Parenthood can take over your life if you let it. Between looking after the kids and work there’s hardly any time left for yourself, and what little there is will in all probably be spent in a dazed stupor in front of the TV. But having some ‘me’ time is essential for everyone’s well-being. Exercise classes, coffee with friends, logging on to free dating sites if you’re single – all of these things need be slotted into your weekly calendar. So how do you find some free time in your hectic schedule? Here’s a few fool proof ways…
Using the Time You Have
It’s all too easy to not recognise free time when you have it, as it can fill up with so many other errands and chores. Look at your week and identify your childfree moments. This time might include your hour-long lunch-breaks or Saturday mornings when the children are at an activity group. Now, adjust your attitude to these hours and turn them into ‘me’time.
A Sea of Sitters
Don’t have just one babysitter, have a bank of them. These don’t all have to be carefully found employees either – grandparents, other family members, close friends and especially your other half are bound to be willing to take over childcare duties whilst you enjoy a bit of free time.
A Weekly Ritual
Pick a night of the week and make it your night. Line up a sitter every week and establish this as a family ritual. This gives you a regular night off to do whatever you want to, whether that’s going out in Belfast dating or going to the cinema with your friends. Also, the children will get used to this in no time – kids love routine.
Start being more strict about homework and prescribe earlier bedtimes for the children. This will keep them occupied for longer, leaving you with more leisure time.
You know how your kids are always bugging you to pay for piano lessons or karate classes, or whatever their latest extra-curricular passion is? Well, now is the time to indulge them. Explore that encourage them to spend more time at school – after-school classes, breakfast clubs, school trips. Not only will this free up a lot more time for you, but it will also leave your children with big smiles on their faces as they’ll be doing what they love.
Don’t let your life revolve around parental duties. Even in the most jam-packed schedule, there are ways to free up a bit of few moments for you.