What do you do with your time during "dad's weekend?"
My boys spent this weekend with their dad so I had time just for myself. I used to hate being without them. When I was first divorced, I would cry, I felt so lonely. I missed them and worried about them not being with me. People would tell me that eventually, I would really enjoy the time I had to myself when my boys were with their dad, but I couldn’t imagine that. Now three years later, I can tell you that it’s true.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my children and enjoy our time together very much. But truth be told, I also love MY time too. Of course, everyone’s situation is different, but when I was married, I never had any time to myself. My ex was never in the picture. It was exhausting and overwhelming. Now he takes the kids every other weekend, leaving me blissfully alone.
Granted, on his weekends I usually do the things I don’t have time to do when the kids are with me, like clean the house, pay bills, catch up on work, and take care of all the stuff that doesn’t normally get done. But I also get to do whatever I want whenever I want for the whole weekend! And the big plus is that I am a better parent when I see my children again when the weekend is over.
Although it takes some getting used to at first, newly divorced moms have a lot to look forward to. We are finally on the other side of the process and deserve some time to heal and recharge.
Here are 8 reasons why you too can be glad it’s “dad’s weekend."
1. Alone Time
I look forward to spending some time alone while my children are at their dad’s for the weekend. Being alone gives me the opportunity to regroup, even if that just means doing all the laundry. I like feeling organized and having everything ready for the kids when they come home. Alone time is a great way to get stuff done without being called to help find a lost item or breaking up fights, etc.
2. Slowing Down
As a single, divorced mom, I am constantly rushing to get the kids to school, get myself to work, get the kids to after school activities, make dinner, and finally get everyone ready for bed so we can do it all again the very next day. When the kids are with their dad, my time is my own and I can be as leisurely as I wish. Being able to slow down and take my time is a much-needed reprieve from the busy week, especially when I only have myself to take care of. How novel!
3. Doing Nothing
Wow, imagine not having anything to do and being ok with that? This took me a while to get used to but now I don’t feel guilty at all.
4. Personal Interests
If I feel like learning how to play the French horn I can use my time to take lessons. This is a great opportunity to pursue some of your own interests and start expanding your world.
5. Catching up with Friends
As busy parents, it’s very difficult to find the time to get together with long lost friends. When the kids are with their dad, you can grab a coffee or enjoy a glass of wine with a friend. I find spending time with a good friend (or two) very therapeutic.
I didn’t want to date for a long time after my divorce. But eventually, I opened up to the possibility. My weekends are the best time to go out on a date. I don’t have to hire a babysitter and I can take the time to apply eye liner properly without the kids hanging all over me.
7. Putting Yourself First
This may seem like a no-brainer to some, but I don’t think many of us really put ourselves first. Being without the kids for a couple of days makes it easier to think about yourself. If you’re not working out, start doing that. If you want to take a nap, by all means, do that first. Whatever helps you to feel good about yourself.
8. You’re not responsible for the kids!
Hah! This is the best part. Granted, I was extremely nervous at first that my ex would somehow lose the children or forget to feed them. But now he has to step up because I’m not there to take care of things. He is the one responsible for the children on his weekends. And he actually finds a way to make it work.
So start enjoying your time on Dad’s weekend. You’ll be better for it.