5 tips to make the most out of weekends without the kids

Make the most of weekends without the kids

5 tips to make the most out of weekends without the kids

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It can be hard as a single parent when you get weekends without the kids. Here’s how I make the most of them so I can be fully present when the kids are at home.

Before splitting up with my ex, I daydreamed about divorce. I found myself thinking about having weekends without the kids and what I could do. Then that all became a reality.

At first, it was daunting. I wasn’t sure what to do, and I felt a little lost without someone shouting “mommy” at me. Of course, it was going to make me feel out of sorts, and there are a lot of people out there who feel the same.

Now, I make the most out of these weekends. I make sure I use these free weekends effectively so I can be more present on the days that I have my children. Here’s how I make the most out of weekends without the kids.

Catch up with work if necessary

There are some weeks that just don’t go to plan. While I try to avoid working any weekend, there are times that I have to. I always keep that to the weekends when I don’t have my kids around. I’ll try to only use one day, but I make sure everything is done ready to be present for the kids the next week.

If I don’t get the work done, I stress about it for the next week. I constantly feel like I’m behind, and then I need to work a little later during the week. I like being finished for when the school bus comes in on the days I have the kids, so I need to use the free weekends to my advantage.

I’ll also know some weekends that I’ll have a bad week coming up. If that’s the case, I’ll get ahead with my work to make sure it doesn’t bleed into the weekends with the kids.

Spend time just sleeping

Honestly, I spend a lot of my weekends without the kids catching up on sleep. If I’m not sleeping, I’m relaxing in some sort of way. Why would I want to spend the time doing things when I don’t need to?

I found the reason I was fantasizing about divorce was because I was doing 90% of the childcare and housework. While I’m now doing 100% of the housework, I’m only doing 50% of the childcare. That means I have more time to myself—and I’ve found ways to streamline the housework!

I wanted weekends where I wasn’t doing anything at all. Now I can have those if I want. There are even weekends where I won’t even do any housework because it’s just not as important as my own mental health.

Explore the city on my own

I didn’t get to see much of my city when I first moved here. It was the summer before COVID, and by the time I felt ready to explore, everything shut down. So, I had to wait for COVID to be over. By that point, I was a single mom.

Well, I use the weekends without the kids exploring my city. I look for places that I think would be fun to take the kids, or I enjoy experiences that I wouldn’t be able to take the kids to. I really enjoy doing things by myself. I never feel lonely. In fact, I feel at peace. A lot!

I hang out with friends in my weekends without the kids

I didn’t have many friends when I was with my ex. Just as I’d make friends, my ex would want us to move away. It was a running theme, and now I know that it was his way of isolating me without anyone realizing it. Or he was jealous that I’d make friends and have things to do when he wouldn’t be able to.

Well, not anymore. Now I have friends and there’s no reason to move away from them. Something drastic would have to happen that would move me back to the UK, and I don’t see that being the case.

So, I use my free weekends to hang out with my friends. We may go shopping, or we may go to dinner. Sometimes, we just hang out in someone’s house and watch TV or movies. It is just a great time to relax with grownups. There are no kids allowed on the free weekends—unless there is a genuine emergency.

If I set dates, I’ll also use the weekends for them. I’m not dating right now, though. I’m very happy being single.

I go on mini vacations by myself

Like exploring my city, sometimes, I’ll just treat myself to a mini vacation. It could be a day trip to the beach in the summer, or I might actually fly somewhere for the weekend. These mini vacations are a great chance to see somewhere that I wouldn’t have been able to when married.

I really do enjoy my own time and space. I love reading and will find myself occupied while I’m at the beach or at a restaurant alone with a good book. I’m also very happy in my own head now. It’s amazing what getting out of an abusive relationship can do.

While I’m away, I’ll look at whether this is a trip for the kids. Could they enjoy something here? Or is it a trip where I’ve gone to see friends who don’t live near me? Is this somewhere to take them when they’re a little older?

MORE: 7 top tips for dating as a single mom

How do you make the most of weekends without the kids? Share your top tips in the comments below.

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Alexandria Ingham is a professional writer. She predominately ghost-writes in various niches, including fitness, finance and technology Everything is fully researched and well-written. Under her own name, she writes in the technology, business, history and weight loss niches

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