Being a parent with a full-time job is challenging. However, for a single parent, parenthood can seem like a never-ending battlefield. Work, chores, spending time with kids, trying to keep in touch with friends and finding even a fraction of time for yourself often feels like an unfathomable task. If you’re feeling like you need more time for yourself, but don’t know how to squeeze it into your jam-packed schedule, you’ve come to the right place. We have a few tips for single mums to help them enjoy some “me” time without feeling guilty.
Schedule grandparents time
How often have you heard your parents nagging, “When do you plan to give us grandchildren? We won’t be able to take them to walk and babysit when we’re 100 years old.” Well, there’s your window of opportunity. Grandparents have free time that is best used to look after their grandkids. When you start planning your week, don’t forget to schedule some time with nanna and grandpa, to allow the kids to bond with the grandparents more, so you can catch up with your girls or go to that long-planned yoga alone class. Whether you need alone time or just some time with friends when you’ll take a break from mommy duties, grandparents are your safe bet.
Delegate duties around the house
If you’re a single mother of two or more kids, you already have an entire army of allies to help you find time for yourself. That is especially true if you have at least one child older than 7. They can already do easy chores like washing the dishes, throwing out rubbish or dusting. They are even old enough to babysit for a little bit until you have a babysitter or a relative coming over to watch over the little ones. Some single mums cannot even find time to read a book for an hour, let alone get out of the house on their own for longer than 15 minutes. Delegate tasks so you can finish yours faster, and dedicate yourself to reading or relaxing for at least an hour every day.
Everyone needs to socialize
Doing the same thing day after day makes you stir crazy. Getting out of touch with friends often makes us feel excommunicated, which is why some people find it difficult to reconnect when they’ve been apart from their friends for a long time. Those days are now behind you. You don’t have to cancel your Wednesday night with the gang just because you have a kid now. With the convenient Voluntary Out-of-Home Care services that Bridges Alliance offers, you can book a short-term stay for your child to have some time for yourself and your friends. Arrange for after-school care so you have enough time to relax after work, get ready and go out with peace of mind.
Look for playdate options
Children love to spend time with their friends after school and during weekends. Is there a stay-at-home mum in the neighbourhood that can look after the kids while you spend time alone? If not, think about arranging playdates with parents who usually host playdates so that they could hang out with their kids because they’re too busy on other days. Offer to host a playdate at your place the next time and maybe some of the parents will volunteer to do it this time.
Set a strict bedtimes hour
Many women love their bedtime rituals but cannot dedicate themselves to them ever since they became parents. Whether reading, checking what you missed out on social media during the day or relaxing with a cup of warm tea – the small moments make life and help you unwind after a long day. Set a strict bedtime for kids so you can enjoy “me” time for an hour or so before bed. For infants and toddlers, bedtime should be around 8 pm, and for older kids, no later than 10 pm, depending on their age. That gives you at least an hour until you have to sleep, and for night owls, a good two hours for alone time.
Are you feeling like this single mum game is taking its toll on you? Don’t worry, but read the tips we’ve listed again to remember how to find some time for yourself and don’t neglect your needs just because your kids come first now.