I watch for one of the older kids on one of our 5 porches giving me the emergency sign if the lo is freaking out or something. That doesn't usually happen, though, so I just mow. If it's winter I rake the barn or something. Or read, or browse recipes, get on MDC, gab on the phone w/a girlfriend, or even take a nap sometimes.

Speaking of mowing, now that I'm cooled down I'll go start on the front (we live in the country, so it takes awhile, and I'm way behind so it's taking way longer).

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Old 07-13-2010, 05:27 PM
 
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I was thinking of this thread the other day because I did have some time to myself (my MIL took the kids out for the afternoon). I got a juicy gourmet burger from a local restaurant, watched a DVRed episode of The Soup, worked on some sewing projects, played the Nintendo DS, and took a nap. It was all kinds of awesome.

But having time to yourself at home is different than having time to yourself outside the house, which is the perspective my earlier post was coming from. I loved hanging out at home by myself!!!

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