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20 Productive Activities To Do When Kids Are Away With Dad

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If you are a single mom who has to co-parent with your ex, then you have to spend some time away from your child/children while they are with the other parent. During their time away, you may be busy working or you may be looking for more activities to do when kids are away.

Now, your kids may be away for an hour, hours, or months depending on your arrangement but this list will give you some ideas of activities to do that will keep you busy and productive.

I used to be so devastated when my children were away from me. I didn’t know how I could function without them because I always wanted to be with them 24/7. However, once I learned to let go of that control, I realized that I could really enjoy my time alone and could get a lot done.

Isn’t it funny that when the kids are around, you want help but when you have help and they are away, you want them back? Lol, motherhood! So here are a few ideas of activities you can do when the kids are away.

20 Activities To Do When Kids Are Away

1. Clean and Organize Your Space. It’s crazy that I added this at the top of this list. However, I can never clean when my kids are around so I always wait until they go to sleep to clean. But this doesn’t allow me to clean thoroughly because I want to sleep as well. So when my kids are away, it gives me the chance to do a thorough cleaning in my home. This is also the time when I organize certain areas and declutter.

2. Workout More. Go to the gym or go for a walk in the park. Take the time to work out your body and rejuvenate so that you are ready when your kids come back.

3. Self-Care and Pamper Day. Take a longer bath; do your skincare routines without rushing; read a book; dance your heart out; get a mani/pedi…All of these and more are self care activities you can do while you’re kid-free.

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For a longer list of self-care activities, read this post.

4. Side Hustle. Side hustles are a great way to earn extra income so when the kids are gone, look for different gigs you can do that will help you make extra money.

5. Grocery Shop and Meal Prep. Now that you have no interruptions, you can go to the grocery store without worrying about the kids screaming at you. This is also a good time to meal prep so that you have meals ready for the week.

I usually meal prep and do my grocery shopping on Sundays when my kids are with their dad, this allows me to get ready for the week ahead without any interruptions.

6. Go out/ Have a girls night out. When was the last time you went out just by yourself? I can’t remember the last time I went to a restaurant by myself (something I used to enjoy doing before) or just to watch a movie. So when the kids are away, I make time for these things because they make me feel good again.

7. Spend Time With God. Have you been looking for some quiet time to be with God. You can make time in the morning before the kids wake up or once they go to sleep. You can also do this while they are away. That way, you don’t have a limit on how much time you can spend with God because you aren’t rushing to take care of the kids.

8. Try Something New. What have you always wanted to do when you have more time? Take a cooking class? Go hiking? Whatever it is, make time to do it.

9. Volunteer. Do you have a favorite charity or organization you would like to be more involved in? Well that’s something you can do now that the kids are away. If you don’t already and are looking for one, is a great place to look for organizations to be apart of.

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10. Reconnect with friends. This is a good time to reconnect with some friends you haven’t seen in a while because you’ve been busy being a mom. So pick up the phone and call up a few friends, at least this time you won’t be interrupted, haha!

11. Have some friends over. If you are anything like me, you hate having a quiet home so instead of binging Netflix, host a get-together at your place.

12. Read. Do you always feel like you don’t have enough time to read when the kids are around? Then this is the time to pick up your favorite book and read it. Better yet, go to the library or Barnes ‘n’ Nobles and read there!

13. Get more organized. Take the time to organize your schedule or organize your week. This is a good time to work on your budget as well and make sure you are set for the month or week.

14. Work on an overdue project. Whether it’s a project at home that you have been neglecting or a new project that you have wanted to start, take the time to work on it now.

15. Go on a mini-vacation. Depending on how long your kids are away from you, you can plan a mini-vacation. This could be a vacation to an area in your city or state you’ve been wanting to visit or to another state. You could also do a stay-in vacation where you plan a stay at a hotel you’ve been wanting to stay in.

16. Pick up more hours at work. Not fun but beneficial.

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17. Learn something new. Whether it’s a new language or a new skill, sign up for some courses that you can take when you are free.

18. Sleep in. And then sleep some more.

19. Start a new hobby. What are some of the things you enjoy doing that you wish you could do more of? Whether it’s crafting, scrapbooking, couponing, or painting, you can do more of those activities when your kids are away.

20. Plan activities to do when the kids return. Look for fun activities you can do with your kids when they come back home. This is great time to come up with DIY activities if you have young kids.


This list is not exclusive. There are a lot of activities you can do that will help you keep busy when your kids are away. You may not be able to do all of these things when your kids are away but you can pick a few that are important to you that you can focus on.

What is your list of activities to do when your kids are away? Let me know in the comments.

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