I don’t know about you, but I am a person who enjoys a fair amount of alone time in a week. I have been home 24/7 with my three kids for MONTHS during this COVID-19 time, with a husband who is working 12 hour days outside the house. So to find some alone time, I have had to get a little creative.
Here are some of the ways I have managed to carve out little chunks of alone time to recharge my mom charms:
Whether it is a curbside pickup or masking up and venturing into a store, this little task gets me about 20-40 minutes of peace. And since grocery stores are eerily quiet when you’re in there now, it is even more peaceful than usual!
Picking up the dog poop.
Although I recall claims when getting the dog that I would not be the one to pick up the poop—I did wipe three bottoms clean for years already; after all—NO ONE wants to help with this chore. So heading out with a garbage bag and pooper-scooper is a way for me to be left alone!
Any other household chore.
There is a meme going around that says something like, “I thought my house was dirty because I didn’t have time to clean. It turns out that’s not why.” Whoever wrote that saw into my soul. But if the mood strikes, I plug in my earbuds, listen to a book, and start tidying, dusting, scrubbing, sock-matching. If the kids see me armed with my cleaning cloths and broom, they miraculously disappear!
I let them sleep.
We are not morning people in this house. I wake up early but don’t start moving until necessary. My kids do not usually wake up early on their own. So I have been letting them sleep-in some days to afford myself some alone time with the other love of my life—my coffee.
I go for a drive.
Luckily, my kids are at an age where they can stay home by themselves for an hour or so, which has been very helpful. (I can’t imagine if I had three toddlers again right now! I feel for all the parents in that stage of life at this time!) So when I get close to the end of that rope, I drive. I roll down my windows, crank up the tunes, and hit the interstate to nowhere in particular. I may end up in a drive-thru for a coffee or ice cream all to myself, or I may just bask in the windy solitude. There is just something about loud music and open windows that is therapeutic! Thank goodness gas prices are low right now.
Let them PLAY!
Now that things are starting to open up a little more, they can go down to the pool in our neighborhood a little bit ahead of me, and they swim while I soak up the sun. They can ride their bikes to the neighbors’ houses and play in their yards for a while. (Although I reciprocate by allowing kids to our yard, too). They are back in dance lessons and softball practices. It’s GLORIOUS!
So many of us are giving of ourselves in ways that we haven’t before. We’re juggling work life and home life at the same time and in the same space. We all need a little time here and there to separate those lives to recharge ourselves. It’s good for our kids, and it’s good for us!