Parents, How Much Free Time Do You Have?

Filed under: In The News, Just for You

free time

"Oh, Carol, I just love my 90 minutes to myself!" Credit: Getty Images

If there's one thing all parents can agree on, it's that we don't get a lot of time to ourselves. But how much time do you actually have?

Lisa Belkin of The New York Times writes about a study of 3,000 parents in Britain that found "after everything else was subtracted, working parents have 90 minutes a day 'to themselves.' "

At first I thought, "Wow, 90 minutes. That would be great." Then again, maybe it's all in how you define "free time." In my case, I spend my day either working, doing various kid-related tasks -- scheduling, picking up a kid, scheduling someone to pick up a kid while I pick up the other kid -- or cleaning up. What I've discovered only recently is that it helps to force myself to take a few minutes every now and then to stop "doing stuff", perhaps have a cup of coffee and allow myself the time to do something crazy -- like actually finish reading an entire magazine article. I'm still not certain I get to 90 minutes every day, but even 10 or 15 minutes in a row is a big help.

I'm not sure how my time breaks down, so an exact number of minutes of free time would be difficult to calculate. But give us an estimate, fellow parents. How much free time do you think you have every day?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.