This Canada Day weekend my mother-in-law took the girls to my sister-in-laws for a few days. (Thanks Mary!) In the past we’ve gone to Cornwall to meet up with them for part of the weekend (the part we don’t have to work) but we didn’t do that this year. This year we had a long weekend at home without the kids. It was great and I got some stuff done. But I want to share what I really do when the kids are away.
- Since it was the end of school I spent some time recycling 1000 papers that have come home through the school year. Including “art” – construction papers with scribbles or stickers or little stick people named Momy and Dadd. Yes, I feel bad “throwing out” their hard work but there’s so much of it! Of course I keep a few of the “better” pieces for their keep boxes, which are already full at ages 5 and 7.
- Laundry – strip the beds and wash everything I need to before they get back. And included with that is a really quick “mom tidy” of their bedrooms. Sometimes that includes getting rid of some toys, or sorting out hair baubles (and throwing some of those out too.) I’ve also been known to rearrange closets or dressers for better clothing usage (or to hide some of the overflow of toys in the rest of the house!)
- Sleep in until 7:30! This is amazing for me. I do wake up somewhere in the 5am hour when the sun comes up. Then again around 6:30, my usual wake up time. But I try to go back to sleep, and if it works I’m awake again at 7:30. So I get up. No point in wasting the day sleeping! That’s what kid-free afternoons are for.
- Spend most of Canada Day alone – without my husband. He was helping do the drywall at my mother-in-laws as part of this reno that (I feel) has been going on forever. Good thing she offered to take my kids away for the weekend or I’d be stuck finding entertainment for us all – as it is I sat at home and read (between bouts of laundry, tidying, blogging and gardening)
- Go out and watch fireworks at 10pm without over-tired kids asking “when is going to start??” non-stop. Pat and I did go out (and stay out) to watch the fireworks downtown. The last time I went to that was before I had kids, and maybe even before Patrick and I were together, which would make it over 13 years ago!
- Read my book with few interruptions. Self-explanatory I think. But the quiet can be too much as well. I do sometimes miss the kid noise (but only after I’ve really enjoyed the quiet!) It’s nice to feel like I’m working through my stack of books for review – sometimes I need the non-distracted time to get through a book that’s not as great as I’d like it to be.
- Listen to music I want to listen to. Cue the 90s Canadian alternative Rock, or maybe the Backstreet Boys. No need for headphones when the kids are away!
- Work on my blog. I do this when the kids are home too, but again the less interruptions the better.
- Have a glass of wine in the afternoon. Wait, I’d do that even if the kids are here. Still it gets a mention.
- Work on my photography – taking pictures or editing the ones I already have. This is still a steep learning curve for me. And sometimes I feel weird just wandering around with a camera and taking pictures of “nothing”. You know, just standing downtown trying to get scenery or flowers or something. Other people look at you weird. And yes I know I shouldn’t care what “other people” think, but sometimes I do!
- Go out for dinner or a movie without either taking the kids or paying for a sitter. We do this often enough when the kids are here that this isn’t really that special. The saving of a few $$ is nice though.
So that’s my exciting life when I don’t have kids to look after. Strangely it’s not much different. If we were more homebodies (well I am, but Patrick isn’t) I would try to cook some delicious meals that the kids wouldn’t eat. Or try to have friends over for drinks in the backyard – but I don’t have a lot of friends who can visit spur-of-the-moment. Still it’s nice to not have to do bedtimes or get little people breakfast in the morning. So many thanks to my family who entertained the kiddos over the long weekend. It felt nice to not “have” to do anything really.
When you get “kid-free” time, what do you do with it? Travel? (We’ve done that, but then I feel like I didn’t get anything “done”) Throw a party? Or just catch up on sleep or blogging or reading or whatever your kids don’t give you time to do? Share with me so I’m inspired for my next bout of “kid-free” time!