Moment 2 Moment Masterpiece Parenting Blog

5 Quick “Self-Care” Activities for The Busy Dad!

by: Dan Thorndike

In our last post “5 quick “Spa” moments for the busy mama that will leave you refreshed,” my wife shared her top 5 go-to activities she likes to do when she needs a little something to combat daily stress. This week I thought I would share My top 5 activities I choose to do to feel a little more relaxed. We will call them “Dude care!”

Although my wife and I experience stress differently, as a father of 5 children, I still do experience the stresses associated with day-to-day parenting, as well as the added exhaustion of parenting 3 special needs kiddos. At the end of the day, I cannot wait to sit down and do nothing. Unfortunately that is rarely a possibility. After the kids are in bed, the work begins. Packing school lunches, cleaning the kitchen, paperwork, and straightening the house (so the kids can mess it up the next day) are all on our nightly list. By the time these are done, we usually fall into bed. On rare occasions, when I do get a chunk of time just for me, I usually choose 1 of these 5 things.


  • Going to a movie by myself.

This is probably my most used activity. I almost always choose to go alone. I also pick a late-night movie so I can still spend time with the kids before they go to bed. I can just sit wherever I want and concentrate on the movie while not having to worry about someone else enjoying it. (Or having them talk to you during the most inopportune time)

Man at Movie Alone body


  • Going to a Pool Hall and shooting around.

This is something I can enjoy by myself or with a friend.  Sometimes I even invite a stranger to play if I see them playing alone.

pool playing body


  • Playing a competitive sport. (Basketball, Pickleball, Tennis, Etc…)

I love a little friendly competition. These sports are ones that can be played with as little as 2 people, and it is usually not hard to find at least 1 person who has a little time to join me. I have been known to stop at random outdoor courts here in Arizona. I keep a ball in my car.

mens basketball body


  • A full-service barber shop.

I love to go to a barber shop where they put the hot towel on, give a great haircut, trim my beard and/or shave my face clean!  Some of them give the best scalp massage! I usually leave feeling refreshed.

men selfcare haircut body


  • Grab a cup of coffee, or your drink of choice, and a book and find your favorite place to sit.

Read, or don’t read… Listen to music, or enjoy the silence while sipping on your favorite drink. I love to sit on our front porch (not always far enough away) or take a short hike on a local mountain trail and find a place just to sit and think. I often pray about the day and the future as well as remember the blessings from the past… while sipping on a very hot cup of black coffee, of course!

Man Drinking Coffee body


Not all of these are always possible, so I choose the one that works best for the time that I have available. I hope you all know and realize how important self-care is. It is our oxygen mask for parenting peacefully, so I encourage you to find time at least once a week to fill your self-care cup. You matter too!

about us

Meet the Thorndikes - Moment to Moment Family

Hi there! We are the crazy cool parents to 5 amazing and crazy cool kiddos. But, first, we are Dan and Elizabeth Thorndike – married 15 years and living this life one moment at a time. We have a full and blessed life, but we are clumsily tackling a journey we never foresaw ourselves living.

Read our story of how this journey all started in our blog post titled:
“The Beginning. Our Special Needs Journey”


Dan Thorndike

I am an engineer at heart. My passion is fixing cars and knowing how things work. I owned and operated an automotive repair shop for years but sold it to spend more time with what matters most – my family.



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