Parenting is a non-stop job, on top of all the other life demands you experience each day. It can be exhausting, and tired parents often don’t get a break. While everyone’s situation is different, you can find ways to be by yourself without making significant adjustments.
Parents spend their day handling adult responsibilities, and then they jump into their parenting duties as soon as their children get home. Most parents don’t get much time alone between having a career, managing the home, being a parent, and maintaining other relationships.
Many people believe they need at least an hour to recharge, but that’s not entirely true. While longer self-care sessions are great, you can renew a little even if you only have five minutes.
How Tired Parents Can Spend a Rare Moment of Alone Time
These ways that tired parents can spend a rare moment of solitude can help you get through these years. It’s not ideal to have to steal moments for self-care, but it’s the reality of being a parent. Don’t tell yourself you don’t have time, though, because you can find it by utilizing these ideas.
1. Tired Parents Should Write in a Journal
Writing in a journal is beneficial because you won’t get distracted easily. You focus on the words, processing your feelings as you write it all out. It forces you to take time alone because it’s not something you can do while multitasking.
The perfect time to journal is at night after your kids are in bed. It gives you a chance to reflect on the day, release your stress, and process everything. Not only will you feel better after some time alone, but you’ll capture all of your memories and emotions to revisit later.
2. Sit in Your Car for a Few Minutes
If you have errands to run and your kids aren’t with you, take a few minutes to sit quietly in your car. Focus on your breathing before returning home to your family. You can also journal while sitting in the car or doing anything else you’d like to do with a rare moment alone.
If you don’t want to sit in a parking lot or your driveway, you can take a few minutes to drive around. Don’t feel bad if you take a long way home while basking in silence or singing along to your favorite song. It’s the perfect time to reflect and have a few minutes of uninterrupted freedom.
3. Commit to Playtime in the Morning
If your kids spend the day begging you to play with them, make it a point to do it early. This way, you don’t have to listen to the whining all day, preventing further frustration. If you play with your child early in the day, you can have some pleasant and productive time afterward.
Your child will likely play better alone after they’ve had a little of your time. Once you get playtime out of the way and set your child up for independent play, you can take a few moments to yourself.
4. Tired Parents Can Wake Up Early
If you want solitude, get it first thing in the morning before everyone else wakes up. Get out of bed early and do things you can’t do when your family is around. You can bask in the quiet, enjoy a coffee, or step outside to breathe in the fresh air.
Tired parents dread waking up early, but it has so many benefits. Even if you only get five minutes before someone wakes up, you’ll be glad you did it. Taking that time helps prepare you for the day ahead, especially when you know it’ll be a hard day.
5. Put on Noise Cancelling Headphones
If you have a few minutes, you can put on some noise-canceling headphones and listen to something that makes you calm. Listen to an audiobook, a few songs, or a podcast. If you choose something calming, it’ll help you relax and process your thoughts.
6. Create a Dedicated Space for Quiet Time
It’s okay to need time alone, and your family will understand when you need a moment. Find a quiet place in your home and create an area for you to go for quiet time. Tell your kids that this is your place to go when you need to be alone.
It’s not foolproof, but it can get you a few minutes to yourself when you desperately need a break. Consider keeping a journal, book, or magazine in that space so you can quickly grab them when you have a minute.
If you need solitude late at night, make sure your space isn’t in a bedroom where the light might bother someone. As a parent, you never know when you’ll get a few minutes, and you don’t want to disrupt anyone.
7. Sit Outside For a Few Minutes
Getting a few minutes of fresh air can make a huge difference in your life. Never pass up the chance to step outside and bask in the sunlight or feel the wind on your skin. It can make all the difference when you need a moment to breathe.
On days your kids wake up early, you can take your coffee outside and let them run around in the yard. They’ll be distracted so that you can enjoy a few minutes to yourself to refocus and have a break.
8. Ask People You Trust to Take Care of Your Kids
Most people understand that tired parents need time to themselves. If you have trustworthy people that are good with your kids, don’t hesitate to ask for help. It’ll be good for your kids to spend time with other trusted adults, and you’ll get the time you desperately need. You may also look for child care providers that can look after your kids while you take the time to relax.
When someone else is taking care of the kids, you can take more time to yourself. While many other tips are about taking a few minutes to yourself, you can go a little bigger here. Do something you can’t do when the kids are home, and embrace every moment of it.
If you are close to another parent, you can swap babysitting favors. Other tired parents feel the same as you, and they’ll benefit from the plan just as much.
9. Find an Activity That Keeps Your Kids Busy
Plan for time alone by setting up an activity that will keep your kid busy. Make sure it’s an activity they won’t need help with so that you can embrace every moment of their independent play.
Think about what your child is into and use that as a starting point. You’ll want to keep them interested and preoccupied for as long as possible. Sensory tables are an excellent way to do this, but the options are limitless.
10. Tired Parents Can Adjust Their Sleep Schedules
This tip might not work for everyone, but a flexible schedule allows you to use it to your advantage. You can stay up a little later at night to get time by yourself, making sure the kids are sound asleep. Use this time to pamper yourself, relax, meditate, or do anything else that will help you destress.
Some parents might have the option of waking up in the middle of the night when the house is quiet. If you can make this situation happen, take full advantage. Make sure you don’t let it interfere with your energy levels, though, or it can negatively impact you.
11. Put on a Movie for the Kids
Screen time isn’t always the best way to entertain your kids, but it works, and there’s nothing wrong with a movie night. Putting their favorite movie on the TV can give you some time to yourself. When you know your kids are enjoying their time, it’ll make your time that much more enjoyable.