Alone Time

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I used to think I was an extrovert. Maybe I was at one time. Now, though, I have the extremely strong tendencies of an introvert. I enjoy being with people, but I prefer being at home and I crave alone time.

Solitude

Maybe it comes from being a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom and having people around me 24/7, always needing something, but I have come to revel in those rare moments alone. A couple of times a month, my husband takes the kids and meets his parents for lunch, leaving me at home alone for a couple of hours.

I love those times. They rejuvenate and recharge me.

So, when Josh decided that he wanted to go to church camp, along with Brianna, I immediately started begging asking my mom to consider taking Megan and my niece home with her for a week of cousin camp. (My sister can thank me later.)

While I knew I would miss my kids terribly – and I have – I also knew how much I would enjoy an unheard-of entire week to myself.

Then, last Friday, Brian told me that he was taking off Tuesday through Friday this week.

Oh. Um, that’s good.

I finally just told him that I didn’t want to hurt his feelings and that I did want to spend time with him, but that I’d really been looking forward to some time all alone – time to fix whatever I wanted to eat without worrying about what someone else wanted. Time to do whatever I wanted to do without worrying about what someone else wanted to do. Just some guilt-free time alone.

I’ve got a good man, y’all. He completely understood.

Tuesday, he left before I woke up and went to spend the day with his parents. I got to spend the entire day doing what I wanted to do. It was so relaxing. When Brian came home, we went to dinner together and enjoyed an evening alone.

While he was gone, he texted to ask if I’d mind if he and his dad went golfing together one day this week. They used to go a few times a month, but haven’t been in a couple of years. I didn’t mind at all.

He told me later that he was afraid I’d be upset. I was giddy with excitement over another day alone.

So, yesterday was a second relaxing day at home alone with Brian getting to do something he enjoys, followed by another wonderful evening of couple time.

I was afraid he’d be hurt thinking that I didn’t want to spend time with him. He was afraid I’d be upset about him spending another day away from home. Instead, we each recognized the other’s needs and were totally okay with that. It’s so nice to be at that place in our marriage.

What about you? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Do you crave alone time or does it make you stir-crazy?

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25 Comments

  1. I TOTALLY get this. I am an introvert, and I’ve been really pondering what that means as a homeschooling mom who rarely is alone. It’s hard! And it makes me grumpy. So I’m learning to give to myself what I need so that my family doesn’t get caught in the mess of my moods. Great post and I’m SO happy for you and your luscious alone time!!!

    1. Thank you! This time alone has been heavenly. It’s so nice to know that other people understand that need, too.

  2. While I truly enjoy being around people, like you I crave alone time as well. I too have a husband who (most of the time) “gets” that.

    I’m glad you got some good time to yourself!

    1. Thanks, Lisa. I truly needed it. I feel so refreshed so much so that it’s hard to put into words.

  3. I can relate. We are all home all of the time. My kids will all be in a camp together for five days this coming week. Even though my husband will be here (he works from home mostly) I am bubbling with excitement! I am trying not to over plan for these days, I am afraid I will blink and the precious time will be gone! I love my kids and homeschooling, but sometimes I’d like to be able to miss them a little.

    1. I love your comment, “sometimes I’d like to be able to miss them a little.” Yes! That. Enjoy your week next week!

  4. I love to be home alone. It doesn’t happen often and I cherish and look forward to it like a giddy girl going on her first date. It never fails, though, that when people find out I’ll be home alone they seem to think I need invited somewhere. I used to flounder and feel guilty while making excuses for wanting to stay home but not anymore. I need the time to rejuvenate and enjoy my home! Thanks for the post! I feel less weird now. πŸ™‚

  5. Wow, how wonderful would time alone be! I enjoy being around others, but you’re right — when you spend nearly every waking moment with little ones, it is so nice to snap up those moments of absolute silence. My husband doesn’t quite get it, but as I’ve explained it to him (imagine being in your cubicle with all of your coworkers 24 hours a day every day) , he has at least begun offering to swap cars/kids with me if we meet somewhere so I can drive home in silence, and he’s encouraged solo errands, etc. Nothing so fantastic (yet!) as whole days on my own. Enjoy your alone time!!

  6. I am a total introvert. My husband takes our son and goes out with his friends for a Father-child night every other Friday. I revel in the ability to eat a treat without having to share, read a book without being interrupted, or watch silly TV.

    I do have to get out of the house periodically, or I go stir crazy. So I’m not a hermit, but I definitely need the time to be by myself.

