“Me” time: Need it. Miss it. Wish for it. Don’t have time for it? If you’re craving freedom from the routine of diapers, school lunches, bedtime and toddler tantrums, here are five ways to get a mommy time out:
1. Recruit relief: It may be time to ask for help and to take it when offered. Poll your neighbours for sitter suggestions or use a local babysitting service, such as Canadian Sitter or Nannies on Call. And if you have family nearby, take them up on previous offers of sleepovers or day trips. The kids will have a blast and you can (finally) get out to try that new restaurant or catch a movie without animation.
2. Hold a kid swap: When you’re already knee-deep in mama duties, adding one more kid to the mix won’t (likely) tip the balance. Arrange to take a friend’s child one afternoon and then switch it up the next week. And if you can work it with your schedules, make it a regular thing. A drop-off play date is your ticket to a few hours of kid-free bliss — at the right price.
3. Class time: Does the idea of taking a yoga, boxing, knitting, cake decorating, cooking or art class seem like a pipe dream? Make a list of hobbies you’d like to explore and search for classes in your community. Whatever you choose, just make sure it nurtures your interests and is adults only. And make it hard to cancel on a whim: sign up with friends or lay money down; both will help keep you accountable. It’s one night a week where your nametag doesn’t have to read “Mommy.”
4. Learn to say “no”: Over-scheduling is a surefire way to deplete your mama energy stores. Get a calendar for the whole family to keep track of everyone’s comings and goings and hang it in a central spot, like the kitchen. Block off at least a couple of nights a week for home time so the kids can chill and you can get a 30-minute reading reprieve or bubble bath…alone.
5. Take your own P.A. Day: Why should your kids be the only ones to benefit from days off? Send them to school, daycare, camp or Grandma’s house and spend the day doing whatever you want. Sleep. Catch up on a favourite grown-up show. Read a book without pictures. Just resist the temptation to clean, cook or do laundry.