Well today it seems I have scored the parenting jackpot. And that is simply just – some time alone. As I am staring down the barrel of single parenting for the next two weeks (and to all of the single parents out there, I sincerely take my hat off to you) while my husband jets off for a lovely holiday with a mate – I decided that this weekend, I was in special need of a little bit of R & R, all by myself.
So to honour my request, the good old husband and child swiftly packed themselves up in the car, and set off to a little caravan park early Saturday morning. They were out of my hair by about 9 am (bless them!).
And there it was, an untidy house – but with it came the beautiful sound of silence… Yet that untidy house didn’t phase me one bit. I could have been in a plush hotel for all I knew, because the feeling of knowing I had my time all to myself was just total bliss.
So what to do with my 30 hours off? Well I’m not going to lie, I made the beds and had a quick tidy up to start with, but that took all of about 15 minutes. The rest of my day was spent not even leaving my own suburb… But you can still turn it into a holiday at home, with a little bit of pampering, and a whole lot of self care.
Excercise. The first hour I spent working up a sweat. I hardly ever get the chance to go for a good workout with no time restrictions. So today I threw on the activewear, grabbed some headphones, and went running (well half running, half walking to be exact). Following that, I actually got the chance to do some home yoga… Uninterrupted!
Lunch for one. Head out to your favourite local restaurant or cafe, and sit down and order your favourite meal on the menu, plus a coffee or even a nice glass of wine – and enjoy the whole experience without having to help anyone with their colouring in, or play with whatever the favourite toy of the moment is. Or even talk, for that matter.
Sit in the sunshine. Whilst it wasn’t really a beach day today (bummer!), I still took the opportunity to lie on the grass in a local park and soak up some sun. The beauty of this is that I didn’t have to supervise anyone, or entertain anyone. Or do anything really… It was just me, on my own, alone with my thoughts and a magazine.
Meditate. It’s something I try to do daily, and it’s something we should al make time for in our lives once in a while. But when you’ve got that solo time to yourself it’s a must do. Precious time alone doesn’t come around very often when you’re a mother, so taking the time to clear your mind is probably the best gift you can give yourself.
Catch a movie. And I mean a movie that is not just a G rated cartoon. Choose something that your child and/or partner would never want to see in a million years. I chose Spotlight. It was pretty heavy to say the least – but it was something I would probably never get the chance to watch otherwise.
Get a massage. Pampering doesn’t have to be expensive. If you have private health insurance, chances are you can claim back on remedial massage and natural therapies – so why not use it to your advantage! I hit one of my local Chinese medicine centres, and spent an hour or so getting a massage plus cupping. My body now feels loose and supple – and apart from the slight bruising on my back, I can already feel the benefits.
Wander the shops – solo. How often do you ever just get the chance to spend as long as you want in the shops that you like? Wander aimlessly, look at what you like, and take as long as you like – around a shopping centre or some local markets.
Grab a bottle of wine and your fave takeaway. Evans & Tate Pile Driver Shiraz, plus a nice little Thai Crispy Pork Belly was on the menu for me tonight, as I headed home to my peaceful little abode. The only thing that could possibly bother me now was the cat meowing for attention… Pretty sure I can manage that.
Take a long bath. For as long as you can handle. Light your favourite candles or some incense. Pour a glass of Shiraz, and pipe in a little music. Now this is something we mum’s never get to do!
DVD or Netflix? Who cares! Just put that super relaxed body onto the sofa, and (again) watch the things that you want to watch.
Go to bed. You don’t need to go out partying all night to feel like you’ve had a good weekend. It’s time to cherish this alone time, and sleep in the middle of the bed, feeling good about the fact that you can wake up whenever you want to!
And I know these insights might not seem that exciting to many, but to most busy mum’s I know – this weekends little timetable would seem like a dream come true. It was the chance to really get my mojo back, with no pressure, and no feelings of guilt whatsoever. I know that I’ve got a mountain of washing about to come home to me on Sunday, and I also know there is a hectic week of work and school ahead – but this precious time alone was like a godsend to me, it’s just what I needed…
And did I miss them? Yeah maybe… But also maybe not. I am grateful for all of the moments we have together, as I cherish my loved ones dearly – but I also realise that it’s so important to take time out to recharge my batteries if I want to give them the best of what I have.
Look after yourselves mamas xo
Words – Danielle Tinkler.