I teamed up with Atmos Flare 3D Drawing Pen for this post.
I recently found myself with something I haven’t had in over eight years:
Regular time to myself. You read that right.
Time. All. Alone.
It sounds magical, doesn’t it? Like something right out of a fairy tale. Except this time it’s real life.
With school back in session, our two boys are back at it five days each week and our daughter is in two-day preK. That means that I have two six hour blocks each week without any kids home.
I’m still adjusting to it, to be honest. It’s a big change and I’m trying to figure out the best way to spend that time.
I know that many moms (and dads) don’t have this luxury. If you work outside the home, your kid-free time is spent in an office and/or at someone else’s disposal.
But if you do find yourself in a similar situation, you may, like me, wonder how best to utilize your time. As I’ve thought over how to spend these kid-free hours, I’ve come up with three categories that I believe are the best way to spend my days. I think you may find them helpful too.
1. The Things You Need to Do
Sure, it would be nice to sit around eating bonbons and watching TV all day, but not only is that impractical, it would also get old after the first week or two.
We may not work at a job that requires us to leave home every day, but we still have a number of responsibilities.
For example, the following are some of mine:
There’s the housework of course, which with our family of five and a puppy, is never-ending.
There’s the puppy who needs exercise, training, and a lot of attention at this stage of his life.
There are all the other household responsibilities: Bills, cooking, paperwork, etc.
And then there’s my part-time freelance writing and blogging job, which I need to focus on if I want to continue to do it next year in a full-time capacity.
Make a list of your responsibilities, break them into doable chunks (for instance, if you work better with a schedule, you could plan specific household chores for certain days of the week), and get those tasks done in the morning. That way, even if the rest of the day is unproductive, you’ll know you at least accomplished a few things.
2. The Things You Like to Do
Doing the things we need to do could easily take up all of our time, but I encourage you to carve out a little chunk each week to do the things you love.
Think back to how you spent your free time before you had kids and go from there. Do you love to read? Get massages? Go running? Craft?
For me, I’m blessed that one of the things I like to do is also one of the things I need to do. Writing has always been a passion of mine and it’s amazing that I get to do it to contribute to our family’s finances.
Whatever you decide on, take at least half an hour each week (more if you can!) to do them. Even just that small investment in yourself will help you be more relaxed and productive, which means you’ll get the stuff you need to do finished faster.
3. The Things You’ve Always Wanted to Do
When I was in 8th grade we had an assignment to make a list of 100 things we wanted to do before we died. They weren’t called bucket lists back then, but the idea was the same.
I still have that list somewhere. I’d love to dig it out and see what 13-year-old me wanted to do with her life. I bet I could check off a good number of items on the list, but I bet there are quite a few I still need to work on.
Of course, some of our big dreams can’t happen in a six hour window. This kid-free time isn’t your best bet for taking that vacation to Fiji, but I’m sure there are other things you’ve wanted to try that don’t take as much time.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn to knit or go snowboarding or learn another language. Now’s your chance!
For me, ever since I first saw those 3D pens, I’ve been itching to try one. I’m not terribly artistic and I knew it would probably be harder to use than it looked, but it wasn’t really about having a perfect finished product; it was about trying something new that interested me.
Probably the hardest part of using it was deciding what to create. I checked out the free courses they offer online and then decided to go simple and make a pen holder.
Of course, ever since the kids saw what I’ve been up to, they’ve been itching to try it out too. It’s a little too advanced for my four-year-old, but I know the boys will enjoy it… if I decide to share 😉
I think it’s important that we never stop learning, so I’m excited that I have time now to try new things. I encourage you to do the same!
So there you have it. When you find yourself with regular blocks of kid-free time, make the most of it by:
- Doing what you need to do
- Doing what you love to do, and
- Doing what you’ve always wanted to do
I think you’ll find that those hours alone fly by, and with these three steps, you know you’ll be making the most of them!