You Really Need a Weekly Me Night (Here’s How to Do It)

by Lydia Johnson, M.S. (Certified Holistic Career Coach)

This Quick Tip Tuesday* is dedicated to anyone who feels like they don’t have enough time for themselves outside of their roles as parents, partners, and professionals.

If that’s you (and especially if you’re a mom), you’re not alone. This problem is a result of countless societal, cultural, and structural problems that aren’t going to be solved overnight or by this Quick Tip**… but consider this a tiny shield you have the ability to pick up to ward off at least one arrow:

Someone enjoying drawing at a coffee shop

If you follow this QTT, perhaps you, too, could be hanging out at a coffee shop drawing for fun. Photo by Rachael Gorjestani on Unsplash

Me Night

I know, I know— It sounds so simple you’re tempted to ignore me right now.

But stick with me!

Think about it:

When was the last time you had 4+ uninterrupted hours without your spouse or kid(s), and you were just… you?

What difference would it make if you could coordinate a hangout with a friend without checking 15 different schedules?

What if you knew, without a doubt, that you’d have quiet time around the corner to do whatever self-care, hobbies, exercise, or social activities you’ve been craving for weeks (years??) but never quite getting around to doing?

Here’s How Me Night Works For Anyone & Everyone:

Schedule a reoccurring, weekly time when all adults in your household can have solo me time. This can be in the evening (e.g., after work on Tuesdays) or even on the weekend (e.g., I get Saturday AMs, you get Sunday afternoons).

If you have kids and a partner:

If you have kids, a cheap option for tackling this is that one partner takes the kids while the other takes their Me Night and gets to do whatever their hearts desire. Remember, this isn’t date night, extra work night, or errands night. It’s ME night.

The other partner gets to enjoy quality one-on-one time with the kid(s)— which is often an unexpected perk of this system.

Important note: the Me Night partner also gets permission to be unavailable during that time (except for emergencies, of course, but no “where are the extra diapers and the home uniform?!” texts)***. You will not be taking your phone into yoga class, ma’am.

If you don’t have kids but are partnered:

You should still do Me Night! It’s important that you have the time and space to be a person outside of your relationship no matter what age or stage of life you’re in. Just because you found your soulmate doesn’t mean you don’t need self-care or time to pursue other adult friendships.

If you’re a single parent:

You can and should still do Me Night! If you’re a single parent, see if you can enlist the support of a babysitter, friend, or family member. If money is tight, perhaps you can swap babysitting for Me Nights with another single-parent friend.

If you are single and don’t have kids:

You know what I’m going to say… Yes, you should still do Me Night! Consider this a night to do all of those lovely Real Self-Care activities, no matter how much work or dishes have piled up.

Make it Happen IRL (AKA, here’s your Quick Tip Tuesday homework):

  • If applicable, talk with your partner about this idea and enlist their support. Remember, they benefit too because they’ll also get me time. Plus, you’ll stay a tiny bit more sane, so that’s also a win for all parties. 😅
  • Decide on a weekly “Me Night” (for all adults, if applicable). For example, mine is on Thursdays, and my husband’s is on Tuesdays. Picking a specific, recurring day is helpful so you can plan activities in advance. Feel free to reschedule/shuffle it around if something pops up, but make a rule for yourselves that Me Night can get moved but never deleted.
    • In my house, we like switching off so we don’t have to coordinate childcare. However, a valid second option is to recruit a third person to watch the kiddos so you both can have your Me Night (separately!!) on the same night.
    • If you don’t have kids living at home (or at home full time), it may be logistically easier to do Me Night (separately!!) on the same night. This is what we did before we had our kid.
  • Run through the logistics of everything that would have to happen for either of you to walk away and enjoy uninterrupted time. In other words, make sure everyone knows how to get the kids to bed, ready for school, etc., so the other partner can be unavailable during this time.
  • Make a list of 3-5 options you’d enjoy spending time on. This is important so that you don’t face analysis paralysis on the day off and end up filling that time with something that isn’t enjoyable (e.g., work!) or relaxing.
  • Go enjoy, on repeat, for weeks to come!

I’d love to hear from anyone in the comments who has a system similar to this in your family. What do you do? How does it work? What’s the impact been?

*This tip got a bit long… ops. But I promise it’ll take less time to read than all your house plants, and I have about 50, so I think that at least for me, that’s still true :). BTW, if you’d like to get tips like this every week sent directly to your inbox, sign up for the newsletter. Link in the footer!

**SERIOUSLY, this problem is a giant, multi-faceted beast. Please know that I am in NO WAY blaming you if you’re feeling constantly stressed and overwhelmed. This post is not me trying to make you feel bad for not “taking better care of yourself.” I’m not trying to victim-blame you for being stressed. I don’t think that “self-care” is the magic bullet. But I DO think that time for you to take care of yourself and tap into who you are outside of your role as partner, parent, and professional is a critical first step and that it can be difficult to figure out how to carve out time for yourself IRL. Similarly, I think it is important to equip ourselves with whatever thousand tiny tools we can to help us survive this chaos. And, from personal experience and countless of my client’s experiences, this is a d*mn good little tool to have in your toolkit.

***Tip: If it’s abnormal for you to be away from the house for a long time or to miss the bedtime routine, then this might require some setup before your first Me Night to make sure your partner can navigate the flurry of bedtime routines solo. Eve Rodsky has great advice here: if it has to happen every day, frequently, or urgently, all adults in the household should be able to tackle this task without needing the support or guidance of the other. Hopefully, this doesn’t apply to you… but if it does, this is your chance to deal your partner into the domestic & caregiving game in a new way so that you can deal yourself out more often. If you need more support on this front, let’s chat: I’m a certified Fair Play Facilitator, and I’ve got a lot of handle tools to help you navigate this mountain.

Hi, I'm Lydia Johnson, MS

Hi, I'm Lydia Johnson, MS

Holistic Career Coach & Founder of ThriveCulture Coaching

I’m a dual-certified career coach and Industrial-Organizational Psychology consultant on a mission to banish Sunday Scaries and help you reclaim your life from work stress. I specialize in helping ultra-busy people design a fulfilling and burnout-free career that leaves more space for the rest of your life. Whether you need to overhaul everything, find a new job, or make your current role work better for you, I’m here to help.

You can learn more about my holistic and evidence-based approach on my website or jump on the phone for a FREE 20-minute consult call to learn more about how career coaching can help you finally enjoy a fulfilling, burnout-free career.


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