Oh, what a time to be alone or at least that’s what all the cool kids are saying. I personally don’t have a lot of opportunity to have time alone being a wife, mother of three and full time employee. That’s not to say that I don’t get me time but it’s usually really late at night after the hubby has gone to bed. Or for a few minutes between when I get up and the children getting up. But I understand the importance of being alone, the benefits, the pros. The importance of the peace and quiet. Sometimes we just need to be by ourselves.
My husband had some time off with the kids over half term and decided to take them on a little tour of various family members across the country. This sounded great, in theory, because it would mean that I could be at home alone. Not just for an afternoon while he’s shopping, or overnight at a sleepover but gone for a substantial amount of time.
Five whole days to be exact.
Now I may not have gotten up to the high jinks that Kevin McCallister did when I had the whole house to myself but it was definitely an interesting experience.
I will admit it got off to a rocky start as the door closed on the first day and they left the driveway, I burst into tears. Uncontrollable, throat filling, body shaking tears. I’ve been away from my kids…with my husband. I’ve been away from my husband..with my kids. And I’ve been away from both for a few days but never at home. Home is where the the mess is, the noise, the comfort, my safe place.
It was a weird feeling being in the house. I live in a good size house, it doesn’t feel that way when we’re all here with the mess around. But it’s almost like I could hear echoes. The phrase “the silence is deafening” has never been truer. And after I got my s**t back together, I sat in front of the TV eating Coco Pops in my PJs. Because I had nowhere to go, no one to account for and simply watch the RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4 finale (which disappointed – #TeamSponge4Life).
But it was the little things that made the difference. That little bit of freedom that I forget I need every now and again. It’s not even stuff like, being able to go out clubbin’ but to shower without taking the baby monitor in with me to the bathroom. However, the ultimate goal of this time away from my fam was to make time for myself but also to get things done without the distraction of family life (sounds awful doesn’t it). It’s so easy to make excuses when you have children under foot when it comes to doing things. It’s not even really an excuse, raising children is tiring. I had to figure out how to balance doing absolutely nothing with getting s**t done.
And s**t got done. The piles of children’s toys in literally every area of the house was getting out of hand. It’s been stressing me out for over a year and in that time it has only gotten worse. And I finally tackled it head on, 12 bin bags later and I don’t think the kids will miss a single toy that I packed away to be charity shopped, sold or, last resort, binned.
I was able to do some late night hoovering. Okay, it was only 7pm but that’s later than I can get it done with kiddies around. Bedtime is 6.45pm-ish and not only do I have to worry about mine, there are the neighbours kids to consider too. I was able to do simple things and get up for work and just go, no messing about, zero stress, I literally rolled out of bed into the shower, stumbled into my clothes and drove down the road into work. It was like the good old (old) days.
My house looked great but it wasn’t all good. I hate sleeping alone. I guess too many years of watching Criminal Minds had me worrying about a boogeyman under the bed. As you can see by reading this, all is well. By the second night I was able to sleep easier, partly because I was so shattered from being home sorter-outer extraordinaire. Exhaustion really stops you from thinking about anything else. I slept like a baby which was a lot easier when you don’t have little people waking up in the night to tell you that they love you (which is cute) or tell you that last week they fell over and ALMOST hurt themselves (not so cute and completely pointless).
So the house stuff got done. On the self care front, I was able to binge watch my favourite shows all day (while doing my chores) even if there was adult content – a little bit of Suits, How To Get Away With Murder, Real Housewives of Potomac (it’s messy and I love it, don’t judge me) and Star Trek Discovery (series 2 is amazing so far).
Also, I got to still see my brood almost everyday, the power of technology has never felt more amazing. I don’t do video calls, but now I am converted, specifically for the purposes of seeing my people when I’m/ they’re away. I still got to kiss them goodnight, every night. Thank you clever techie people.
I loved the experience. I loved the “me time.” But 5 whole days without my husband and kids was hard. If I’d been on holiday, I would have had a lot more to distract me than the mundanity of housework. But it was nice sitting by myself in the quiet. It was nice throwing myself into projects I’ve put off for one reason or another. The clutter that has been getting me down, like truly down, is going. The huge pile of laundry that I felt I could never get on top of has been smashed. I feel like a weight has been lifted.
Although everything, and I mean everything, was easier without the kids – I desperately wanted and needed them all back. I desperately wanted them back to annoy me, to shout out, to hear their noise, their silly little jokes, to teach them stuff, for cuddles and kisses and just to love them. I’m not going to say “me time” is overrated but I don’t need this much time alone. I think a couple of days 3-4 times a year will do me just fine. I just need to get the hubby on board!
Let’s keep growing together!
xx Lee xx
How do you spend time alone? Do you feel you need me-time?