38 COOL THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU’RE KIDDIE-FREE
Sure, it is great to have time to yourself, but being separated with children can also come with hurdles that makes planning that time a hurdle in itself, and before we know it, handover time has come and gone and we find ourselves sitting on the couch thinking ‘Ok, so now what do I do? Where is MY life?’
Planning things for ourselves used to be so easy, but when you’re parenting solo, it can feel like there’s not enough time to think about scratching your nose, let alone to figure out what you’re going to do in your spare time. Then there’s the emotional strain of negotiations with your ex-partner which, fingers crossed, does get easier with time but if it hasn’t yet, the sheer exhaustion of that can render your brain useless to do anything after the kid’s bed-time, and then there’s that horrid feeling in the pit of your stomach whenever you think about your children being away from you, which of course, we all have to get used to, but damn it, that ain’t always that simple either. So amidst all this, thinking of, and actually organising fun, frivolous and self-nurturing things to do when you’re child-free can end up being yet another thing on your to-do list that falls to the bottom of the priority pile.
So I asked our mums in The 365 Day Sanctuary (Lift’s private online support group) what they do in their kiddie-free time, and we’ve come up with a list of 38 cool things to do. Just pick one and do it. If you can’t do it every time you’re child-free, start out trying to do something cool at least once a month and see where it leads...
1. Have a bed-in. There is nothing wrong with catching up on those ZZZZS when you’re child-free. And if you’re going to sleep, you may as well do it in style. Grab your phone and enough chocolate, movies, books and take away menus to stay in bed for an entire weekend. Indulgent? I say, deserved.
2. Go to a restaurant by yourself. When was the last time you did that? Chose exactly what you feel like eating, book that restaurant and order whatever you want from the menu... and get excited about saying ‘Yes, that’s a table for ONE, thank you!’.
3. Go to a museum and loiter...or should I say, wander, slowly, and look at things, slowly, and then have a coffee, slowly.
4. Sign up to community event websites in your local area. That way you’ll have new and exciting ideas delivered to you inbox without even having to look.
5. Have a soppy romcom evening complete with popcorn, chocolate self-saucing pudding, a facial and a big old box of tissues. Invite some girlfriends and their kids, drag out some mattresses and have a sleep over.
5. Go kayaking.
6. Book a hair appointment.
7. Get an eyebrow wax or a leg wax or a lip wax or a bikini wax, hell, why not book in for a full body wax?
8. Get one of those crazy ‘body wrap’ things
HAVE YOU EVER HAD ONE OF YOUR YOUR COUPLED FRIENDS SAY ‘GEE, YOU’RE SO LUCKY TO GET TIME TO YOURSELF!’ WHEN YOUR CHILD STAYS WITH THEIR CO-PARENT? AND EVEN THOUGH YOU KNOW THEY DON’T MEAN ANYTHING BY IT, IT BRINGS TEARS TO YOUR EYES BECAUSE, DAMN IT, IT AIN’T ALWAYS THAT SIMPLE...
you always see on the day spa menus and have secretly always wondered what the hell they actually are and if you’d look like a kebab if you were in one.
9. Go for a run or a walk, to nowhere, and see where you end up.
10. Go to the movies - solo or with friends.
11. Go shopping in shops that do not also include baby or children’s clothes. Perhaps even go and try on clothes in a shop you think you could never afford to buy something from.
12. Read a book... uniterrupted... for more than ten minutes.
13. Have a bath, with a bath bomb or aromatheraphy oils and candles.
14. Mop your floors. It’s so much easier without the kids and then you get to enjoy their super clean state for more than five minutes.
15. Window shop for EVERYTHING you’ve always dreamed of buying; clothes, home wares, travel... and then have a big long lunch.
16. Buy a new cook book and try out a more complicated recipes.
17. Go to the beach, sun bake and hang out in the waves at your leisure.
18. Hit your local markets and enjoy the wares and the people watching.
20. Create a vision board.
21. Play computer games.
22. Go to an experience website like Red Balloon and book in to do something you’ve never done before.
23. Get in your car and just drive, to anywhere, and have an adventure there... go to a new place for lunch, or visit a new shop.
24. Sign up for a webinar or find a You Tube video to start learning something you’ve always wanted to know more about.
25. Put on Magic Mike and pleasuere yourself!
26. Walk around your house naked all day, except for when you’re cooking, that’s just asking for trouble.
27. Think about what foreign language you’d like to learn and find some podcasts, online tutorials, apps or books to set yourself up a few lessons.
28. Have a huge clean-out and organise a garage sale... then spend any cash you make on something special for yourself.
29. Do a crossword puzzle.
30. Start daydreaming about your next holiday, even if it may only be short or if it might be next year. Create a Pinterest board for it.
31. Go Geocaching. Haven’t heard of it? Google it.
32. Write a hand-written letter to a special friend telling them what you appreciate about them.
33. Find a book club to join or check out Meetup.com and make some new friends.
34. See a play or go to the ballet.
35. Go horseriding.
36. Clean out your old music and discover some new stuff. If you can’t think of new artists, try something like last.fm that will recommend new songs based on music you already like.
37. Grab a girlfriend and tour some vineyards (this is even more awesome if you’ve got a preganant friend who’ll agree to be your designated driver).
38. Write a list of ten things you’ve always wanted to do but have never got around to. Stick it to your fridge.