If you're a single parent, the juggling act of balancing work, caring for your child and taking care of the other necessities of maintaining a home can leave you with little to no time for yourself. However, it's very important for your mental health and your continued happiness that you do protect the precious little time that you have for yourself when you have the opportunity to do so. As all single parents know, however, it oftentimes takes some creative thinking and careful planning in order to be sure that you have enough time for yourself now and then.
1. Minimize Your Schedule
The first thing that you'll need to do in order to make time for yourself as a single parent is to be sure that you're giving yourself as many opportunities to do so as you can. The best way to ensure that you have alone time is to take a look at your schedule and evaluate it carefully. Right out all of your weekly commitments on a large sheet of paper that's organized by day. Look for overlaps in different commitments that you have, and consider different ways that you can help to achieve your goals more quickly. Oftentimes some creative overlapping can help you; if you work at home, consider purchasing an at home treadmill or stationary bike in order to get a workout in while you're working, for instance.
2. Rearrange to Maximize Time
When you've done as much as you can to condense your schedule, you can also look for ways to rearrange your schedule as well. For instance, look for opportunities to complete certain tasks at other times of day which will give you more free time throughout the week. If you pack lunches and other meals on Sunday evening, for instance, you can save yourself the time of having to do so throughout the rest of the week. There are many different ways to rearrange your schedule in this way so that you can maximize your alone time, but it will depend upon how your schedule is naturally laid out.
Look for things that you can remove from your schedule. Of course it's important to give your child and your work obligations priority, and you won't want to let your work to maintain your home fall by the wayside either. However, many people waste a good amount of time during the day; look at how much time you spend on the Internet, for instance, and consider cutting that down to prioritize more quality alone time for yourself.
4. Hire a Babysitter
When you do have a set of time without an obligation, treat yourself by hiring a caretaker for your child, if he isn't old enough to care for himself. This will allow you to go to another situation entirely and remove yourself from your home or any other obligations for a temporary period of time. This will ensure that you get quality time for yourself with no distractions.