15 Ways to Spend Free Time as a Mom

moms, free time, self-care, advice

Free time as a mom is so elusive! Its almost non-existent. But once in a while, the stars align and all is right in the universe and it actually happens! Us moms get some time for ourselves! No kids, no significant others, no errands, and no chores! It is seriously such a great feeling. However, it leaves moms with a dilemma. WHAT SHOULD YOU DO WITH THIS FREE TIME?

Its been so long since you have had free time as a mom, you may find yourself at a loss for how to spend it. I know I have been there myself. So many moms I know have. I have put together a list of the best ways to spend free time as a mom. Check it out!

Take a Long, Hot Shower

Moms never seem to get enough time to shower. Either it doesn’t happen often enough, or we don’t have enough time to wash everything in one single shower. Or worse: there isn’t enough hot water left after we’ve bathed our kids, done the dishes, washed the laundry, and whatever else. I say indulge! Go for it! Enjoy it! Use all the hot water and take all the time you need. Pamper yourself. Wash your hair and shave you legs. Go nuts!

Get Ready

Use your free time as a mom to get yourself ready. Get ready like you used to when you were a single college girl. Blow dry and style your hair. Put on a full face of makeup. Paint your nails. Exfoliate. Get dressed up. Try on a bunch of outfits before deciding on one. Live it up.

Listen to Music

Turn up the music! Crank it loud. Sing along. Listen to music from your high school or college days. Play those old jams that got you pumped up and feeling good. For me, its always 90’s and early 2000’s pop and hip hop. Sometimes I’m Dirrty like Christina, or sometimes I Want You Back with NSYNC. Sometimes you need to Lose Yourself with Eminem, while you’re sippin’ on Gin n’ Juice with Snoop. Go with your mood and rock it out. The benefit of having free time as a mom is that there are no spouses to judge your musical choices, and no kids to repeat less-than-desirable lyrics.

Binge Your Favorite Show

Uninterrupted t.v. time is also rare when you’re a mom. Free time is a good time to catch up on your favorite shows. Whether you are addicted to The Bachelor, or your guilty pleasure is Teen Moms, you can watch it without interruption.  You want to watch Sons of Anarchy? Go for it! No kids to see the sex and violence, or hear the language. Maybe you just want to spend an afternoon with a marathon of Friends, without having to argue about screen time, prepare snacks, pour juice, referee sibling fights, etc. This is your chance.


Its no secret that moms sleep NEVER. So if you are permanently exhausted, like I am, go curl up in bed and nap. Nap like you have never napped before. Nap like you wont have a chance to sleep again for days (because it could be true!) Free time as a mom should be spent in a way that benefits YOU. If you really need some rest, grab it while you can. No guilt and no alarm sleep sounds like heaven to me.


Shopping with kids in tow can be such a hassle. Its often an ordeal. Between wrestling kids in and out of car seats, and wrangling them through crowded stores, making sure they don’t wander off or break anything, it can be downright miserable. But you have free time now. Go shopping alone. Enjoy the stress-free experience of not having to fight with your little monsters over what they want you to buy. Enjoy being able to take your time and meander through the aisles. Revel in the experience of not having to account for the whereabouts of any of your minions. It’s quite a joyful experience.

Enjoy a Treat Without Sharing

You moms all know what I am talking about. Eat some candy. Munch on some cookies. Devour some treat without having someone begging for a piece or a bite. Eat the whole ice cream. Drink the entire cup of coffee while its still hot. Kids are mooches by nature. Especially when it comes to sweets. And as moms, we always end up sharing, either from mom guilt or in an attempt to avoid a fight. We are forced to pick our battles. But now you have free time as a mom. So enjoy whatever it is without any guilt. Eat it out in the open, instead of hiding in the closet or bathroom. Savor each bite slowly, instead of wolfing it down before your children enter the room. Just take pleasure in it.

Read a Book

Reading is a great escape from every day life. Reading with a bunch of children running around is nearly impossible. Concentration goes out the window when you are trying to keep your tiny humans alive and happy. So if you are fortunate enough to find yourself with some free time, pick up a book. Read something you’ve been wanting to read. Maybe there is a book your friends have been raving about, or you have read great reviews online about. Go for it. Let yourself be transported into another world for a while. You deserve the break.

Do a Craft or Hobby

Do you love painting? Maybe you enjoy knitting or crocheting. Maybe yoga is your thing. Mom life gets so busy that often there just isn’t enough time to enjoy those little things we love. Free time as a mom provides an opportunity for us to explore those things we loved. The hobbies we enjoyed before kids can still be enjoyable when given the chance to really focus and enjoy them. Utilize your time to rediscover these activities, or maybe explore some new ones.

Call a Friend

When is the last time you were able to chat on the phone with a friend without being interrupted by screaming, fighting, or a child just begging for attention? If you are like me, you cant even remember. Its not a reality when you’re a mom. When you have free time and the house is quiet, you have the opportunity to reconnect with a friend you have been maybe neglecting or missing. Reach out. Call and shoot the breeze. Jabber on for as long as you want. Reminisce about the “good ol’ days” or talk about what is going on in your current lives. Just use the time to reach out to someone you love.

