The secret to getting enough alone time…

The secret to getting enough alone time... by Keri Kettle

Most women need some time alone.  Some of us (like me) need a LOT of time alone.  I’m not an introvert but I definitely need quiet time, completely by myself, in order to avoid being cranky and pissy.

The thing is that it is a very rare day that your partner or your kids say to you, “Hey, I know how much you love to have time alone.  How about we all clear out for the next 6 hours and let you watch HGTV in your pajamas?  Here’s a box of Girl Scout Cookies to keep you company.”

Just the thought of having time alone at home makes my heart go pitter pat.

It’s not that I don’t love my husband, I love alone time with him, too.

It’s not that I don’t love my kids.  As teens, they are quite hilarious and fun to watch these days.

It’s just that there are times when I could really use uninterrupted time with House Hunters International and some dark chocolate.  And a little red wine.

That kind of magical evening doesn’t happen very often, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t take 5 or 10 minutes and create some alone time for myself.  I just have to get creative about it.

Mama, if you need alone time, you have to be committed to making it happen. 

Give yourself 15 minutes in between when everyone leaves the house and you have to leave to work or run errands.

Find someone to watch the kids while you go to Target (even if you have to trade babysitting with another parent) and lollygag in the scarf aisle.

Give yourself permission to spend 5 extra minutes in the bathroom just hearing your own thoughts.

Use the time when your kids are sleeping, at school or at practice to take some time for yourself to read a whole chapter of book without anyone asking you to make them a snack or find their socks.

You’ll need to get really good at saying no.

No, I can’t help you with the class scrap-booking project.

No, I don’t want to be Team Mom (again).

No, I am not going stay up and make sure your gym clothes get washed that you forgot to tell me about until 9pm.

Of course, you will say yes to these things sometimes.  You will want to say yes sometimes. But you have to say no enough of the time that you aren’t feeling resentful and overwhelmed.

You have to say yes to enough alone time that you can pick up the socks, supervise homework and clean out the litter box without fantasizing about running off to South America so no one can ever find you again to ask you where they left their library book.

The secret to getting enough alone time is making the choice to give yourself permission to take the time.

It doesn’t have to be a spa day.  It doesn’t have to be a girls’ night.  It doesn’t have to mean kicking your family out of the house.

Sometimes, all it requires is you making the decision that your happiness matters enough to everyone that you can say no every once in a while and the world won’t end.

Try it, let me know what happens.

Please share your thoughts.

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