As a single parent, the chances are that your evenings are the only time you can actually refer to as ‘me-time’. The rest of your days are split between getting your little one ready, and heading to work to sustain the both of you. From dawn until dusk, you’re busy making sure that you can maintain this family unit of two. By the time your bundle of joy is finally snoring, you probably want to jump for joy and collapse onto the sofa.
The trouble is that, up until now, your evenings have never delivered on their promise of helping you to relax. Most nights, you end up cleaning the house or doing those chores you never seem to get around to. Even when you do kick back, the time goes so fast that it feels like you haven’t relaxed at all. Before you know, morning rolls around, and a wide-awake child is standing at the bottom of your bed.
It’s far from ideal, especially when you consider that this is your only chance you get to let loose. If you aren’t careful, misusing your evenings could be the thing which sees you heading towards burnout. We all need a break sometimes, after all, and that includes a supermum like you.
That’s why we’re here with a few suggestions to help you finally embrace your evenings the way you’ve always dreamed of doing. Keep on reading to find out what they are.
Set a respectable bedtime
The first and most crucial thing you can do to is to set a respectable bedtime for your little one. If you have an early riser on your hands, they shouldn’t be heading to bed much later than 8:00 pm until aged at least twelve. By sticking to a strict rule here, you make sure that you never end up cutting your evenings short. Get your little one in bed at this time, and you can have around two hours alone and still get an early night for yourself. Of course, young kids often go to bed at around 7:00 pm, which is even better. What wouldn’t be ideal is if your children were uncertain about their bedtime. Late or flexible timings here can lead to all manner of nighttime troubles. If you’re not strict or consistent, your child may get into the habit of waking through the night or refusing to go to bed. Before you know, you’d find yourself locked in a battle which can last all night. That means stress you don’t need and a sure way to kiss goodbye to your ‘me-time.’ Never let things get that bad. Set a bedtime and stick to it to ensure you have at least some time to restore your sanity.
Turn off the television
The chances are that you’re in the habit of turning on your television as soon as your kids are in bed. At last, you can switch over from Peppa Pig and watch something decent. There are few better ways to relax than just lounging in front of the television. The trouble is, doing this every night can soon damage your chances of making the most of this time. That’s because TV tends to eat hours. Two programs, and you’ll be ready for bed without feeling like you’ve had much time alone at all. The moment you turn off the set, though, you may find that your evenings become yours again. Instead of wasting these precious hours on pointless shows, do things which fulfil you. Reading is a fantastic choice here. It provides entertainment while also providing the peace you so desperately need. You could also dedicate this time to learning skills you’d never have time for otherwise. Learning to knit, or even opting to study something like an online MAED or other qualification could do the trick here. This is a fantastic chance to get stuck into something which isn’t nappies and dollies. And, you can bet you’ll feel like you’ve got a whole load more from your evenings when you’ve learned plenty of new stuff. It doesn’t get much better than that for making the most of these spare hours. If you’re studying, you’ll even be able to build a better future while unwinding at the same time. When you think of it like that, options like these seem like a no-brainer. They’ll just never be on your cards if you reach for the remote every spare second you have.
Plan pampering sessions
The idea of planning a pampering session isn’t ideal. But, as a single parent, that’s exactly what you need to do. Remember that you’re working with limited time here. If you don’t plan for this, it’s never going to happen. On those nights when you can’t face expanding your mind, then, get stuck into luxury by pampering yourself a little. Buying a new bubble bath and a few face masks are all it really takes to manage this. Then, you’ll be able to climb into the tub and get started as soon as your child starts snoring. You could even take one of those books we mentioned above into the tub with you. Just make sure not to drop it! Within no time, stressed out evenings will become a thing of your past. Instead, you’ll feel so relaxed that you’ll be ready and raring to go for anything your kid can throw at you. As a general rule, try to arrange a pamper session like this once a week. It’s like a date with yourself, and it could be just the thing to keep you sane in this mad world of single-parenting.
Let’s face it; the single parenting journey is far from easy. Until your child is well into their teens, time on your own is sure to be hard to come by. That’s why it’s so crucial that you make sure you’re using the time you do get well. Get this right, and even these short evenings will be enough to keep you going.