Camping with other adults is a great way to have inexpensive grownup time away from the stresses of the city.
Photo by Courtesy Flickr/Martin Lopatka
It is all too easy to get completely absorbed by parenthood when you have a new baby in the house. In the whirlwind of breasts and bottles and dirty diapers and crying and sleeping and trying to love on that beautiful child, and especially if one is also trying to juggle a job, a mortgage, a spouse, friendships, the dishes, and the recycling schedule, then it can feel extremely difficult to find the time or the money to invest in yourself or in your spouse / partner. When my son was an infant, I felt incredibly guilty spending any time away from him in addition to the time I spent at work, so even sneaking away to a movie felt like a crime against humanity, and it just wasn't fun for me.
However, to be a good parent and a good partner, and to boost health and sanity, it is important to find balance in your life. It definitely won't happen right away, but it is important to gradually figure out how to not only get enough sleep, exercise, and eat right, but also to be your own person with independent interests who occasionally has free time to enjoy a solo hike, a great book, a cup of tea, a romantic weekend away, a bubble bath, a zumba class, margaritas with friends, or the Sunday crossword.
How to Create Grownup Time
Make playdates with your friends and their kids. The grownups can visit while the kids play.
Use your lunch break to sneak to the gym or meet a friend for a bite in Fondren.
Host a family-friendly potluck, and set the kids up with a board game or a movie while the grownups talk after dinner.
Make a jogging date on the Ridgeland multi-use trail with kids in strollers.
Ask your friends for their best babysitter recommendations, and commit to a regular date night while your kids are in the care of someone you can trust.
Have a moms and kids sleepover party. Once the kids are asleep, watch "Downton Abbey," sip a glass of wine, and paint the kitchen together.
Get your partner to watch the kids while you partake in girl's night out or even a weekend away on
Invite a friend over to watch a movie and share a bag of popcorn after the kids are in bed.
Go on a camping trip with friends and their kids. Once the kids are asleep, spend the evening catching up around the campfire.
Reserve an hour for yourself after bedtime or first thing in the morning before the kids get up to take a bath, do yoga, read a few chapters in your favorite book, pray, meditate, sew, or do whatever else gives you joy.
Less Expensive Grownup Time
Host a clothing or housewares swap at your house.
Invite your friends over for a potluck dessert party or wine tasting.
Meet up at the park, the thrift shop, the nature trail, the library, the YMCA or each other's homes.
Learn how to make great coffee at home.
Gather a group for a Netflix movie night.
Plan a progressive dinner.
Get together to teach each other your skills, such as cooking, salsa dancing or crochet.
Go camping together or take advantage of a friend's lake house for a getaway.
Have a freezer cooking party.