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10 Ways to Make Time for Yourself When You Have Kids

Danielle Garza | 09 November 2012

Mummy time Stock Photo

When you have kids it can seem impossible to make time for yourself!

One of the most important things about being a parent is organization, and this includes making yourself a top priority. When you schedule in time for yourself and don't feel guilty about it, you will have more of yourself to give to your kids. Here are some of the top 10 ways to make time for yourself.

  1. Date with an Exercise Buddy

    Taking care of our health should always be a priority but can be difficult with kids. Combine exercise with meeting a friend and you will be more likely to work it into your weekly routine. Take a yoga class together or simply head out for a walk or jog. These 'dates' will help to clear your mind and keep you sharp and alert

  2. Enforce Bedtime

    It may sound simple, but be sure to enforce a bedtime with your children. Don't take any excuses from your little ones. At a certain time each evening, help them through their nighttime routine and then put them to bed. When you don't allow exceptions you will have some free time in the evening for a glass of wine and favourite TV show

  3. Weekly Treats

    Adults need treats too. Each week, schedule in one adult treat just for you. One week that might be an afternoon of shopping, another week it might be a manicure and pedicure at the local spa. When you have one thing each week to look forward to, it will help to get some of your tasks done quicker

  4. Delegate

    Whether or not you're a single parent, it can feel like you have to do everything yourself. However, although it can be against our nature, delegating can be a powerful tool. Give your kids tasks that they can accomplish easily, such as loading the dishwasher or helping to put laundry away. Chores will be done sooner and your kids will feel helpful. Most of the time, all you need to do is ask

  5. Utilise Technology

    It's incredible to think of how much technology can help parents. Take a moment to think about tasks that take the most time. Whether those errands are grocery shopping or dropping off dry cleaning, investigate whether technology can help you. Many grocery stores and supermarkets are now offering delivery service, for example, freeing up a great deal of time for you to enjoy doing something fun

  6. Designated Quiet Time

    Just because your kids are around doesn't mean you can't have time for yourself. Designate one hour each day - right after dinner, for example - that is considered quiet time. Your kids can read or play with toys, but don't turn on the television or radio. They might even get into the idea if you make a game out of it. This will free up an hour to relax on the couch with a fashion magazine

  7. Spa at Home

    Parents won't always have the time to make it to the spa. What you can do instead is bring the spa to you. Fill your bathroom with candles, the fluffiest towels, an incredible robe, and luxurious bath products. It might sound like an indulgence, but all of these supplies will be cheaper than a single day spent at the spa and can be enjoyed for much longer

  8. Ask for Help

    It can be difficult to ask for help - to admit that we could use an extra hand. But think of it this way: asking the first time might be the hardest part. Enlist your family or friends to help with the kids and give you some time off, and then repay the favour. If you and a good friend swap babysitting nights, your kids will have play companions and you will have a night off

  9. Follow Your Passions

    Just because you are a parent doesn't mean you can't have passions. If you've always wanted to sign up for an art class, writing workshop, or yoga seminar, do it. Don't wait. Not only will you feel energised by these types of experiences, but you will be setting a good example for your kids

  10. Travel Guilt-Free

    Every parent needs a break sometimes. Plan travel without the children - and don't feel guilty about it. Plan a trip with friends to a place where you wouldn't usually bring the kids. If you schedule this far enough in advance, you won't need to interrupt the routine of your kids to get a little well-deserved rest and relaxation

Danielle Garza writes travel articles for HomeAway Australia

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This blog contains only general information, correct at the date of publication. For advice regarding your own personal circumstances, always seek individual advice from a qualified professional. Read the full Disclaimer here

What does it mean to be a single mum?Of course, the


are the most important thing in a single mum's life. Kids are the focus and always have been. But along with the children, there are other matters that can confuse a single mum's life.


plays a big part of a single mother's life, mainly because this is where a large percentage of single mums get their finances from. Centrelink are the source from where the

single mother pension

, or as it is otherwise known, the single parent payment comes from. The single mother pension is a subsistence amount, but just the same, it is money to live on, and so it is important, no matter if it is called single parent payment, single mother pension or whatever Centrelink welfare classes it at the time

Often, single mums come out of a


or defacto relationship only to find that their troubles have just begun, and find that their first step leads them towards Family Law - it's time to engage a lawyer.
There are more than just Centrelink finance problems to worry about, as mentioned before, but also

child custody

issues. Child custody is something that hits right at the heart of

single mums

. If a single mother's ex husband or ex partner has been a domestic violence perpetrator, the mum may be greatly worried about child custody. They worry that their kids won't be safe with their spouse, who has already proven to be abusive because they caused

domestic violence

, which resulted in a divorce or separation.

Even so,

Family Court

will often still order a form of child custody named

Shared Parenting

. Shared Parenting is a form of child custody division of time or parental responsibility between the parents. Mother's often look for a good divorce lawyer to try to avoid share parenting with an abusive ex-spouse after divorce, however in many cases Shared Parenting is still the outcome after the divorce, no matter how good the divorce lawyers have been. They will often settle for visitation at a contact centre or access centre where fathers or mothers are supervised during child custody access.

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