I’ve always greeted school holidays with mixed feelings. Yay to not rushing to school in the mornings! No more school lunches! And if I can convince my kids to get their own breakfast, I might even be able to sleep in one day. But then… where did my alone time go?
While parenting during the school holidays is more relaxed, it’s still hard work and we, mums, still need our alone time to recharge. Here are some ways you can recover your alone time, even if you’ve missed out on those precious school holiday care spots.
1. Swap child care
Kids love playing with their friends and it often makes your job easier, too, if they have a friend around – they don’t need you to entertain them. Arrange to swap a couple of hours or a whole day of day care. You child’s friend’s mum needs alone time as much as you do and will be only too happy with these arrangements.
2. Swap your skills
Another way to get some child care without paying for it is offering your skills in return. Maybe show your teenage neighbour some makeup tricks or offer to cook dinner for your friend in exchange for babysitting.
3. Hit the gym
The gym crèche is an inexpensive way to have someone look after you kids for an hour or so, and don’t assume it’s only for the littlies. Talk to the creche staff about the ages of the kids they’re getting. Most likely your kids will find lots of school-aged friends to hang out with while you’re working out.
4. Visit grandparents
You know your kids will watch TV and eat sweats the whole time they’re there, but you can pretend that you don’t know. Just sneak out for a few hours and let Grandma handle it.
5. Sign them up for classes
There’re all kind of kids’ classes you can find during school holidays for varying budgets, from art to sports, to science. Choose the ones that your kids are most interested in and more importantly, the ones that don’t require the parent to be present. Let the kids have their school holidays fun while you’re enjoying your alone time.
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