Time Out Ideas

by Claire Minnaar

Every mother needs time out from their kids and often everyone else too. When you are working and being a Mom, time out becomes even more difficult to find and / or take.

But no matter what, you HAVE to take time out – not just for yourself, but for those around you. So, here are a few time out ideas you can consider doing. I have broken them down by time.

Less than half an hour

This one is a little tricky, but there are quite a few things you can do in a few minutes.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Get on the phone or Skype with a good friend and have a catch-up call or a conversation where you can have a good laugh and get off feeling slightly rejuvenated.
  • Log onto Facebook and see what everyone is up to – make a few comments on photos, statuses, videos, etc…; like a few statuses and update your status; join a few new pages/groups and see what other fans of the page are sharing.
  • Go for a brisk walk around the block – getting the heart rate up is not only good for your health, but will help get some endorphins going and some fresh air running through your body.
  • Respond to mails to friends or family that you never get around to because you are always too busy with work emails, clients, kids and life.
  • Go to your bedroom, lie on your bed and relax – try having a siesta!
  • Read a chapter in a book or a few interesting articles in the magazine you bought earlier in the week and haven’t had a chance to get to.
  • Catch the latest article on Momtrepreneur – sorry, had to slip that one in 😉
  • Do a 50 piece puzzle.
  • Play a few games of Sudoku.
  • Go for a quick drive in the car, crank up the radio / CD and sing your heart out.
  • If hubby is around, a quick shag is always a good reliever and good fun….you know it!

One to Three Hours

This is the most common time out that I know many other of my Mommy friends and I get – either the kids have gone to school, are sleeping or are over at Granny!

So, here’s your opportunity to:

  • Do some exercise, get the heart rate up and get the endorphins going. Then, have a nice shower and feel refreshed to start your post time out routines.
  • Catch up on some sleep (my all-time favourite!)
  • Go for a coffee at your favourite coffee shop (Vida for me!) and have one of those delicious lattes or cappuccinos you have been thinking about PLUS a delicious muffin or piece of cake…c’mon – you know you can AND you deserve it!
  • Go shopping with a friend or on your own (even window shopping is fun!) – spoiling yourself a little is also never a bad thing … it couldn’t possibly be!
  • Go for an express manicure / pedicure or wax at your closest beauty salon.
  • Get your hair done.
  • Have a nice hot bubble bath and relax by reading a book / magazine or just lying back, closing your eyes and clearing your mind (sounds good, doesn’t it!?)
  • Do something special for someone else e.g. donate an hour of your time to a charity organisation, do some spring cleaning of your clothes cupboards or kitchen and donate goods no longer being used. Check out Greater Good South Africa for some more ideas.
  • Watch one of those seriously long movies you never have get to watch or one of those mini-series that you have wanted to see for ages, but just never seem to find the time. And, what about a few recorded series of Grey’s Anatomy, Mentalist, Lie to Me, etc (got to love recorders and / or PVR decoders!)
  • Get creative and do some scrapbooking.
  • Get those photo albums updated.
  • Go to the mall, find a book shop (like Exclusive Books) and just sit and read with a cup of Vida / Seattle coffee – this is one of my favourite things to do! I love books and Exclusive Books loves me!
  • Bake a cake, cupcakes or some cookies – your kids and hubby will love you for it!
  • Go watch a big screen movie – grab that popcorn and go munch away in the dark while watching a romance, drama, thriller or comedy!
  • Have a girl’s night out – dinner, laughs and a little bit of craziness is always good for a Mamma!
  • Go for a nice breakfast / lunch / dinner with the hubby – don’t talk about the kids or work. Just be together and talk like you did BEFORE married life began!
  • Go sunbathe at the beach or out in the garden – put that bikini on!
  • Had to mention this….. This is the perfect time to get it on and have some fun! I say no more!

A Whole Day

I don’t know many Moms who get the opportunity to have a WHOLE DAY off very regularly, but there are the odd occasions, thanks to nannies, au pairs and GRANDPARENTS – YAY!

  • Consider doing a few of the items listed above under the One to Three Hours section.
  • Go for a nice long hike in the mountains or forest.
  • Go spend the day at a spa and get pampered like there’s no tomorrow – leave feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to tackle what the world will throw at you next!
  • If you have friends or family who live far away and you don’t always get many chances to go and see them, take a nice, relaxing drive and pay them a visit. The drive will do you good (please keep to the quieter roads to ensure less chance of road rage ;))
  • Put a to-do list together and make it your mission to get everything done by the end of the day. Choose realistic goals that are achievable in a day. The point of this particular suggestion is to ensure that you feel like you have accomplished something and not having you filled with anxiety and needing a bottle of brandy at the end of the day!
  • Do a movie-thon! Go watch all those cinema movies you have been dying to see – one after each other. Take a break for lunch.
  • If your hubby is around, have a cuddle and a smooch and see what happens – a lot can be done in a day, you know! (wink wink)

More than One Day

This one is the easiest of all. You can do ALL of the items mentioned above and more.

Alternatively, you could consider doing some of the suggestions below:

  • Do a course that runs over more than one day.
  • Go away for the weekend – you can easily find great getaways by visiting portals such as SA-Venues.com or doing a relevant search on Google for destinations you would love to visit.
  • Go on an overnight cruise and have some fun experiencing life on the big sea!
  • Get creative and do whatever you’re in the mood for and enjoy it!


These are just a few ideas of what you can do. I’m sure I’ve missed a few, so please feel free to let me know your suggestions, which other Moms can add to their little black book of time off!

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julz February 8, 2011 - 10:40 am

I go to yoga once a week for some time out or I get together with a few girl friends now and then.

Lulu @ SA Child February 8, 2011 - 11:29 am

Brilliant, thanks for a good laugh and sharing these ideas!

Mother's Guilt | Momtrepreneur February 10, 2011 - 7:42 am

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