Introverted musings

Are there mothers in the world who do not crave time alone? Are there mothers who take their children everywhere they go because they want to be with their kids all the time? Are there mothers who do not dream about having an empty nest?

When I think about these sorts of mothers, I judge myself harshly because I am all about hopping in the car and driving away without looking back. I would no sooner take my children with me to the grocery store than I would wear my pajamas pants to Target.

Am I alone? Or should I nurture these feelings of shame?

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Introverted musings

35 thoughts on “Introverted musings

  1. you’re not alone. I have four (9,7,5, and 2) and I DO look forward to the night I shop alone (groceries and dry goods, 3 stores, usually, with a drink/snack in between). But it recharges me for the week in between. makes me value the children that God has given me to direct, and that drive to and from gives me a chance to talk to Him about the problems we’ve had. I enjoy it. I relish it.

    Don’t feel ashamed.

    Hugs,
    beck

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  2. Oh I crave alone time and I would love to go to the grocery store alone, but with a husband who works two full time jobs, seven days a week, I do have to take my children everywhere. Sometimes I feel like those dog walkers you see in NYC with 7 dogs all pulling in a different directions. Perhaps I should get leashes for the children. I couldn’t get any wierder looks than I do now when my daughter starts to “get down” to the elevator music they play at the grocery store.

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  3. Michelle says:

    I love my children dearly but it seems I never have enough time without someone chattering at me. I worry that once my girls become teenagers I’ll be sad because they won’t talk to me.

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  4. My kids go with me most places. Although they are finally old enough to leave them at home alone while I run to the grocery store (never for a huge trip, but just to pick up several things—an hour away, tops)
    When I do get *alone* time, I’m always just wishing my family was with me. I see things they’d like or miss them in some way that I end up going home early. *gasp*

    I don’t judge those who get away more often and who love it. We’re all wired differently!

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  5. We’re all unique, and understanding different personality preferences is supposed to help us honour them in ourselves and each other, not produce shame! I’m an Introvert who loved being with my children in theory, but in practise found it often overwhelming.

    I have to have at least a couple of hours alone-time each day but when my children were small, I didn’t ever want to go out or away without them. So I just got up early (being an early bird) and grabbed what moments I could during the day. When we started educating our sons at home, the problem was solved – they could sleep till 9am or even later, I would get up at 6am or so, and I’d have THREE hours to myself before the day even started. And because I no longer had to worry about homework/lunch money/PE clothes/taking and fetching/getting them up early, life was much more stress-free in general. I hate hassling people.

    I dreaded the empty nest. My whole life seems to have revolved around my sons, and when my eldest left home I was heartbroken… but a year later I’m coping, and looking ahead to the future while appreciating the son who’s still here all the more.

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  6. Now that I have a 14 year old girl who babysits, hubby and I go on more dates. (It’s LOVELY to have a built in babysitter!)

    I was never the deeply attached to infants and toddlers mommy. I lamented when I saw other mommies do that so well. Problem for me was I wasn’t parented normally (lots of emotional detachment and abandonmment) so I blamed myself terribly when I wanted a break and worried I was propagating what I didn’t want.

    But here’s the funny thing. I love being a mommy to a teen. I think I am MADE to mommy teens. I love this age. Where the other mommies may struggle, I’m doing pretty well. (Not to compare, but just to show we all parent differently and our strengths may come out at different times).

    So, rest. Relax. Know Jesus loves you. Ask Him to provide well-needed breaks. Trust Him. And realize things will change.

    BTW: Would you like an ARC of Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture to review?

    Mary E. DeMuth
    http://www.relevantprose.com

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  7. Oh, no, don’t beat yourself up! I craved time alone before I was married and a mom (growing up in a tiny house with three siblings will sometimes do that to you). I’m no different now. In fact, I look forward every year to the trip my husband and daughter take for a week to South Carolina, and leave me ALONE!

    I do feel a bit guilty, though, because I work full time and it seems like every spare moment I have should be spent with her. I think I need to try to find a balance!

