Wanting the house to myself - Is this unfair? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 03-27-2014, 12:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Not sure how well I can explain this, but I'll do my best...I have always needed time to myself to feel balanced and on top of things. I don't know if this stems from being an only child or it's just my personality (I'm somewhat introverted and more of a thinker), but every so often get this strong desire to have the house to myself to get stuff done/organized. And that desire builds and builds until I feel like I'm never going to get myself out of my rut without it, and then I feel stressed or overwhelmed.

For some reason I have so much more energy and motivation to be productive when I'm by myself. I honestly have no idea why - just because my son or husband happens to be in the next room shouldn't affect my productivity, right? But it does!
 
Right now, I want to clean and organize the basement, tackle our extra room (which has become a dumping ground), and take time to think about and plan activities and a routine for DS because I feel like I've been a little lazy about that lately.

I know I would feel SOOO much better if I could get these things done - they have been hanging over my head for way too long. But I'm a perfectionist and I want to dedicate plenty of time to get them done and do them well. For example, I don't just want to clear out our extra room, I want to sort, organize, and label everything. I actually enjoy doing this if I know I have a large amount of time to concentrate on it without interruption (like 2 full days!).
 
Now, I know that many people would say to do an hour each day to get the big jobs done.  But I can't seem to get myself to do that. And I don't just want DH and DS to play downstairs all afternoon while I get stuff done. It's specifically that I want the house to myself.

I feel like if I could just have one weekend alone, I would not only get so much done, but I would feel so refreshed and on top of things. The thing is, it wouldn't be that hard for my husband and son to go someplace fun together for the weekend. But I would feel so awful asking for that! I mean, most moms would never even have that option. Plus it sounds incredibly hurtful to tell my husband and son that I want them to leave for the weekend! We always do things like that together as a family. I feel horribly guilty even typing it!! I love them both so much, and we have a very happy life (my DH is a wonderful husband and dad, and my DS is my heart), so it's not that at all.
 
My theory is that because I am an introvert, I need alone time to recharge, and having the house to myself does that for me. Also, it gives me time to think in total peace and quiet, and that allows me to not only recharge but also to get motivated and back on track to do things like exercise, get to sleep earlier, play more with my son, be a more cheerful/relaxed wife, etc.
 

So I'm wondering...is this normal? Is it a sign of mild depression or just something I need to figure out a practical way to overcome? Should I see a therapist? I've never considered that before or felt the need, but maybe I should. Has anyone else ever felt this way? Any suggestions?

FYI, this isn't something that I feel all the time. It's just that at certain times it builds up, but even then it's not a constant feeling. My DH and DS were going to go to a relative's house this weekend to help them with some things but that got cancelled...so I think I'm feeling this way now because it was in my head that I'd have the weekend to myself to work on some of these projects.

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#2 of 14 Old 03-27-2014, 04:00 AM
 
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I don't think you're being unfair at all.

I'm very much the same way. I'm also an only child introvert and I need alone time to recharge.

I don't think there is anything wrong with asking your husband to give you some time to yourself. When my husband gives me alone time, I feel like it leaves me recharged and helps me to be a better mother and wife in the long run. There is no reason to feel guilty, especially if taking that time benefits everyone.

If I were you, I'd talk it out with my husband and find a way to make you both happy. Maybe he can look forward to having extra special father-son time once a month to give you some space. The rest of the weekends you can have family time. Or whatever works best for your family.
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#3 of 14 Old 03-27-2014, 08:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mommyhood View Post
 
My theory is that because I am an introvert, I need alone time to recharge, and having the house to myself does that for me. Also, it gives me time to think in total peace and quiet, and that allows me to not only recharge but also to get motivated and back on track to do things like exercise, get to sleep earlier, play more with my son, be a more cheerful/relaxed wife, etc.

 

My dh travels, my kids are in school.  I typically have 2-3 days a week where I am home, all alone for 7 hours.  For the last 6 weeks my dh has been home 24/7.  By the end of last week I was starting to have panic attacks when he would walk down the stairs because I knew he was going to turn on the tv and start talking on the phone.  He left Monday and I was honestly relieved when everyone walked out of the house, there was silence and I could relax and think and just BE.

 

So yea, ask him to go away for the weekend.  It's not a rejection of your family, but rather embracing what you need.  

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#4 of 14 Old 03-27-2014, 06:10 PM
 
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I could have written your post. I feel like I could solve every one of our home problems in one week by myself. I, too, feel paralyzed by the presence of my partner in the other room. We're not at a point where my DD and her Dad could go for a weekend together, but if we were, I would certainly ask for it. I think you should do it!
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#5 of 14 Old 03-27-2014, 06:40 PM
 
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I feel the same way as you.  I am not an only child but I have always liked time alone.  Prior to having children, I used to tell my husband we should buy a duplex, each live in half, and put a door in the shared wall.  I loved living alone and after living with my husband 25 years, I still like my alone time.  I am a better parent and partner when I have a little quiet time.

 

We started HS'ing this year and although I like it, there are times I miss having the house to myself.  The kids go to a class for six hours 1x/week and I try to accomplish a lot in that day.  I like to complete projects when no one is around and there are no interruptions.  I would not want to send them away for a weekend; I have trouble sleeping when the three of them are camping in the backyard!  I like everyone here at night.   But I have sent them off for the day.

