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Wednesday, July 3, 2013
10 Ways I Get "Me" Time
As a single-parent with only one child, I spend A LOT of time in my child's presence. Not only does she not have anyone else in the house (besides our pup, Jules), she is also a mommy's-girl and loves being up under my wing. And as much as I love my Rosalinda, absence does make the heart grow fonder. :)
Here are 10 ways that I carve out time for just me.
1. Ask For It
Sometimes I can just ask her for it. I overview all the activities that we've been doing and explain that Mom just needs a moment. I will usually give her an amount of time so that she doesn't feel ignored.
2. Let Her Stay Up Late, But Sleep In Her Room
As a child, and even into my early 20's I had weird (for lack of a better word) cravings to sleep in other places than my bed. I don't know why, but I could spend up to a month sleeping somewhere in the house other than my bed. The weirdest being the kitchen floor. (Yes I know, WEIRD!)
So I guess this makes me more likely to say "yes," when Rosalinda asks to sleep in a fort/pallet in the living room. However, this also means that in our cozy home, she will easily wake up once I start moving about. So when I know I need some hours to myself, and I know that she can sleep in the next morning, I let her stay up as late as she can, but confine her to her room. This allows me to get up before her and have the house to myself without accidentally waking her up.
3. Let Her Invite a Friend Over
If I have the energy to wrangle two, then I get her a friend over stat! She loves having company since she's the only kid in the house. I do get a few interruptions, but overall, I am left to do whatever it is that I am needing to do without feeling guilty about her not having my attention.
4. Let Her Go To A Friend's House
Now, this is a catch 22 for me. When Rosalinda is not home, I'm not at rest. I go into full alert and am not able to rest well. So this is only good if I have a heavy load of work to do to distract me. I almost always prefer for her friends to come to us. Which usually works out well since many of her friends come from larger families and they appreciate the sibling-break as well.
There are four McDonald's where we live. One of them has recently been remodeled and was equipped with touch screen games, a rock climbing wall, and some other cool features. Since they offer free wifi, I can plug in my laptop, order a $1 drink for each of us, and she can play to her heart's content.
This is actually a treat for her, as I don't much care for their food, but will usually buy her a meal or ice cream cone, depending on the time of day.
6. Start Talking About Housework
We have a small, 2-bedroom house. We usually kind of split the housework, unless her room has bled out into the rest of the house, then she's on her own. I typically handle the kitchen, she typically handles the living room, we handle our own bedrooms, and split the bathroom depending on who had less mess in the kitchen/living room.
I don't currently have her setup to do chores because she helps on a daily basis regardless. Although I do usually institute the rule of no friends over unless the house is clean and no going to friends unless her room is clean.
Now, while she is a great help and usually helps without much fuss at all, if I don't blatantly say it is time to clean this or that up, she won't. So, if I start talking about things that need to be done, but don't instruct them to be done, I find that she can entertain herself for a good 20-30 minutes while avoiding my line-of-sight, lol.
Really it's more a trade-off, but sometimes I will ask for her to give me a certain amount of time, and once it's up agree to play a board game or to do some other activity with her.
8. Mandatory Reading Time
My original plans this summer included a built in reading schedule, but I never got it in place and honestly need the rest from a schedule, so I figured she did too. She loves reading, but sometimes needs encouragement in starting a book. Now, once I get her started, she takes it from there. So, if I have noticed a slack in reading and need her to be preoccupied for my sanity's sake, I will note the lack and let her know that she owes me x-amount of time. She may resist at first, but once I get her going, she almost always reads way over my request, and gives me a solid block of free-time.
9. Take a Bath
I let her know that I'll be taking a bath and ask her not to bother me until I'm done. I do usually get a few interruptions asking for a snack or if she can get into something, but for the most part, it works.
10. And the number one way I get time for myself...Spend Time With Her
If I put in some quality time with her then it is much easier for her to give me time for me.
How do you make time for you?