Kids & Parenting, Self Care & Personal Development

Alone time

When I first started this blog, my best friend gave me a suggestion for a post:

‘How does it make you feel during your alone time, moments to yourself? Do you enjoy being alone? Do you feel guilty about enjoying it? Do you try to plan time to yourself? What is your dream 15 minutes alone. Being a parent but wanting time alone. How does it make you feel?’

I have been saving this for now, as I am about to have 2 WHOLE DAYS to myself.

This is weird… I am currently sitting on a train from Newcastle to London. On my own. I have left Little K and my husband with family and am heading home for a few days where I will be completely alone.

This is not something I am used to. This will be the first time I am home alone in 21 months.

I think it is expected that I will feel upset about leaving Little K; of course I will miss her, and I was fighting back a little tear as I said goodbye to her at the station but I am also looking forward to having some time to myself! I have 48 hours where I have no responsibility except for myself; even the dog is away!

I can go to bed early, I can go out in the evening, I could even work late (definitely not my top choice!)… I have complete freedom without having to check anyone else’s schedule or worrying about anything.

I’ve been on the train for 45 minutes, and I miss her already. But she’s safe, happy and having a wonderful time, so I will not dwell on this or feel guilty, or however I am ‘supposed’ to feel. I will enjoy my two days on my own, and I am sure they will be over before I know it. Unfortunately, I do have to work through them, but even that’s OK by me.

So, following on from the original questions… Do I enjoy moments to myself? Do I feel guilty about enjoying my alone time?

Do I enjoy it? YES. I think it’s healthy to have a little time to yourself. Even parents should be allowed to use the toilet in peace (sometimes!). I can see why people may feel guilty about enjoying them, but I don’t. I refuse to. I am a person in my own right and am allowed to take 5 minutes sometimes to just be me. I am allowed a social life and I am allowed my own interests. I should not feel guilty about enjoying time where I am just me. Not mummy, not wife, not friend or colleague. Just me. We all deserve that.

Of course, like most parents, I often do feel guilty for wanting just 5 minutes time out to myself. But why should we?

Just to counter this, before any comments start: I love being a mum. I love Little K to pieces, and would not change having her for the world. Often when she’s asleep in her cot, I say to my husband ‘Can she sleep in with us? I miss her!’ I actually can’t get enough of her. The main reason for needing, and wanting ‘alone time’ is so that I can be the best mum I can be for her.

What are my dream 15 minutes alone?

This is actually a tough one, 15 minutes is not really long enough to do a lot. Whenever I’m alone for a longer period, I like to sleep. I love sleep. I could nap all day if that was an option… However, in 15 minutes, you can’t get a good nap.

I think for 15 minutes it would have to be a cup of tea and a good book. Nothing soothes the soul quite like a cup of tea, and I have completely gotten out of the habit of reading recently. I used to love reading but have only read 3 in the past 8 months which is a really poor attempt. I definitely need to start reading more again. The only books I get the chance to read these days make noises and have things that move… I need a grown up book!

It’s not just the alone time that is the joy, it is the stillness and the quiet that comes with it. No matter how calm you are as a person, when there is a whirlwind of a toddler in your midst, peace is very hard to come by.

Yes. A cup of tea and a book would do me just fine.

What’s your ideal 15 minutes alone?

Let’s all book in some time in the coming week, to have that time to ourselves, and enjoy it without feeling guilty… In fact I have 2 hours left on this train journey, so I’m going to have a guilt-free nap! See you all soon!

Alone Time - Enjoying time alone as a parent without feeling guilty

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