Parenthood is like riding a rollercoaster. The overall thrill and joy of parenthood is there, but there are a lot of twists and turns that always keep parents on their feet. Parents rarely (if ever) get to catch a break and “me time” is a phrase that is practically nonexistent in their vocabulary. It’s a 24/7 job that takes a lot of work and patience, especially in the early stages of childhood and development.
When a person becomes a parent, there are a lot of new things that they have to learn how to do. They have to learn how to balance their time between work and home. They have to learn how to adjust their sleep schedules to fit their new job of caring for a baby. Everything has to be molded around the baby. The baby is ultimately the boss, and they rarely ever let the parents off the clock.
This is why it is important to regain control of “me time,” and find ways to relax and unwind outside of the child. If a parent never takes a break, they’ll likely be burnt out and resentful. And that’s not a good way to be when there is a child who is depending on mom or dad to support them. Luckily there are lots of ways to unwind and take a small break away from the baby. If a parent has a good babysitting system in place with a family member or friend, they may even be able to get away for a few days. Below is our list of some of the most outrageous (and practical) ways that moms spend their first night away from their baby.
12 Party Hardy
There are two major things that parents want to do when their kids are gone for the night. Either they’re gonna sleep or party like they’re in college again. Some parents forget what normal feels like and how to let loose and have a good time. This is especially true when you’ve spent several months giving your time and energy caring for another human being.
Being a parent to a new baby, late nights don’t usually consist of shots with friends. It’s more like baby bottles, breast milk and tears (from the parent and the baby). It’s easy to forget what a social life is under these conditions. The first thing some parents want to do with their night off is take advantage of the situation by going out. It can be rejuvenating and help parents feel alive again. Some will go out and party so hard that they’re more exhausted now than when they were chasing their kid around. But a night to unwind is much needed, because the job of parenting is a forever one.
The next obvious thing to do is catch some well deserved “Z’s” during your parenting hiatus. Some parents will catch an extra few hours and some might take the whole day. If there’s one thing parents with young children will learn to cherish, it’s sleep. There are no uninterrupted nights with a newborn.
All of the parent’s time and energy go to their child 24 hours a day, seven days a week with no reprieve. It is most certainly exhausting. During the first few months especially, parents don’t usually get to sleep. They get to take a series of naps when they’re baby’s asleep, but they always have to be alert in case the little one awakes, as he/she is likely to do. It can be weird being able to go to bed early, or sleep without any interruptions. It is certainly a moment to be cherished, especially if the parents get to sleep all day. It’s not likely that they’ll get another chance like that for a while.
10 Go On Vacation
Another common reason to leave the baby in the care of someone else is to go on a vacation. Although some may just opt for a staycation, others may need a more extended stay away. Don’t get it wrong, this can still be a hard thing to do, especially when you’ve spent most of your time with the baby and not sure if it’s the right time to go.
But if the baby is with someone the parents trust, like a family member, there usually isn’t much reason to worry. Some parents really want their time away from baby to be super special and opt for a really nice , long vacation somewhere far away. It may take some time to get used to at first, but by the end of the trip, most people are just asking for an extended stay or planning out the next trip in their heads.
9 Spend Some Reaaaally Special Alone Time with Bae
This is really important for a number of reasons. It is no secret that a person’s love life may have to change some after the birth of a baby. There may or may not be much time for romance , as there often isn’t much time for sleep either. But, it’s important that parents find a way to adjust to their new normal without giving up the spice.
A “baecation,” or some alone time with you love, may just do the trick on a night away from the baby. It’s a wonderful opportunity for new parents to rekindle that old flame and seriously pamper each other instead of having to pamper their child. They may do so much rekindling that they find a night away from the baby is needed more often. Parents who want to spend time with their significant other can go on a nice date or find some other steamy way to spend the night, as long as they’re enjoying each other’s company. There may even be another baby in the making at some point.
8 Shots, Shots, Shots!
It’s been said that a parent who has taken a night off to unwind is likely able to drink a college student under the table. If this is true, it’ll likely be a memorable night for said parent. Like we said before, parenting is not a 9 to 5 where you get to leave work at the office and come home to do whatever you want. It is a train that doesn’t stop.
For parents who haven’t been able to do much in the way of having fun since their child was born, they may find the urge to have a stiff one (or two) on their night away. It wouldn’t be surprising to find parents engaged in some sort of drinking game or throwing back shots like there’s no tomorrow (and no set time to retrieve their child from the babysitter). It’s a great way to relax and let loose, as long as they’re not getting too loose. After several months of unelected soberness, a few drinks are well deserved.
7 Calling The Babysitter Every Five Minutes
Some parents actually can’t enjoy a night out alone. No matter how hard they try, they’d rather just spend the night tending to their child. It is hard to let go when you’ve been with a baby for so long, but some still find a way to get over it, at least a little bit, when they’re granted some alone time. It’s not that easy for everybody.