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  8. Do Not Feel Guilty! Ever! I have 3 children who are 25, 22, and 19 now. I feel like I was a much better mother because I did get away and have time by myself. And my wanting to be by myself had nothing to do with the way I felt about them. I will tell you that even though it feels like they will be hanging on to you forever, they will not. At least not how they do when they are younger. Older, out of the house children hang on to you in different ways and that is a whole different post. This year my husband and I got to experience the empty nest. And let me tell you, it is highly under-rated! It was great!

    Don’t feel guilty!

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  9. the closer I get to having them all out – the more excited (and guilty) I feel. I have 4 – oldest is married and has been on his own since about age 20, 2nd has been out for about 3 years – 3rd is still here (but has her foot on a banana peel, as my hubby would say) and #4 will be starting high school. I can almost taste it – then again, maybe I will hate it…..

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  10. I think there are both kinds of mothers, and admire the ones who just love to be with their kids all the time, but I am NOT one of them. I do love to be with them, just not all of the time. I think it may be just personality thing, really. I do feel guilty sometimes, but mostly I enjoy my Mommy Time.

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  11. Kathy says:

    I don’t have empty-nest syndrome, I have empty-the-nest syndrome…the time came for the oldest 4 baby birds to fly, and pretty soon #5 is following them. It’s a lot of fun to be a couple with my husband again.

    My daughter-in-law has 2 sets of twins, 5,5,3,3 … and never wants to be alone. She grieves because the oldest 2 will be in school full-time in Sep. and the little ones are asking to “go to school” (preschool) with their cousins. She wants her babies with her all the time and she wants them to stay babies.

    I, on the other hand, was a stepmother to 2 sets of twins (runs in the family!) and a mother to one. I needed both alone time and time with other adults. I took a lot of flak from my church for working, for lunching on Saturdays, and for not keeping family time at night “sacred” and actually going to movies, book clubs, etc.

    I think a woman is a better mother when she follows her own personality and emotional needs. So, carve out that alone time, shrug off the shame, and enjoy your introspection. Life’s too short to compare yourself to others on the Mommy Scale.

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  12. If I had been with my children 24/7 I’m not sure I would still be sane. Of course, that’s assuming that I am sane, which I doubt sometimes. But I digress. Moms need their own space sometimes. It’s their recharging time. It gives you a reason to want to be with your children. because you miss them, not because you HAVE to be there every second of every day. I was a single parent for quite some time and I know that without my younger sister to babysit for me and give me some alone time I would have gotten a one-way ticket on the next bus to looney town. But now that my kids are grown, I love to spend time with them. We have so much for fun as adults. I agree with whoever said, it depends on the person and we all have our own style.

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  13. LisaLouise says:

    I am all for involved togetherness…and I love being with my husband and kids. But, I think all human relationships work best when they “breathe”. Coming together, moving apart…in regular intervals.

    The times I have felt like “hopping in the car and driving away” usually indicates that I have folded one too many socks and that I have not paid attention to my need for personal time.

    Even Jesus had to get away sometimes…!

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  14. Guilt eats at me when I am out kid-free. It doesn’t happen much, but it bothers me. But then my husband always makes a huge show when I get home of how horrible it was to babysit. Why is it that when we are with the kids, it’s just life. When Dad watches them, it’s babysitting.

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  15. I like mine with me all the time (she even naps in the same room that I work-from-home in!), but she’s only 8 months… I’m aware that my perspective may change should I have TWINS and a few more years/kids 😉

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  16. For years I took my kids with me everywhere, but yes I did need time alone. How else can one gather her thoughts? I am loving being able to get in my 2 seater-convertible and go off driving all by my lonesome! (Yes, I got a 2 seater car after 22 years of driving the largest vehicle possible to cram all the kids into it.)

    But I’ve never looked forward to an empty nest, have never dreamed about it-but my husband sure has. I think my dream has to always have a houseful. I’ll let you know what it is like when it finally happens. I’m more afraid of that than anything.

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  17. I am a mother who needed alone time. A lot of it.

    There are many things that I wish I had done differently, but having ‘alone time’ is not one of them.

    Over used sayings are sometimes the truest.

    “Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”

    Now my nest is empty. I get all the alone time I need. It’s simply W O N D E R F U L.

