Finding “me time” as a single mom can be harder than having a post-pregnancy flat tummy without wearing Spanx. In other words, not impossible, but pretty darn hard!
But just like any parent, getting some time alone is very necessary for your mental health. And I don’t mean the alone time when you close your eyes and put your fingers in your ears, imagining that you are by yourself (Oh wait? Is that just me?). Real alone time, where there are no tiny humans who immediately need your attention.
So how do you do this? I’ve made an easy to remember “s” list, below.
First of all, if we’re being realistic, you’ll probably have to schedule actual alone time. This isn’t all bad. It gives you something to look forward to–or sometimes, survive until!
If you have a job outside the home, make it a priority once or twice a week to do something just for you during your lunchtime. Instead of running errands, eating at your desk while you do work or personal things on the computer, or even studying for classes if you are going to school as well, take some time for yourself!
If you work at home, the same thing applies, only it doesn’t have to be at lunchtime. If all of your children are in school, you can find time for this. If you have little ones crawling around you, then you might have to find your alone time somewhere else. It’s hard enough just trying to get work done with little ones pulling on you!
In this case, you might have to steal your alone time. Relax, you’re not really going to steal anything!
I’m talking about desperation, interim measures to keep your sanity until you can get to a block of scheduled alone time. This could mean a few minutes of you in the bathroom, with the door locked, lights out, and the overhead fan going, while you do some deep breathing. Their little fingers can stretch under the door, but as long as they are okay, you can take a break, in order to regain some calm.
Or perhaps you have an older child who can watch your younger ones for a few minutes while you run out to your car. You are still there. You can see your front door. You can deep breathe in your car, in silence. Peace.
If you are feeling creative, you can disguise a short alone time as a game. Play hide and seek, but find a really good hiding place. Don’t scare your kids, of course, I’m not talking about hiding for half an hour. But 5 minutes in a closet with a pile of clothes on top of you can be quite calming. You know, like a weighted anxiety blanket, only free!
This is where you call in favors from family and friends, or perhaps swap playdates with other moms, to get some quality alone time of a few hours. It’s scheduled, of course!
Another option could be a parents’ night out at your church or community center. These are usually less expensive than a toddler’s membership gym or activity center.
Whenever and wherever you do end up getting your precious alone time, just remember that it is essential for you as a single mom. “Me time” is not a luxury. I just love this post about alone time in introvertdear.com where the author, Emma Scheib, acknowledges that single moms deserve a medal!
Amy is the writer behind A Lady and Four Gents. She is a self-employed single mom to four boys, including twins. Amy traded her full-time career and outrageous commute for more time with her kids. She hopes to inspire and equip other single moms to build confidence, pursue personal independence, and design the life they long for.