The kids went to sleep-away camp, or just a sleepover, or heck, just a movie. What do you do with yourself?
Alone time is such a rare occurrence for a single mom that you might waste half of it just trying to decide what to do. So, here’s 20 ideas for when you have a day, or just an hour — alone.
1. Eat some Mom food.
You know that stuff the kids can’t stand, so you don’t buy it? Go get it. The dim sum, the Ovaltine, whatever. Go get a bunch of food you usually skip because you’re the only one who would eat it. And right now, you’re the only one that has to.
2. Have an uninterrupted phone conversation.
Kids are electromagnetically drawn to you the moment your phone rings, and everything they suddenly need to say to you is urgent. So while they’re gone, call everybody you’ve wanted to have a conversation with in the last year.
3. Hit that to-be-read pile.
Normally, you’re ecstatic if you have a chance to read food labels. Now you can actually read a book. Grab your Kindle or your library card and knock yourself out. Not a book person? Go get a stack of magazines, and read them in bed instead of in the bathroom, just to get crazy with the whole thing.
4. Have a girls’ night out.
They exist. Girls have them. We’ve seen it in the magazines we read in the bathroom.
5. Have a girls’ night in.
You’ve got the house to yourself overnight or all day? Invite some friends over for chick movies, or a dinner for which no one needs a sippy cup or a manic mani-pedi session.
6. Go on a date.
7. Shop without having to say “no” 712 times.
The women’s section. The makeup section. The “I can take as long as I need to decide” section.
8. Shave both legs in the same day.
No one’s going to shave their head, put jawbreakers in the blender, or get their nose stuck under the door while you’re in there, so go whole hog.
9. Go to bed at 7PM.
You know all those nights when you’ve had to drink a Red Bull just to make it to the bedtime story? That’s not tonight. Go to bed before dark.
10. Sleep in.
Like, all the way in. Wake up at lunch. Think about lunch, then roll over and go back to sleep.
11. Go to “that place.”
You know the place. The one you wouldn’t take your kids to if someone held a gun to your head. The art gallery, the museum, the gynecologist.
12. Work on your dating profile.
Since no one is interrupting you, maybe you won’t be so afraid that you’ll check the wrong boxes. The really wrong boxes. If you have teenagers, you won’t be so afraid they’ll make fun of you if they catch you.
13. Binge-watch Netflix.
Or use every single one of those free Redbox codes, tonight. Revel in the fact that no one is going to hear the things you’re saying to Josh Lucas.
14. Tweeze your eyebrows.
You know, more than three of them.
15. Vent about the kids.
Now is when you can call your sister and rant that if your son sleeps in his Halloween costume one more night, you’re going to have to start drinking. Or that the teenager’s new pink hair makes you want to throw yourself out of a tree. No one’s going to eavesdrop and get their feelings hurt.
16. Go to a restaurant that doesn’t have a drive-thru.
Some place with tables and grown-ups and real food.
17. Color your hair.
That last time really sucked when Jeremy his head stuck in the banister and you forgot to check the timer. And by the time you rinsed the color out, the seven hairs you had left on your head were all yellow. Yeah, that time sucked, but this time will be different.
In the living room. To 80s music. No one’s looking.
19. Go to the beach or the pool.
You’ll actually be able to swim. Or sleep. Or read. No one is running/pretending to drown/getting their hair too close to the intake/yelling, “Shark!”
20. Do nothing. Nothing. Not one thing. At all.
You don’t get much time to yourself, so make sure you keep this list handy for that time in the future (or in a parallel universe) when you do. Then pick one and have a blast.
If you have more than an hour, do all of them.
This article was originally published at www.unomum.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.