It’s a cliché, but it’s true: being a parent is a full time job, and there’s never a moment when your little ones aren’t on your mind in some way or another. So, on the rare occasion you have a child-free day, what should you do with it? Consider these five ideas, and don’t feel the least bit guilty. You deserve a day ‘off duty’.
Go shopping on your own
Shopping for fun simply isn’t really much fun at all when you have children. So, enjoy a bit of time alone without towing toddlers or tweens around, linger in stores you can only dream of enjoying when you have the kids with you, and flick through the sales racks. You won’t need to placate, bargain or bribe, and there’s no need to keep one eye permanently trained on a child that’s likely to wander off.
Dinner and drinks
Enjoying a meal out as a family can be lively, but there’s something wonderful about going out for dinner in the way you used to do before you became a parent. Choose whichever restaurant strikes your fancy, linger over the menu and perhaps let yourself have an extra glass of wine. After all, no-one needs you to cut up their food or keep them entertained.
Enjoy a spa day
If your child-free days are truly tricky to come by, it makes sense to go all-out and do the most relaxing thing possible… a spa day. Whether you go alone for precious quality time with your own thoughts, or would prefer to share the experience with a friend, you’re sure to come out of it feeling more well-rested than you have for a long time. Enjoy the indulgence, relaxation and peace and quiet – and perhaps even a book yourself a massage treatment.
A trip to the theatre
How about something that feels more like an occasion but doesn’t break the bank? A trip to the theatre is the perfect thing to do on your own without the kids; while there are plenty of West End shows geared up for families, you can choose something you really fancy (like this?) – and preferably something that’s not age-appropriate for children (hurray!). And, you’ll only have yourself to look after, and only your coat and handbag to cart around, which is even better.
Finally, why not use your day off parenting duties to go for a long walk (that isn’t at toddler pace), a run, or whatever it is you always promise you’ll do but never seem to get around to fitting in? A long country walk with a podcast in your ears could be exactly what you need to feel good – especially if there’s a charming pub to curl up in at the end of the day.