Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Parenting - How can I get some alone time?

The book Five Minutes' Peace by Jill Murphy really paints a good picture of a mom's alone time. Alone time and parenting just do not go hand-in-hand. Add homeschooling to the mix and there's not even time left to think. My estimate is that 70% of alone time is lost the moment the first child is born. 80% is gone when the second one arrives. 85% is out with the birth of child number three. Travel into the future a few years and add homeschooling to the mix and alone time is holding steady at 85%-90% of the alone time available before children.

So how do parents deal with the lack of personal time? Here's how I do it.

I sneak in as much alone time as I can and use it wisely.

My first priority when it comes to alone time is exercise. For me that currently includes running and yoga. Last year it included dancing and aerobics. One hour per day of physical activity goes a long way to clearing the mind and relieving stress. When I run I often organize my to-do list in my head. I figure out what we will be doing during the day or week and get excited about things I want to show the kids. If one hour isn't available, 30 minutes still can work wonders.

Blogging, cooking, cleaning, laundry, marketing my card game Speed!, planning school lessons, and taking the kids to sports and music fill the rest of my alone time.


Although it is busy, it is the life I have chosen. Before having three kids I used to be an engineer working 40 hours per week. At night I watched television. I'm not sure, but I don't think our television works. It hasn't been turned on in over a year. Now that I'm an educator, I work many more hours than 40.

So does my husband. He cooks and cleans too. That's how I'm able to get as much alone time as I do. Early in the morning and late at night when the kids are in bed I exercise and plan school lessons. Usually I can sneak in 15 minutes during the day to check my email.

On my birthday several years ago my husband asked me what I wanted and I told him I wanted to be alone. He took the kids to the aquarium and we all had a wonderful day. Before they came home I felt caught-up, refreshed and was starting to miss them. This lifestyle definitely isn't for everyone, but I enjoy it most of the time.

Now it's time to see how much alone time the other four bloggers in the Homeschool Help series get.

Does your alone time extend beyond your daily shower?
Savannah at Hammock Tracks

Do we need alone time?
Chareen at Every Bed of Roses

Leave Me Alone
Hwee at The Tiger Chronicle

Schedule Alone Minutes into the Day
Bernadette at Barefoot Hippie Girl

To read about the other topics in this series please visit our Resource Page.




This post is linked to 
Tuesday Tots
Living and Learning at Home
Sun Scholars

5 comments:

  1. I run too. Now that we are on our spring running schedule, the majority of my runs are with my husband. But there is still a run or two a week that is on my own. I use it to pray, and think through blog post ideas, and lessons for Bible club. I think exercise is a great way to be alone, and to think.

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  2. I agree with both of you. Running is like a reboot for my brain. My heart gets light just thinking about it!

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  3. I think it's funny that I sat reading this in a quiet house. My husband took the kids to the grandparent's house today (it was on his way to work) because I had a dentist appointment. I got an uninterrupted shower for the first time since before I had kids (I think =) Personally, I find that as long as I get an hour of 'alone' time during the day (nap/rest time for the kids), and a few minutes with my husband after the kids go to bed, I'm set.

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  4. I would love to exercise, but I am not a morning person and my kids wake up early..around 7am or so. So unless I woke up extremely early, I couldn't exercise and have alone time in the morning. I have tried before in mid morning, but there are always interruptions. I had a little yoga routine last summer while my parents were visiting for 3 months... it was wonderful... they kept the kids (i have 4) entertained and I was able to exercise. Of course, when they left back to Brazil my routine fell by the wayside. I have now and then gone for walks but it's not a routine. My usual alone time is after bedtime when I spend time on the computer researching, reading and learning about all sort of things. :) I would love to go back to my yoga routine. My parents are coming back for a 3 month visit in a month... I plan to begin again.. hoping that I can continue when they leave in August. Maybe a little determination will set in and make it happen?? :)

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    Replies
    1. I hope your alone time returns. Anyone taking care of 4 children definitely needs it!

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