For the chronic worriers, it’s important to have an update every hour on the hour. There is no time to unwind and relax. For these parents, a night spent with the baby is more rewarding than one spent without. It’s hard to enjoy yourself, your friends or significant other when your baby is all you think about. The saving grace for these people is that it won’t always be this difficult to take some time for yourself, especially as the child ages and becomes more independent. As a parent, you always worry about your child. But, it shouldn’t be the reason you can’t go out and enjoy yourself every once in awhile.
6 Eat Like There’s No Tomorrow
Amongst the other things that parents forget to do when caring for their child, besides sleeping and enjoying a night out, is eating. Everything revolves around the baby. Sleep, bathroom breaks, fun--the baby is often the boss and the parent is more often the employee in these early stages of childhood.
A parent with a completely free schedule is likely to enjoy a lot of activities that they once weren’t able to. This includes eating...a lot. When one isn’t worrying about being nagged by a baby for breast milk or even a bite of your food if they’re old enough to try to beg for it, the sky’s the limit on what you can consume. Cookies, cake, chocolate, wine, chips--all the bad stuff that had to be avoided or limited during and after pregnancy are now easily accessible. It’s the perfect time to pig out before having to share your resources (and food) with your little one again.
5 Clean The Whole House
When the baby’s around, the house is likely a mess. There’s less time to do things like clean the house, and there might even be toys and baby supplies everywhere. It can be hard to find the time to clean up while getting adjusted to a new baby. And one may become oblivious to the chaos until they are able to find some spare time.
It sounds crazy, but many people may use their time away from the baby to straighten up and scratch some chores off of their long to-do list. It’s the best time to get things done, especially when there are no distractions to cut chores short. And after tidying up a bit, there’s always the opportunity to simmer down with a glass of wine. Something else new moms weren’t likely to do during pregnancy. How that newfound free time is spent is up to the parents. As long as every second is spent wisely.
4 Binge Watch TV
Remember when it was so easy just to Netflix and chill? Having a baby around may have made it a little harder to lounge around and binge watch Netflix series for hours on end. If a parent is someone who is always busy and seems to always be on the go both at work and at home with the baby, some down time might seem more appealing than going out.
If this is the case, it might not be too bad of an idea to spend a few hours binge watching some shows that were likely missed during this hectic time. Netflix has a wide array of selections for a person to choose from, so it’s possible to spend all day binge-watching shows on their site. But there are plenty of other streaming services that offer a wide variety of movies and series to help busy parents wind down in their free time. Don’t know if there’s a better way to spend the day than with a good Netflix series and some popcorn, of course.
3 Ask For Extra Time Off (From Parenting)
After all of this rest and relaxation starts to come to an end, it may dawn on the parent that they have actually enjoyed their time away. It’s nothing to feel guilty about, because everyone needs a break! Some parents may even start planning their next getaway as soon as the baby is back in their hands.
Parenting is a full time job, and like full-time jobs, it can be extremely difficult to function properly as a person and a parent without some time away. There’s so much that can be accomplished during a “parenting hiatus,” so it is easy to understand the appeal and the need for a little extra time away. It’s always a good idea to have some days away with a significant other, and even for the more anxious parents, it can get easier and easier to manage during a vacation. It can also help them appreciate both the time they spend away from and with their child. It’s especially important as the child begins to develop independence from relying on their parents as often. So parents can go ahead and plan the next big getaway, but they still have to remember that they’ll have to come back again at some point.
2 Catch Some Extra Hours At Work
For the mom and dad who have taken a hiatus away from actual work, or find that they just aren’t able to commit as much as they usually could. Picking up some extra hours may help to resolve work issues and financial problems. It may seem counterproductive to leave one big job just to head right back into another when you could be relaxing.
But, everyone doesn’t have the luxury of going on an extended vacation, and that’s okay. The main thing is that the parent uses their extra time as they see fit. The extra cash can be especially useful for taking care of things around the house, buying food and baby supplies. And on an even higher note, a little extra cash means more money that could be saved towards a vacation with or without the baby. That makes it that much more worthwhile.
1 Lose The Filter, Do And Say What You Want
The last thing that parents can use their free time for is...anything. Literally anything. Just the sheer freedom of being able to say and do what you want makes alone time that much more worthwhile. Gone are the days where everything has to be said and done through a filter, and that definitely feels great.
When a parent has young children, it’s like everything has to be run through a sieve. There are no curse words or perverse language. Everything is sanitized and heavily ‘Disneyfied” both literally and figuratively. The joy of being able to get away for a few days or even just a few hours is that there is no one underage watching or listening. Parents can have curse word “slip-ups,” watch what they want, listen to what they want and not worry about the repercussions of a one year old learning all the words to their favorite Migos song.
Sources: TheStir.com, PopSugar.com, Romger.com, SheKnows.com