Hallelujah! The baby is asleep; That darling girl at the end of the block is only charging you five dollars an hour; You just sent the kids off to basketball camp; Your wonderful husband has offered to watch the kids so you can have the evening off; It doesn't matter how this blessing has befallen you, but mommy is finally having alone time.

Now what?

Here are some great ways to cherish this freedom and spend your alone time wisely:

1. Read a book

If you don't feel like going out, stay in and snuggle up with a book. Put aside "Potty Training for Dummies" and read something fun for a change. This is your time. Try out some classics you have always wanted to read, or indulge yourself in a sappy romance novel.

2. Call up your girlfriends

Get together with a friend or two and have some girl time! Chat over dinner, go out to the movies or have some fun window-shopping. It might be nice to have a conversation about something other than dinosaurs and overdue bills.

3. Exercise

Feeling self conscious about your muffin top or that extra flab on your arms you swore you would never get? Use your extra time to get in a little exercise. Go running, swimming, rock climbing, etc. Hit the gym and workout with equipment. Sign up for yoga, tennis or Zumba - whatever you want to try!

This will not only help you with your goal of losing 5 pounds, but it will also help relieve stress and anxiety, fight insomnia, boost your energy and increase your confidence.

4. Ponder

Take advantage of this precious time free of screaming babies and embrace the silence. Find your own little spot and spend some time just thinking. It is important to give yourself peace and quiet in which you can ponder life. This will help you feel more in tune with yourself and help you relax.

5. Blast the music

Tired of listening to the "Frozen" soundtrack? Go ahead and blast those 80's songs all the kids hate. You are in complete control of the radio. Drive around listening to pop, country, rock, classical, oldies or whatever floats your boat. If you're really feeling dangerous, get out those mixed CD's you made in high school. You will find that the simple joy of listening to your own music can be invigorating.

6. Go outside

Spending time outdoors can be so refreshing. Find the nature trail that winds along the side of a stream you have also wanted to try out. Soak up the sunshine and listen to the soothing sound of water running over the rocks. If you don't have easy access to a forest stream, take a few turns around the neighborhood. Anything is better than feeling cooped up inside all day. Go out and breathe some fresh air.

7. Be creative

Alone time is the perfect time to resurrect and/or develop hobbies. If your passion is painting, get out the canvas and brush. Remember, you don't have to worry about the toddler staining everything in sight. You are alone!

So start that baby scrapbook you have been meaning to put together for the past nine years. Try a new sport such as tennis or horseback riding. Take up gardening, drawing, sewing, etc. You can even learn a new instrument.

Whatever you choose to do, do it well. Mommy alone time doesn't come around very often, so when it does, cherish it. Take some time away from sticky fingers and marker-smeared walls to regain your sanity. Have fun, relax and forget about those piling dishes for an hour or two.

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