You're a stay-at-home parent, and for years you've had a little one on your hip or a little one to chase after. But now that your kid is back at school, you are *gasp* alone, by yourself, with your own thoughts, for hours! You are going to be shocked at how quickly you can knock items off of your to-do lists without any kids in tow. So what do you do when you've finished the dishes, put away the laundry, and left every toilet, sink, and floor cleaner than you ever knew it could be? That's up to you.
There are so many options to choose from that you might have to set aside some time just to pick one. You can volunteer at your child's school, at a local shelter, at the library, or at church. The point is that you get to pick how you spend your time helping others.
2. Write That Novel
Always wanted to write a novel or a book of poetry? Now's your chance. There are online courses to take or you can just dive right in if you've already spent time learning this craft.
3. Read That Novel
Have you even read a book at all since your first child was born? One that isn't full of rhymes and pictures? Now is your chance to actually start and finish those novels you've been wanting to read.
4. Take a Class
Your local community college or your town may have classes you can take to learn a new skill, such as a musical instrument, cooking speciality or ethnic foods, or learning to crochet. This is a great way to show your kids that you never stop learning in life.
5. Start Gardening
Gardening takes a lot of time and can be tough to do with little kids. Now you can get that garden started and when the kids are home on weekends or after school, they can help.
6. Start Sewing
If you've always loved sewing or have always wanted to learn, now is the perfect time. Take a class or head to your local craft store to get started on a new project or gift for a friend's new baby.
7. Teach a Class
Are you a master at a skill other people wish to possess? You can talk to your town about teaching sewing, art, or baking.
8. Hold Babies
Hospitals need people to volunteer to hold babies who are in-patient. Sometimes the parents' rights have been taken away and the babies are in the state's custody or sometimes the parents can't skip work to be with their child. Those babies still need someone to hold them, and nurses are spread too thin. You'll be helping a baby to thrive and heal, and you'll get that baby fix.
9. Visit Old Friends
Head out to lunch or coffee with a friend you haven't seen in a while. Catch up on each other's lives and make a plan to get together much more often.
10. Do a Deep Clean
You've done the basic cleaning, but how about going deeper? Spread out some big projects over the course of a month such as cleaning out one closet a day, or cleaning out dressers or the garage.
11. Find a Job
Need to make some extra cash? Consider finding a flexible job that allows you to still be home for your children and available if they are sick. A great place to look is for jobs that are online or that you can do from home.
12. Revive a Hobby
Is there a hobby you enjoyed that has been put on the back burner because of your hectic schedule? Now is a great time to pick that up again.
13. Sell Some Stuff
Remember those closets you cleaned out? Sell items you no longer use on Craigslist, eBay, or your local Facebook resale group page.
14. Write Out Birthday Cards
By a box of birthday cards and fill them out for everyone that you usually send them to throughout the year. Write the date that the card needs to be in the mail on the back of the envelope and you'll never be late for a birthday again.
15. Make Your Christmas List
The kids aren't home, so get going on that Christmas shopping list. Set a budget and find the items that allow you to stick to that budget. If you can find good deals now, go for it! You'll be happy to cross this major to-do item off of your list.