What I Really Do When The Kids Are Away

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)when the kids are away
  • 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.when the kids are away
  • 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.

What I Really Do When The Kids Are AwaySo 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!



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  1. Sleeping until 7:30 sounds like a dream! When I have kid-free time, I mostly use it to blog – sad but true. If it’s the evening, I might also treat myself to a glass of wine. Or ice cream. Or, let’s be honest, both. #PuddingLove

    1. I do a lot more blogging in my “free time” than I did before – but I like it. And there’s nothing wrong with both ice cream and wine! πŸ˜‰

  2. Oh I love this list – a lie in until 7:30, I’m so jealous. Recycling is definitely one of the jobs I do when little one is not around but I also love listening to music and go to the cinemas. And wine! Sounds like a lovely weekend x #puddinglove

    1. It was a nice weekend. They’re home now and already terrorizing me. But I did miss them while they were gone. Guess that’s #momlife. Thanks for the comment!

    1. That is definitely my favourite part too – having the days go by at a slower pace. And no one complaining about being hungry or bored every 5 minutes! Thanks for the comment.

  3. isn’t it lovely to just have some ‘time’ lol – I used to make myself really busy for fear of wasting my childfree hours, but these days I just do not much lol – the husband and I always try and go out if the kids aren’t here but we actually do go out quite a lot haha… I love just doing nothing these days! glad you got lots done AND had a lie in! result! πŸ˜‰ #bigpinklink

    1. It really is great to just have time for yourself and not be constantly thinking about what the kids are doing, or are they hungry or bored or what. I used to jam a bunch of things into my kid-free time as well but it’s not worth it. Just relaxing really helps me be prepared for their return!

  4. This is a lovely list – sleeping in is one of my faves on this list!
    Ah to have a nearby relative to take my kiddo for a day or two!
    Would love for you to come link this up to my #GratitudeGoals list linky πŸ™‚

    1. It’s funny how 7:30 feels like “sleeping in” now! I’ve never been a late sleeper, and having kids made it so I had to get up before them in order to get anything done. It’s nice to wake up but not have get up right away. Thanks for the comment – I did go link up at your linky. Thanks for the invite! πŸ˜€

  5. Ah sounds lovely. Am hoping my MiL will have Pudding and Pie soon for a night. Like you it’s not that I want to paint the town red. I just want to be able to sleep in a little, have an extra glass of wine and maybe sit at the computer for an hour uninterrupted! Thanks for linking #puddinglove

    1. I hope you can get your MIL to take the kids for an overnight. Its really a great experience to not have to do a bedtime routine. Suddenly it’s like the night is yours – and even if you just want to indulge in making a nice dinner and having some (more) wine you totally can! I really enjoy your linky – thanks for hosting!

  6. The SLEEP IN sounds absolutely divine. That’s my number one thing I would do when the kids are not around. Sounds like you had a productive and relaxing weekend. Reading my book would be a close second, plus eating my junk food without having to share or hide! #bigpinklink

    1. Sounds like you and I have the same goals in our kid-free time! The idea of waking up but not having to get up is so great. And then ya, eating what you want without either the kids being grossed out, or eating all of what you thought you were going to eat, is fabulous too. Thanks for the comment!

  7. When we get kid free time, it is for a date, or a vacation. Nothing better than time away from your kids to make you appreciate them more! Thanks for sharing at the Family Joy Linkup!

  8. I do those things when the kids aren’t home! Plus walks with the dog. But mostly sleep.

    1. I was never one to sleep in much – even as a teenager. My 7:30 wake up is about as luxurious of a sleep-in as I can manage! Thanks for the comment Melaena. πŸ˜€

  9. Sounds like a good weekend! My kid free times are spent gutting their bedrooms of junk and blogging. Oh yes treating myself to that very important i get up when i want to morning πŸ™‚ thanks for linking up to #puddinglove

    1. I had planned to do more with their rooms but I just never got there. I had done the seasonal clothes switchover a few weeks before so at least that giant task was behind me! It’s so nice to do some blogging without interruptions…

  10. I crave a good sleep in, my days begin around the same time as you, although I’m lucky my son sleeps well and he’s just an early riser, but his mama is a reformed late riser haha, reading, blogging etc all without interruptions- sounds like heaven!

    1. This summer I’m getting a lot more sleep-ins that ever before. Well ever before I had kids. My youngest is sleeping in if I let her stay up later than 7pm. Although if I let her stay up later her bedtime is much more drawn out as she’s overtired. Neither scenario is great. They kids are away again for a few nights next week. I hope to get more quiet time then! Thanks for the comment Stef!

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