• Get a babysitter and go to a movie.
• Treat yourself and get a manicure or massage.
• Have a date night and do something fun with your spouse -- roller skating or miniature golf.
• Plan an evening out to celebrate something or just to reaffirm your relationship.
My husband and I have had a regular date night for almost nine years. During the day, I stay at home with my kids and I would be lying if I said I didn't need a break ... regularly. If you are a single parent, you really, really need a break. Use coupons or passes, or don't. Either way, I tell people that it's cheaper than therapy.
Your time away buys you mental health and emotional well-being, so you can come back to your family clear and fresh -- happy to be there and ready to face that fourth-grade mission project or to bake three dozen cupcakes that look like baseballs for the team party. We need to pace ourselves, 'cause we're in for the long haul....
So what are you waiting for? Get out, already!
A former state deputy attorney general and current stay-at-home mom, Recession Mama Michele Ashamalla has three kids and ten years of experience stretching one salary to cover the necessities and more. She's all about saving money whenever you can, so you have it to spend on whatever you want!