The Importance of Alone Time

When I was a single mom, I found that alone time was necessary for me and I took every opportunity to have it. I often stayed up late in an effort to get some time to myself and became quite good at studying scripture, taking notes on what I was reading, writing in my journal and embracing my "not so well known" pastime of singing.  I almost had it down to a science. Come home from work, take care of the needs of my son and spend time with him. After he went down to bed, the world was mine.  It didn't bother anyone if I stayed up late and I was able to choose what I did and when and I answered to no one. I was alone in my thoughts and this created the ability for me to know myself and understand who I was beyond the role of mother.

Meeting my now husband, and embracing a new role as wife has proved challenging in the area of "alone time". Now when my son is in bed, I'm not alone. I have someone who is tired from the day as well and staying up late just isn't an option unless we are both feeling up to it. Coming home from work to both of my guys is different than picking up my son and heading home together. There wasn't time to detox before, except after my day. My body didn't need it until after my day was over which meant later at night. Now my "after" moment is when I walk in the door from work. My busy day is over because everything is taken care of. My body now needs the "me time" when I walk in the door and not later.

I struggled with guilt a lot in these first few months of marriage because I simply pushed aside the need to have my own time. I enjoyed having a husband to come home to and a son who was able to come home right after school, get his homework done and be in a place of rest upon my arrival. I wanted to embrace that immediately and so I did.  I then put my son to bed and spent the rest of the evening with my husband. I neglected to journal, sing, and most of all read scripture and study. I realized that I truly was never alone. Not even just in the house alone.  Literally I had someone listening or watching me 24/7. This felt quite suffocating.

Instead of addressing the suffocation I was beginning to feel, I did the typical "me" thing and I let it fester until one night I blew.  I wasn't a very happy person to be around and I found myself blaming my husband and son. It truly wasn't their fault. It was mine. I knew that the walls were closing in and I said nothing. They were just trying to spend time with me.

The reason I share this story is that I feel a lot of people who are entering into a blended marriage, will encounter this.  They are used to flying solo and now there are two people running the home who have different needs and different expectations. It is important to fine-tune time together and also realize that time apart is necessary and vital to a healthy-minded marriage. There is no need to give up all of the the things that kept you mentally sane during single parenthood.  You'll still need those things when you are married. The key to figuring this all out is communication and flexibility. If you are feeling yourself getting frustrated or feeling like you are losing yourself in your relationship, it's time to put all the cards on the table and talk about needs. I guarantee that talking to your spouse will feel a lot better than exploding on them when it gets beyond what you can handle.

-Meg





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