    Having adult children…there’s nothing like it!

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  18. charruff says:

    I crave alone time. Crave it. And God continues to work with me on not scratching my way to get it. I prefer it, honestly when i’m living in a selfish mode. Get me alone please. But, often it can become an insatiable need that i feel is a right. And that’s usually when God has to hit me over the head. Glad to hear i’m not alone.

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  19. Judy and I are kindred spirits in so many ways, this way included. I’m an almost-empty-nester…an adult daughter who moved back in but her hours are so different from ours we’re like ships passing in the nite. I have a very busy life, baby sit my grandson full time…and I STILL crave and love every spare moment of time to myself I can find!!!! We may be “mommies” but, by george, we’re human beings FIRST. Just because we have a baby or two or ten doesn’t diminish who WE are…the essential person. Why oh why do we women tend to forget that and lose ourselves in the mothering?!?

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  20. You are not alone, oh no. I also feel like I should be feeling differently, but I have to admit I am very much looking forward to the empty nest thing. I’m sure when push comes to shove and they really are walking out the door I’ll feel some emotion, nostalgia, whatever. But as long as they are pursuing their God-given roles in life I am a happy mama. The time is very rapidly approaching that I will be saying goodbye to my oldest, and maybe her younger sister at the same time. (Like within the next six months at most.) They will be 22 and 19, and it will be time. Anyway, the goodbye isn’t permanent…it’s more like see you later. I dream of what I’d do with their rooms if I could take them over now! 🙂 Yes, the shame of it! But I still have a life too, a marriage, and things to do! I love my children, but my life does not, and has never, revolved solely around them.

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  21. No, not alone. (In fact, my son is parked in front of tv right now so that I can spend time reading blogs.)

    As for the first commenter, I’ll be almost 60 when my son enters college…

    And I found that one needs time alone to do things like writing. Or thinking. So if one is a person who craves these things one has to have time alone. Otherwise one feels very cranky. And that’d be no good.

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  22. I too will be a few months from 60 when my son enters college. I love to have my kids with me but I have to say that I get away at least once a week for an evening out with friends. It’s usually after the kids are in bed but it really helps to deal with 24/7 pressure of being a mom and homeschooler.

    On the other hand my husband asked me yesterday if I’d be interested in taking a trip to Europe next summer. The first words out of my mouth were, “Not without the kids.” I cant imagine havaing fun on vacation without my kids. And I dread the empty nest. Simply dread it!

    But even then as much as I love my kids around I think that it’s wise for moms everywhere to have some alone time built into their week.

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  23. I need some time alone for sure, it helps me recharge my batteries.

    Just spent a weekend alone, with good friends and good go, and I am sure it makes me a better mother when I came back. And if not, I still need it :p

    Karen

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  24. Gosh, a trip to the grocer is about the only alone (non-working) time I get. Don’t take that away from me!!!! It’s required for my sanity!

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  25. julie says:

    I am one who does not want to be w/o her kids- ever. Excpet maybe when they are in a different part of the house, so that DH and i can chat for a few minutes. Even though they are 13, 12, 10 and 8, I still want to be with them all the time (and we are TTC again so will have more kiddos) and on the few times a year hubby and I go out to dinner without them, we talk about them! I am blessed that DH feels the same as I do. For moms that need personal time, go for it! And don’t feel guilty! I sometimes wish, as a homeschooler, I had a few hours a week to myself, but when I do get time to myself, I hate it and miss them! And BTW, I am a mom who has gone to Target in her PJ pants 🙂

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  26. Kelly Patton says:

    No, you are not the only mother who craves alone time.My girls are 19 & 23 and I am counting the time till my empty nest. Mind you, I love my girls to pieces and would protect them like a lioness protects her cubs. But I would love to find my house in the same condition in the morning that it was when I went to bed or being able to use “their bathroom” and not be grossed out!

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  27. With my oldest close to leaving home, I ache over how quickly the time has gone … BUT I don’t regret for a minute taking care of myself, getting time alone, and TRYING to BE (notice I didn’t say remain) a sane person!

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