Just about all of the districts in my area have headed back to school for the new year which means there are some parents who have a bit of extra time on their hands. Not a lot mind you, but a little at least. When my son was younger and was attending school it was always a bit lonely, especially the first few weeks, when he started back for the new school year. So today I am sharing a list of things moms (and dads) could do with some of that free time.
- Take a nap
We all know stay-at-home parents never seem to get enough sleep! Enjoy the peace and quiet and take a well-deserved nap.
- Read a book of your own
I love a good Dr. Seuss book as much as anyone, but sometimes I need something a little more my own speed and to read to myself and not allowed.
- Join the PTA/PTO
Schools rely heavily on the parent volunteers to help with activities and fundraising throughout the school year. Learn more about PTA and PTO.
- Take online courses
There are thousands of online classes, like at Udemy, (disclosure – affiliate link, but I take classes there myself) that you can sign up for which are actually pretty inexpensive
- Deep clean the house
Okay, this is totally not my personal idea of fun but I know a lot of people actually enjoy cleaning so have a ball. For those that need a system, check out Flylady.
- Learn to paint or draw
Get that creative side moving again and create your own masterpieces to hang up next to the kids art projects from school. Udemy offers Complete Portrait and Figure Drawing (step-by-step) for just $10 (disclosure – affiliate link) or check out your local arts council
- Get a job outside the home
There are actually many jobs where they want people during regular school hours. Just be sure to let your potential new employer understand what times you are able to work.
- Redecorate the house
Head over to Pinterest and find some great ideas to redecorate any and every room in your house!
- Learn a new language
I actually tried learning Spanish along with my son when we homeschooled but that didn’t work so well. When your kids are in school take up any language you want and learn at your own pace. Try Duolingo site/app for this.
- Have lunch with friends
This is one of my favorite activities! I love catching up with friends over a nice leisurely lunch without any kids. Go to those bistros and places that don’t cater to kids – you know – the ones without the playgrounds!
- Start a new exercise routine
Once you get the kids off to school take some time to work out!
- Organize all those digital photos
I use OneDrive to store my digital photos and did a blog post on organizing digital photos but there are lots of options out there for whatever suits your needs. Add those tags and descriptions finally, delete the photographs you will not use, even make digital scrapbooks.
- Create some new recipes
If you are a regular reader you know I do love to cook and try to come up with new recipes. Take a shot at it yourself. Use online recipes or cooking shows as your inspiration and then put twists on those recipes to make them perfect for your family.
- Treat yourself to a mani/pedi
It doesn’t matter if you go to a spa and have it done or do it yourself at home. Just take that time to pamper yourself and maybe try a fun new color!
- Visit a museum leisurely
I love museums and galleries, but if you go with the kids you know that you are busy being mom and you can’t spend the time you want on the things most interesting to you. Go by yourself and spend all the time you want looking at what you really want to!
- Start a new business of your own
You really can do this! I have worked for myself (in social media) for many years now and love it. Before that I did Tupperware and Avon and the like too. Whatever floats your boat. Just one thing though, please do NOT invite me to your nail products or essential oil parties – most of us are bombarded with those things by everyone on Facebook already.
- Join a mom’s (or dad’s) club
Check your local parent newsletters and magazines or MeetUp to find a local club for parents that matches you. If you can’t find the type of group you want, create one of your very own!
- Watch non-kid TV shows
When the kids are home and you have the TV on it is probably something you feel appropriate for them. No judgment here from me – watch those salacious talk shows or catch up on the DVR recordings of Real Housewives – whatever you like – while the kids are gone.
- Take a long bath
Or even a long shower. I remember when my son was young I would take the quickest showers on the planet when he was home. Once the kids are in school take the time to enjoy a nice long hot shower or a decadent bubble bath for as long as you like with no interruptions.
- Volunteer at your child’s school
I mentioned PTA/PTO earlier, but there are plenty of other ways to volunteer at school also. I went in one day a week and volunteered my time to do whatever my son’s teacher needed, I helped in one of the Title 5 math classes, ran the “school store” in the morning, and did whatever else they needed. I really loved it.
- Start that coupon clipping you’ve wanted to do
We all see those fabulous coupon and savings blogs out there and would love to try them but don’t because we are worried about the time. Most all of those blogs say you can do it in a short amount of time, but you do need time to learn and start the system. During the school year is the perfect time to get started.
- Can and preserve food from your garden
This time of year our home gardens are bursting with so much. Even if you do not have your own garden the farmer’s markets are full. Now is a great time to can, pickle, and preserve all that bounty.
- Read blogs
I love you already because you are reading my blog – but there are so many more out there covering any topic or idea you can think of. Explore, learn, savor, enjoy! Oh, and don’t forget to comment, bloggers love comments! (You can comment at the end of this post too.)
- Attend Twitter parties and chats
I love Twitter chats – even before I started hosting them myself. They are kind of like a chat room (remember those days) and instead of a room deciding the topic it is a hashtag (#) that defines it. Take a look at my ongoing Twitter Party and Chat calendar to see what’s coming up.
- Have a well-woman visit with your doctor
Our health is so very important. As women, we tend to put it on the back burner often. When the kids are in school is a great time to plan your appointment for the doctor, a mammogram, and whatever else is needed, without having to take the kids with us.
- Surprise your working spouse at work for lunch
I know my husband loves it when I show up unexpectedly at work and bring him lunch or take him out to lunch.
- Provide child care to preschool kids in your home
If you just miss hanging out with kids that much consider providing daycare in your home for others.
- Write a book
It seems that so many of us would love to be authors. Now is the time – jump on that computer, open up Microsoft Word, and start typing! Don’t be afraid to submit it to a publisher or magazine either, but you can also self-publish with eBooks!
- Visit older family members who are also home during the day
Do you have older parents who are retired? What about your grandparents or great aunts and uncles? They love having visitors usually. Go spend some quality time with them!
- Train your pets
No matter what kind of pet you have you can have more time now to train them. Either basic pet training, behavior, or special tricks. (disclosure – affiliate link) PetSmart has tons of great products to help you with this.
- Volunteer at the charity of your choice
Whatever speaks to your heart! Pick a charity and call them up to see what kind of volunteer opportunities they have available.
- Scan old family photos
We have some really shutter-happy people in my family, or did in the past, which means we have thousands of old family photos that are printed and not digital. There are lots of new photo scanners that are super fast and you can scan in those old pics and have digital copies for yourself and everyone in the family to share.
- Afternoon Delight
I’m not going to go into detail here, but you know what I mean. If your spouse can run home in the afternoon for a bit this is a great way to spend your time!
Do you have free time now that the kids are back in school? How do you spend that extra time? What was your favorite idea on the list above?[signoff]
© 2015, Robyn Wright. All rights reserved.