 

I think you should send them for a fun-filled weekend so you can recharge and reorganize at home.

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#6 of 14 Old 03-27-2014, 06:44 PM
 
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I am totally the same way. There's certain tasks I can handle with a house full of people (unloading/loading the dishwasher, cooking dinner, tidying up the living room, scrubbing down a bathroom) and other things that it just isn't happening. One is doing a big laundry sort/put away. I figured that the difference is for something like dishes, or the bathroom, I'm staying in one room for the duration of the task. There's no running around. If there's running around, I will eventually run into a person, and that person will distract me, or otherwise pull me out of my "groove" And that stresses me out, a TON. A kid will probably talk to me, ask me for something, beg for food, a drink, for me to wipe their butt, or otherwise follow me around. I really need to be able to focus. There's no way I can do a big organizing project with people around. And there's so much I'd love to be able to do.. sigh... I don't think dh "gets" the extent of the need. Another reason is, if I need to organize a room/closet that became a "dumping ground" I'm pulling a bunch of "very interesting things" out and there will be a kid who will come along and want to get into it/explore. It will mess me up, AND, it will distract me. The distracting will prevent me from finishing. And there's some kinds of projects like that where if start it, but don't finish it, you end up worse off than if you never started. I figured out my magic formula for if I want to accomplish something: arrange for the kids to be out of the house. As soon as they're gone, have a really yummy meal. Doesn't matter what, it just has to make me happy ;) So whatever I'm craving is perfect. Wash it down with a caffeinated soda. I very rarely drink caffeine, but it has a great effect on my attention/focus/mood. Then blast a good CD on the CD player! I have to feel good and happy to be productive. 


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#7 of 14 Old 03-27-2014, 06:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dbsam View Post

I feel the same way as you.  I am not an only child but I have always liked time alone.  Prior to having children, I used to tell my husband we should buy a duplex, each live in half, and put a door in the shared wall.  I loved living alone and after living with my husband 25 years, I still like my alone time.  I am a better parent and partner when I have a little quiet time.

We started HS'ing this year and although I like it, there are times I miss having the house to myself.  The kids go to a class for six hours 1x/week and I try to accomplish a lot in that day.  I like to complete projects when no one is around and there are no interruptions.  I would not want to send them away for a weekend; I have trouble sleeping when the three of them are camping in the backyard!  I like everyone here at night.   But I have sent them off for the day.

I think you should send them for a fun-filled weekend so you can recharge and reorganize at home.

We totally had that duplex idea, too! Or a yurt compound. Or a home with a well equipped trailer on the property. I would LOVE to not quite cohabitate with my partner. I know we would thrive that way, too.
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#8 of 14 Old 03-27-2014, 07:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by newmamalizzy View Post

We totally had that duplex idea, too! Or a yurt compound. Or a home with a well equipped trailer on the property. I would LOVE to not quite cohabitate with my partner. I know we would thrive that way, too.

Yes, that was my plan 25 years ago.  Now I've gotten used to having him around and am not sure about actually living alone!  Although, it may be a plan for retirement when we are both home all the time.

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#9 of 14 Old 03-27-2014, 09:06 PM
 
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"So I'm wondering...is this normal?"

 

I don't know if it's normal, but I get like this, too.  And I'm not normal.  So...   :)


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#10 of 14 Old 03-27-2014, 09:17 PM
 
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I love this idea.  I would love to have the house to myself to do EXACTLY all the same things you mention.  So, yes, I think it is totally normal!  I would seriously be so, so happy to have half a day to clean, sort, and organize the basement.  Or my dresser drawers.  Or the pantry.

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#11 of 14 Old 03-27-2014, 09:50 PM
 
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Seems reasonable to me. I don't see any bad in having your husband do a couple of fun days with your son either. I think it is a win for everyone. 

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#12 of 14 Old 03-29-2014, 02:30 PM
 
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It doesn't sound unfair to me! I often feel the same way. I am also very introverted (but not an only child). I do sometimes get jealous of people with kids in school and husbands that travel. All that alone time sounds lovely.

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#13 of 14 Old 03-29-2014, 02:46 PM
 
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Not at all. I have voiced it many times, but I've like just sighed about it and dh has got the message and tries to take dd out at least one day of the weekend when I get some time off. I don't usually get much done in this time. But, since he does not give me any heads up I don't plan anything for that time. I sometimes end up doing house work or just going on the computer. It's not exactly time that I spend planning anything. However, I have to say I want a whole week off to myself and I have said that if I got a week I'd feel totally rejuvenated. I would obviously plan and clear my head and the apartment but first I'd sleep a lot. :))


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#14 of 14 Old 03-30-2014, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the responses! It's so nice to know I'm not alone in feeling this way!

 

So I took your advice and talked with my husband...At first I felt like I wasn't really getting my point across - he never feels this way, so it's hard for me to explain it to him, plus I get all emotional. Then I showed him this post (my thoughts are always clearer when I write them down) and I think it helped. He planned a fun night away with DS, so I've had yesterday and today all to myself!

 

I have to admit, I was conflicted when they left. As excited as I was about having the house to myself, I felt sad that I'd miss out on all the fun stuff they had planned. But I quickly got over that because having the house to myself is awesome! And I know they are having a really great time together. I'm hoping maybe DH will see how helpful this was and we can do it a few times a year.

 

Now onto tackling the basement before they get home... :)

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