For a stay-at-home dad, getting a break
is not just vital, it is cherished. So many opportunities await a few hours of freedom from the family. It’s time to relax, have fun and catch a breath or all and more at the same time. None of this is a slight to those dad loves and cares for, it’s just that a 24/7 job can be a bit of a grind at times. So what are some good things to do? Anything he can think of. And then some. Here are a few good, if not obvious, ways to catch up on things dad likes to do when that opportunity arises.
Watch the GameWant to focus on the big game? Good luck. Many a sports-fan-stay-at-home dad has felt like he has missed entire seasons of his favorite team. Not that that’s really a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Still, it’s nice every now and then to get lost in something other than the kids, and sports usually offer a frequently occurring release. If only you could hear the announcers. Use a little free time to watch a game in peace or better yet, go to a game in person without having kids wanting to go to the concession stand after every pitch.
Take a NapEver put down a baby for a nap, one who is screaming and fighting to the end, and not understand why in the world this child is resisting such a great thing? Naps are hard to come by in this world and free time is a perfect time to see if you still have the skill. Reconnect with the couch and catch up on some elusive rest.
ReadIt is practically impossible to really focus on words with a bunch of children doing laps around the living room. Doesn’t matter if it’s a newspaper, the Internet or a good book, but chances are, if you re-read what you just scanned during the craziness, you’d figure out you never really read it at all. So catch up on your literature of choice. A little cram session can be good for the brain and relaxing at the same time.
Grab Some GrubIt’s probably not a stretch to say there is food you like that your kids don’t fully appreciate. There might even be a menu item or two your significant other doesn’t really care for either. Any chance you get to taste the food you like but is missing because of family matters, you have to indulge. To some extent, it may even become, in some sort of strange way, a reward for doing what you’re doing. Hey, at least you’ll be full and happy when the break is over.
Find Some Adults Sans KidsThere is something remarkably refreshing about being out with the guys doing whatever it is the guys are doing and thinking how nice it is to not have to wipe a nose. Especially if such an outing doesn’t happen that often. Just make sure your buddies don’t bring along any of their little ones or it could blow any of the benefit.
Go to a MovieKids can be the Grim Reaper to the movie buff. It can be so bad that walking past the food counter at the local store and catching a whiff of popcorn can set off a wave of depressing nostalgia. If lucky, an ex-film guru can catch up on all the year’s acclaimed movies once they get to the top of his Netflix list. So even if it is a once-a-season occasion and you’re by yourself, remember what a movie theater is like again when you have the chance.
PlayGolf, video games, softball, a good hike, fish, bowl, flag football, chess, basketball, tiddlywinks, whatever. The chance to act like a kid often becomes scarce when caring for kids 24/7. It’s never a bad idea to remember the fun in playing.
Enjoy the QuietThat’s right, do nothing. Sit there and be amazed that the walls can exist without noise constantly ricocheting off them. Be free from the stresses of what daredevil stunt the 4-year-old is going to try and pull off next. Think without having some sort of cry or scream bouncing around your head.
Do What You Enjoy MostEvery dad has his own interests, and it is important to keep those interests in the forefront in the name of sanity. Whatever hobby you enjoy, work at it often, especially when some alone time comes around. Or, just do what makes you happiest. In the end, that should be enough to leave a little smile on your face when you greet your family once that grand break has concluded.