We all need alone time (just don’t fall into the scrolling trap)

By Sophie Slosarczyk

Alone time as a mummy. It’s a weird feeling when we finally get some I always think. It feels like we’ve got some kinda peaceful, but fragile, date with ourselves. There’s zero idea how long it’ll last mind you, but we know we’ve gotta make the most of it while we’ve got it!

From personal experience, alone time happens once on a blue moon.

Pretty much never.

But tonight, writing this, is my very blue moon. Both babies are in bed by 8pm, and are still sleeping. It’s now 8.23pm.

The thing is, when we do get alone time, we’ll spend as much time trying to figure out what to do with that time that in the end, we’re on the sofa scrolling. 

I’ve got bookshelves filled with books to read, online courses to do, friends to call, movies to watch, businessy stuff to do, poems to write… my list is endless, it really is.

I vehemently believe that my alone time shouldn’t be spent working all the time, or doing something productive all the time. Yet equally, I don’t want to waste my precious time on Instagram or Facebook, so what’s the answer?

How can we solve the “I’ve got time alone but don’t know what to do with it” problem?

Well, what’s worked for me the past few blue moons is keeping a list of the things I’d absolutely LOVE to be doing with my free time.

It’s a list I made years ago actually and just keep adding to it, because I’m still me, just with kids. So everything I liked before babies is exactly what I like now… (obviously.)

Now some of my list contains things I can’t really do while I’ve got kids, such as volunteering for a year in a school in Africa for example. That’s for another decade now. 

But many of the things on my list I can do while the kids are asleep. Things such as gardening, reading, writing a book, baking, and phoning a friend. 

So if you’d like to start making the most of your alone time, I recommend making a list of anything and everything you’d love to be doing, money aside, kids aside. Anything goes. Writing this list will give you a little boost and get you into a positive action mode.

I use a Trello board for this. Of course, you can write everything down on paper, but if you’re anything like me you’ll have multiple bits of paper flying around and it won’t last. Keeping a copy on your computer or phone works well in this case. 

What I do is whenever I have alone time, I do a little jump for joy and check my Trello board, just to get my head in the game. You’ll know what I mean by getting your head in the game. It takes at least half an hour to chug a mug of tea down and sort your head out!

Back to the list. I scan my list and see what takes my fancy. And then before my mind can stop me, I go and do just that. 

I use the 5,4,3,2,1 technique if ever I start to procrastinate or scroll, or if I do something stupid like unloading the dishwasher. I force myself to not do those things and instead do what I want to do.

And that’s it! I know, I know, on paper it looks simple, the practicalities are very different.

I also know you’re not a robot, so really, on the days where you just need to flake (because let’s face it, kiddies are exhausting) then go and flake. 

Alone time as a mum is rare, I know, but equally, it’s best to take those alone moments when you can, and do something enjoyable for yourself. Fill your cup, so to speak. 

And make sure you fill it with healthy and life enhancing things. You’ll feel like yourself again, it’s magic, plus your kids will thank you because you’ll be a shit hot mum the next day. Yay!

Hope this helps you. I’d love to see some of your Trello boards if you do this! Sophie x

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Sophie Slosarczyk

Sophie Slosarczyk

Wellbeing coach & healthcare professional. Mum of two baby boys. Loves nothing more than a hot cup of tea (rarely happens these days) and a real heart to heart.

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