38 COOL THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU’RE KID­DIE-FREE

Lift Magazine - - Contents -

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.

19. Paint!

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.

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