Back to school: for kids and par­ents too

Upper Hutt Leader - - WHAT’S ON -

Par­ents have the time to learn some­thing new or take up a hobby now that chil­dren have re­turned to school. By

The long school hol­i­day is fi­nally over and the chil­dren are back at school. It’s been six weeks of keep­ing them en­ter­tained and happy. For some par­ents it’s time to breathe a sigh of re­lief. School’s back and the pres­sure at home is off.

But sud­denly the house seems empty – too empty. You won­der if it’s so­cially ac­cept­able to bor­row some­one else’s kids so you can pre­tend you’re rac­ing cars through the su­per­mar­ket. You re­alise you haven’t taken your daily stroll to the park – but there’s no need to now that your seven-year-old is at school.

Par­ents, now that your 9-3 has be­come your own again, it’s time to turn that silent plea on its head and ask your­self how you’re go­ing to keep your­self en­ter­tained while your kids are at school. For­tu­nately when it comes to time-fill­ing, the world is your oys­ter.

Wish you could cro­chet or catch your din­ner from the ocean? Take up a hobby. Learn to cook or set up a blog. Try your hand at gar­den­ing or learn how to ar­range flow­ers. Join a book club, take up pho­tog­ra­phy, or dust off your 7th form easel and em­brace your in­ner Michelan­gelo.

Do some­thing you wish you’d done ages ago. Learn how to use Ex­cel. Learn how to swim. De­clut­ter your wardrobe. Re­vamp your in­te­rior dec­o­rat­ing. Fin­ish an in­com­plete de­gree, or add an­other to your re­sume. It’s never too late to live a life of no re­grets.

Be­come more ac­tive in your com­mu­nity. Vol­un­teer at your lo­cal food bank or op shop. Set up a com­mu­nity group that helps dis­abled, el­derly or at-risk peo­ple in your neigh­bour­hood. Put your hand up to coach your chil­dren’s sports team, or do­nate a few hours of your time a week to their school. Com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions are al­ways scream­ing out for more hands; maybe yours are avail­able.

Take up yoga or golf. Join boot camp or an in­door net­ball team. Find a so­cial walk­ing group on Neigh­bourly to join (or set one up if you can’t find one near your place). Join the gym or start train­ing for a 10km run. Be­com­ing ac­tive doesn’t have to equal be­com­ing com­pet­i­tive; get your pulse rac­ing and have fun do­ing it.

Be­come your own boss. Set up your own busi­ness, or start teach­ing other peo­ple how to do some­thing you’re awe­some at. Work­ing for your­self could of­fer a de­gree of flex­i­bil­ity that the av­er­age nine-to-five might not, so if it’s some­thing you’ve al­ways con­sid­ered, now could be the time to give it a go.

If you feel a lit­tle lost now that your kids are back at school, there are tonnes of things you can do to fill your time; check out Neigh­bourly for more ideas.


Ever wanted to have a go at yoga? Par­ents now have the time to give it a go.

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