Mom’s Night Out

This is one of my favorite activities when I get free time as a mom. Call up some other mom friends, and plan an evening out of the house. Go to dinner, grab drinks, see a movie, go dancing…whatever floats your boat. This can be fun with existing friends, or even a great way to make new ones. I am in some mom groups on Facebook, and every once in a while, someone plans a night out for the group. Often, it ends up being a bunch of women who have never met in person, that meet up for dinner or an activity. I have been to several and have never had a bad time. It can be fun just talking and laughing and sharing with other moms, even if they are complete strangers. You may even make some great friends along the way.

Order Take-Out

I don’t really consider myself a “foodie” but I do enjoy a good meal from time to time. One way I like to spoil myself when I have some free time is to order take-out of my favorite food. Maybe you have a favorite restaurant that you rarely have the chance to eat at. Maybe there is a certain type of food you have been craving, but the rest of the family doesn’t like. Order it. Pick it up or have it delivered. This makes a great compliment to a Netflix binge, which is an added bonus.

Get Outdoors

I really enjoy being outdoors when the weather permits. There is nothing like the sun to make you feel good. Sometimes, just getting outside and savoring some fresh air can really be a treat. Personally, I read outside during the summer months. I have a favorite chair in the yard and I curl up with a good book, and just soak up the suns vitamin D. Exercise outside can also be a huge mood-booster. I like to walk. My neighborhood is great for walking in.  Maybe when you call up your friend, you can invite them to come along.

Do a Task/Chore

I keep this one as a last resort for how to spend your free time as a mom. Generally, we do enough tasks and chores on a daily basis. However, I am including it for this one reason. Sometimes there is something you have been wanting to do for ages, but never get around to. There is never time between school drop-off and pick-up and after school activities and sports and family time. If there is something that has been driving you mad, go ahead and do it. Don’t do the every day stuff, because you will always do those tasks, Do the thing that you have been dying to check off your to-do list. Do the thing that will actually bring you pleasure knowing it is done.

Free Time as a Mom

These are just some of my suggestions for how to spend your free time as a mom. I am sure others can add to this list. The most important thing is to make sure whatever activity you choose, it makes you happy. It makes you feel good. Your choice should help you relax, and enjoy just being you for a while. Being a mom can be overwhelming. You are ALWAYS mom, but underneath that “mom” there is a person too. Use your free time to remember and enjoy who she was. Find her again. If you do this, you will be much more at peace in life.

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Please, if you have any ideas to add, leave them in the comments. Share your favorites with other moms, because we all need a little help from our mom friends.

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About Lisa Wingerter

I'm a 32 year old, married, stay-at-home-mom from the Metro Detroit area

View all posts by Lisa Wingerter →

14 Comments on “15 Ways to Spend Free Time as a Mom”

  1. Free time…. what’s that? I am so glad you put together this list. I think it is important to encourage moms to take time for themselves. This is something I struggle with myself. My next bit of free time, I plan on reading a book!

  2. I have 3 kids and finding time for myself can be a struggle sometimes! I appreciate your tips of things to do, my favorite things to do when I have free time? Eating and crafting ?

  3. These are all great ideas for moms to practice self care. I love that you shared this. I’m a life coach and personal development blogger and self care is so important. The one that makes me laugh is the “eat a treat without sharing.” I can’t help but think of my son who is 1 1/2. He LOVES food and I literally have to hide myself when I eat if he has already had his meal or else he will eat most of my food too haha!

  4. A long hot shower there is nothing as wonderful these days as that. I have to sneak LOL. If Little Miss sees me heading in that direction she is all about it LOL. Late night showers and TV for me.

  5. These are great ideas! The main things I miss are reading a book, doing crafts, and getting ready! Reading a book is so tough because I feel like once I get into one, baby needs me! Doing crafts with a 6 month old army crawling is about impossible haha and getting ready now is like I’m being timed! Love these ideas and makes me look forward to a mom-break (which of course will just end up me missing my little one but that’s another story!) Thanks for the great ideas!

  6. Wait, what’s Free Time? I imagine that when the stars align for me, I’ll spend the whole time sulking missing my little one! I do like the idea of getting ready. Not even to go anywhere, but just to remind myself of what it was like when it was all about me, myself and I. Oh, and the hubby, too. Reading a book and taking a long hot shower does sound really wonderful now…

  7. Great post! I rarely have free time but will make a point of doing at least one of these things when I do. I usually just clean something which is not really self-care is it.

  8. Lisa,
    All great suggestions. I’m a homeschool mom and even though I only still have one that lives at home full-time it seems like I rarely have the house to myself. So I love when I have “free time” at home:) And yes, I so agree that it is so vital as a mom to make a little time for the things you love! My current fave is a quiet start to my mornings!

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