do you trade sleep for alone time? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 58 Old 11-27-2011, 12:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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wondering how common this is. i guess i'm an introvert, but at my age (40+), i've learned to be more outgoing. but still... i NEED some alone time every day. like, NEED it.

 

my husband is very extroverted, and he never understands how i need to just sit and have some alone time. which i never get during the day, but maybe very rarely a few minutes here and there. for the most part, i'm home alone with the kids morning, noon and night. he has a wacky work schedule, and is older than me, and i guess he REALLY needs his sleep, b/c he takes a long nap during the day and then goes to bed at 9 each night. 

 

as for me, i'm alone getting the 2 kids to bed, which can be a long process. and once it's finally achieved, if i start by sitting down in my chair by my computer and with the remote... well, i tend to stay put for awhile.

 

my mind wanders. i google ideas that i have and find more information. i check emails. i check facebook. i might check in on MDC (like now).

 

soon i find some time has passed, and i realize that i'm trading sleep for alone time. and yet... it's so hard to give up the alone time, knowing i won't have it again for another 24 hours.

 

anyone else like this too??

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#2 of 58 Old 11-27-2011, 03:01 AM
 
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Yes....got up at 5:40 for alone time today. So worth it.

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#3 of 58 Old 11-27-2011, 03:54 AM
 
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oh i can TOTALLY relate. 

 

in fact for me i would go as far as to say alone time is MORE important than sleep. alone time helps me sleep better. 

 

i need both. one does not replace the other. 

 

EVEN when dd was a newborn Netflix saved me. i'd have this sleeping baby on my chest and watch movies with the subtitles on an on mute. helped me survive a HNs child. 


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#4 of 58 Old 11-27-2011, 08:53 AM
 
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Yes, I totally do this. Partly it is a need for alone time, but the other half is that I need a lot of time to wind down before I can sleep. DH can go from dealing with a screaming kid to dead sleep in 2 seconds flat. I need time for peace & quiet, time to calm my body, etc. and even then I have trouble transitioning to sleep but without that quiet time it's a lost cause. Even if I've gotten alone time earlier in the day, I still need time just before bed. Usually I lay in bed & read, DS won't stay asleep unless I'm right beside him, so it's not fully "alone" time but at least no one is demanding anything of me!!

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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#5 of 58 Old 11-27-2011, 09:57 AM
 
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Oh yes.... a resounding "YES" from me on that one.

 

I absolutely need some alone time every day for my sanity.  I often find myself staying up later than I intended - going online, reading, watching a movie, etc.  Relishing that time to myself...

 

And, like a pp, I also can't just switch off and go to sleep after putting the kids to bed.  I need a good long time to unwind enough that I'm able to fall asleep.

 

I'm also by nature a night owl, so I tend to get a surge of energy in the late evening.  Even if I was feeling exhausted at 7pm by 8-9 I usual feel wide awake.  Hmmm... maybe that has something to do with the sudden lack of kids at that time???  wink1.gif

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#6 of 58 Old 11-27-2011, 10:03 AM
 
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I don't want to have to choose. I NEED alone-time, not only for my sanity but for my business, but if I sacrifice sleep for it, I am brain-dead and can't do my jobs well, or sometimes at all. It is horrible. That is why bedtimes have been so difficult around our house; with my child a night-owl who is present and making sound (talking, interrupting, whatever) until all hours, I rarely get the alone-time (with a clear mind) that I need.

 

I can't afford a week in a hotel, but I fantasize about it daily.

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#7 of 58 Old 11-27-2011, 10:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NellieKatz View Post

I don't want to have to choose. I NEED alone-time, not only for my sanity but for my business, but if I sacrifice sleep for it, I am brain-dead and can't do my jobs well, or sometimes at all. It is horrible. That is why bedtimes have been so difficult around our house; with my child a night-owl who is present and making sound (talking, interrupting, whatever) until all hours, I rarely get the alone-time (with a clear mind) that I need.

I can't afford a week in a hotel, but I fantasize about it daily.

I hear you... DS goes to bed between 11pm-midnight. By the time I wind down I am getting to sleep very very late and then waking up early to work (from home) and I can't imagine what it would be like to just have one night alone, nevermind a whole week in a hotel!!

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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#8 of 58 Old 11-27-2011, 10:19 AM
 
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Yep, me too. My issue is a little different in that I'm the WOH parent in our family. But I'm an introvert in that I need alone time to recharge. I'm in a job with a lot of people contact (which I like), but it means that when I come home, and the kids need me, I really need alone time when they're in bed. I think that's one of the reasons my "natural" bedtime is midnight or after. It's actually about 2 hours after the kids go to bed, and an hour after dh goes to bed!

 

One thing that helped me tremendously was to have dh take the kids on an outing on Saturday afternoons. They got a fun outing, and I got some alone time.

 

Now that my kids are older, they're in school all week and need the down time just as much as I do on the weekends. So, we tend to be off doing our own things for a good chunk of time.


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#9 of 58 Old 11-27-2011, 11:33 AM
 
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I can so relate.  and the older the kids get the later I stay up.  I get an hour in the morning and the rest is late at night.  I frequently don't go to bed until midnight and then get up at 6 the next morning.  Getting harder to do the older I get.

 

The age of your dh probably isn't much of a factor in the amount of sleep he needs.  Some people just need a lot of sleep.  I'm older than my husband (ok, only by 6 days) and he has always needed 9-10 hours of sleep out of every 24 while I usually average 6-7 hours.  We have never gone to bed together nor have we got up together.  But then I'm not pretty first thing in the morning.  Don't come between me and my coffee and for heavens sake, don't talk to me before coffee and have a chance to finish waking up which can take up to 2 hours after I get up.  DH gets up around 5 every morning and is awake and ready to take on the day.  But he's in bed by 9 pm after putting in an up to 12 hour day.


