23 Relaxing Ways to Enjoy Your Kid's First Day at School


Hear that sound, moms and dads? It's the silence you've been craving — oh, I don't know — since about 72 hours into your kids' summer vacation. What to do, what to do? You probably already have your time-to-relax schedule all planned out for the first day back to school, but if you've been slacking in that regard, here are a few ideas to make the most of your well-deserved downtime.

1. Hit the Beach (If You're Near One)

I live on the Jersey Shore and the days to enjoy an afternoon on the beach are dwindling. If you're in a beach town (or near one), get out there and enjoy the sand and surf before the chilly weather starts to roll in.

2. Take Yourself Out to Lunch

Like an adult lunch. No grilled sandwiches or ramen or Tyson chicken whatever — you know, the stuff the kids ate all summer and you nibbled on because you didn't feel like making a separate meal. Put your good pants on and have a proper lunch containing real food.

3. Go Back-to-School Shopping for Yourself

Don't you think it's just a bit unfair that you spend all that money on back-to-school clothing and accessories for the kids — because they haaaaave to have it! — and you walk away with nothing? Nope, not on my watch. Head to your favorite store and pick up something new. If you need justification for your purchase — besides the fact that you've kept the little beggars alive and well for this long — think of it as something you need for an upcoming PTA meeting, parents' night, or (most likely) a cocktail party.

4. Finish an Open Project

Everybody has something around the house that they meant to finish, but got sidetracked and forgot about. Get after it!

5. Meet Your Friends for Coffee (Or an Adult Bev!)

I mean, sure, if coffee's your thing, that's what you should order. But if you're trying to celebrate your nine-to-three freedom properly, you better make it Irish. And so you're not sipping alone, invite along a few friends.

6. Go to the Cinema and Catch a Movie

You've undoubtedly been to the movies this summer, but it was probably to see a flick about little talking Twinkies, superheroes, or dinosaurs. If there's a more — ahem — grown-up movie you've been meaning to watch, today's your day.

7. Crack Open That Book You've Been Meaning to Read (Finally!)

You brought that book everywhere you went this summer with every intention of reading it and then starting its sequel. But you never go to it because somebody was always screaming your name for mostly unimportant things that they could do themselves. Sound familiar? Now's your chance to get lost in literature — at least until mid-afternoon.

8. Relax on the Couch and Catch Up on Your DVR

Heck, even without kids, watching a ton of TV isn't something many of us do in the summer. So I know all you parents out there haven't had time to catch up on your DVR since about the third week of June. Find out what's up with your favorite characters and make some room for the new fall schedule.

9. Bake — Then Indulge

I like to bake because the end result is so delicious. If I'm baking for one to soothe my sweet tooth, I usually pick up prepared cookie dough, pop it in the oven, and stuff my face with the whole lot of the ooey-gooey confections. Along with a tall glass of ice-cold milk. And absolutely no shame. NO SHAME!

10. Get Intimate if You're Both Home

You don't need instructions for this. It's how you got into this situation in the first place. But it's still nice to have some alone time without somebody barging in.

11. Nap!


12. Work Around the Yard

For some people, gardening is a great way to relax and think and let their mind wander. If you keep a garden, harvest some of the produce, or, since fall is just around the corner, tidy up your space a bit so raking and bagging isn't such a daunting task in a few weeks.

13. Go for a Walk

To wherever you want — around the neighborhood, downtown, to the park. Just get movin'.

14. Participate in a Class at the Gym

I love my gym classes. I never consider them a chore because they're totally fun. If you haven't checked in to any of the classes your gym offers, do it now. You could find yourself a new hobby.

15. Treat Yourself to a Salon or Spa Service

Get your hair or nails done. Schedule a massage. Kick back in the steam room and sauna. Let your cares drift away until you have to snap back to reality.

16. Hang Out at Your Local Library or Coffee Shop

I find both of these places equally relaxing. I usually take a few of my neglected magazines and sink into one of the comfy chairs for a few hours while I unwind.

17. Mediate/Do Nothing at All

I don't really know how to meditate — I mean, besides sitting with my legs crossed and chanting 'Om' (which doesn't appeal to me). However, as a former college student, I know how to do nothing at all quite well. I consider myself an English major with a concentration in Sitting and Staring at the Sky, as it were. Nonetheless, either of these activities could work for you, and I'll only look at you strangely for one of them.

18. Practice Your Yoga Skills

There are plenty of online yoga resources that you can watch so you don't even have to leave your house. Or you can find a class in your area (perhaps even at your gym for free) if you need a change of scenery. (See also: Where to Find Free or Cheap Yoga Classes)

19. Take the Dog to the Park

You know who's just as happy that your kids are back in school? The dog. He can finally get back to his eat-sleep-sleep-eat schedule without as many interruptions. But that doesn't mean he wouldn't like a leisurely afternoon with his buddies first. Plan a date to the dog park to exercise your favorite friend while enjoying the pleasant weather and other pooches.

20. Pack a Picnic and Find a Nice Space Outside

There's no rule that picnics can't be by yourself. In fact, some of the best picnics I've attended have only had one guest — me! Pack up some of your favorites foods, bring a blanket and some reading material, and lay back and watch the world pass you by.

21. Drift Away in a Long, Hot Bath

Candles and a glass of wine are just as appropriate for a long, hot bath at 11 a.m. as they are at 11 p.m. Plus, nobody's around to judge you. Enjoy it while you can.

22. Pump Up the Jams and Dance Around the House

This summer has produced a few hot bangers that I like to shake my thang to. Turn up your Spotify and let loose in your living room. If you've never done this before, step outside your comfort zone. You'll be glad you did.

23. Run Away and Never Look Back

Or just daydream about it. You know they wouldn't last a day without you.

How will you relax and enjoy your kids' first day back to school? Let me know in the comments below.

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