    1. I can so relate to your comment. If I don’t get out of the house sometimes, I go stir crazy, too. So, we’re definitely not hermits; we just need time alone occasionally — to not share our treats. πŸ˜‰

  7. Oh, I’m definitely an introvert. Just wrote a blog post a couple of weeks ago (can it really be that long ago?) about how an introvert handles all this togetherness. Short answer: Quite well, thanks, as long as I don’t spend too much time dwelling on it. Sometimes you just have to pretend to be an extrovert. It’s not hard. Just takes some getting used to. And a nice, quiet, dark closet to hide in from time to time. ;0

  8. I definitely relate to this post. What a blessing to have this time to yourself! πŸ™‚ I just posted something along a similar vein…on being an introvert and still meeting the needs of my family (a mixture of introverts and extroverts).

  9. My kids right now are 3, 4, and 5 and I’m totally an introvert. I started drooling and my brain checked out when you said “an entire week alone”. I’m not sure I was able to process anything else I was too busy fantasizing about what that would be like!

  10. I’ve moved more towards introvert. I really like alone time. I think it is why I enjoy my exercise time so much. Just me, Matthew West, and the Lake. πŸ™‚ Hubby really likes to be with me when he is off, which I really like, but I have asked him if he’d mind taking the boys down to the beach alone, or picking up milk alone. Communication is a good thing!

    I like knowing I have a large pool of friends, I just like swimming by myself too. πŸ˜‰

  11. This is hilarious! I thought I was the only one who used to be an extrovert but is now starting to exhibit introvert tendencies. πŸ™‚

    Feeling a little jealous of your week alone. Just think of all I could get done!! And still have time to read a few books besides. (sighing in blissful imaginings)

  12. I enjoy “quiet” time. Everyone can still be in the house when I’m having quiet time, BUT I can very well see the day that I jump to the “alone” time coming – and I will LOVE it. :o)

  13. There was an interesting segment on NPR yesterday aboun introvert vs extrovert. (i think it was an old segment but we live in Guam and are a bit behind on NPR segments every now and then).
    https://www.npr.org/2012/01/30/145930229/quiet-please-unleashing-the-power-of-introverts

    I have worried about my son because he is 12 and, imagine this, would rather be at home playing his games, building Legos, or reading than pretty much anything else. We were told several times, from his traditional school, that he had difficulty working in a group and would always rather just do the work himself. Of course his side of the story was that he could get the work done faster by himself because the other kids we’re talking and playing.
    It took me years to be comfortable being alone with my thoughts….He is leaps and bounds ahead of me, knowing and liking who he is enough to spend time in his own head.

  14. I so understand! I’m an introvert and have had no time with the house to myself in several years. My youngest two are going to camp for 5 days (a first) but my college son hasn’t found a job yet. Noooooool! I love him but I want the house to myself! At least for a little while πŸ™‚

  15. I am soooooooo much an introvert. It’s taken me a long time to get my family to understand that being an introvert doesn’t mean I don’t like people; it doesn’t mean I’m shy or don’t like to talk. What it does mean is that I will go insane if I have to be with people ALL THE TIME. Even the ones I love. And Lindsey is the most extroverted one in our family, which means she goes insane if she doesn’t have places to go and people to hang out with on a pretty regular basis.

    Usually, I have some time to myself before the girls are up in the mornings, and most days I’ll steal a little alone time in the garden or just sitting on the porch. So I don’t have to send them away, but sometimes I do. πŸ˜‰ Today Ken is at work & the girls are at the pool with a friend. And I am all alone for a few hours. Aaaahhhhh….

  16. I totally LOVED your blog post and all of the comments … breathing a sigh of relief that there are people who understand πŸ™‚

    Usually, several times a week after everyone goes to bed that’s my time to unwind and spend an hour writing an email, to read blogs and websites, write lengthy responses on forums etc. Or gobble up books, if the library has been kind to me (and now on DD’s iPad, free books like the ‘Anne of Green Gables’ series, yay!). Sometimes DH comes looking for me or announces the time when I finally get to bed, so I guess I’m still slightly on guard. When I’m refreshed, I go to bed and read the Bible and snuggle in. I wake up with one or two kids in my bed, so mornings are shared but sweet.

    My neglected blog is testament to the fact that I haven’t been able to stay up late much lately, as I’ve been really unwell and going to bed early. That’s like some kind of torture for me (along with the pounding head). The plus side is that I’ve had more leisure time reading the Bible, and I’ve really enjoyed that. I haven’t had the energy to go to the library alone (and DH thinks 10 mins is quite long enough), which is my other fortnightly escape. I have been left home alone for an hour or two when DH takes the kids to soccer training or his Mum’s place.

    Anyway, thanks for the topic. I think as introverts in home ed. it’s all about adjusting expectations, knowing different seasons will pass, and as you said, sometimes finding a way to communicate our needs in a loving way.

    It will be nice for you when your kids come home and tell you about their adventures!

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