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#10 of 58 Old 11-27-2011, 11:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

Yep, me too. My issue is a little different in that I'm the WOH parent in our family. But I'm an introvert in that I need alone time to recharge. I'm in a job with a lot of people contact (which I like), but it means that when I come home, and the kids need me, I really need alone time when they're in bed. I think that's one of the reasons my "natural" bedtime is midnight or after. It's actually about 2 hours after the kids go to bed, and an hour after dh goes to bed!

 

One thing that helped me tremendously was to have dh take the kids on an outing on Saturday afternoons. They got a fun outing, and I got some alone time.

 

Now that my kids are older, they're in school all week and need the down time just as much as I do on the weekends. So, we tend to be off doing our own things for a good chunk of time.

I don't have that time in the middle of the day.  We home school.  After lunch, Dylan doesn't need me so much for schoolwork so we are frequently in separate parts of the house then.  I also work at home so don't even have a commute to use for alone time.
 

 


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#11 of 58 Old 11-27-2011, 12:03 PM
 
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woah i never realised i too need time to wind down which is usually a movie or book. in fact dd is the same way too - in fact much worse. we will be tired but we both still have to read a few pages before going to bed. 

 

i have discovered the most important down time for us is during the weekend. specifically saturday mornings. one thing i have always always treasured pre and post child is the saturday morning sleep in. not that you ARE sleeping till noon but that you dont do anything you dont want to do before noon. now that dd is older its a wonderful place of sharing. we'll both be curled up in bed doing our own thing. i find she doesnt have to be away from me for me to have alone time. if she hasnt found a research topic or a good book she is very into she is the first one out of bed ready to make brunch. I really think she enjoys that quiet space herself. while the house is silent and she and kitty make brunch listening to NPR or the local radio show. 


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#12 of 58 Old 11-27-2011, 02:21 PM
 
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yes!! I regularly stay up at night watching tv or browsing the web or cleaning the house or doing random projects while ds and dh sleep! I ahve learned to get by with less sleep since becoming a mom and I really need that "me" time to recharge. DH is always like- don't stay up too late- because then I am tough to get out of bed in the morning! but yes, me time in trade for sleep.

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#13 of 58 Old 11-27-2011, 02:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicana View Post

wondering how common this is. i guess i'm an introvert, but at my age (40+), i've learned to be more outgoing. but still... i NEED some alone time every day. like, NEED it.

 

my husband is very extroverted, and he never understands how i need to just sit and have some alone time.

 

Here is a great article - "Caring for Your Introvert: The habits and needs of a little-understood group"
 

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2003/03/caring-for-your-introvert/2696/

 

The comments are a riot, too!

 
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#14 of 58 Old 11-27-2011, 03:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sewchris2642 View Post

 I also work at home so don't even have a commute to use for alone time.


Yes, I've come to prize my commute time. When my kids were little, I didn't get that commute time because the kids commuted with me. It's a great way to bond with the kids -- we had all sorts of good conversations in the car on the way to daycare. But, now that I'm without kids, I take the train. On the days when I'm not walking to the light rail in a downpour+gale, I do take that time for me. I've tried grading papers on the train, and it doesn't work. I'm much happier listening to an audiobook or playing Angry Birds.

 

The circumstances you find yourself in would make me a terrible stay-at-home and/or work-at-home parent. In fact, I tend to go into deep depression if I am at home for too long. I love my kids, but I need time where I'm not caring for them 24/7.

 

I loved that article! I really like the quote from Sarte about breakfast: "Hell is other people at breakfast." My family of origin laughs at me because I am monosyllabic at breakfast. My kids have simply learned to avoid me until I've had breakfast and a chance to read the newspaper.


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#15 of 58 Old 11-27-2011, 03:12 PM
 
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Morning alone time is the best if you can get it.  We all need it mama!

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#16 of 58 Old 11-27-2011, 03:27 PM
 
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Yes! I am very willing to stay up late to get some time to myself even if it means getting less sleep. My ds doesn't give me much time free during the day and dh isn't here much (or helpful when he is), so I take advantage of ds's sleep! It's such a nice way to feel like an individual again, not just a mama.


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#17 of 58 Old 11-27-2011, 03:33 PM
 
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pre kid days have you ever answered the phone in the afternoon to be questioned 'are you ok? or did you just wake up' - because you had that 'havent used my voice today yet'?

 

lol many of the commentators missed that this was a satire.

 

until recently myself though i had no idea what an introvert truly was. until a mama posted her a few months ago and i went to look it up and - HAH!!!! i am NOT an extrovert. i AM very social and good conversations energize me (not people in general) but i had such a different idea of what an introvert is.

 

however if i am alone too long i go into depression. that is why i will never ever live alone by myself. i have roommates who respect my wishes (its almost 4 pm and i've only stepped out to grab some brunch and pass comments at other times). but i am never too alone.

 

it is interesting to have a child who is the complete opposite of me but just as i am social, she too needs her downtimes at times.

 

it was shocking to me that this newborn was never ever overwhelmed in a crowd. instead it took her grumpiness away.  


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#18 of 58 Old 11-27-2011, 04:14 PM
 
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HA! Funny this is posted now...when I am having some alone time while my newborn

is sleeping.

And I am exhausted but just need to have my brain relax first!

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#19 of 58 Old 11-28-2011, 04:51 PM
 
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Dylan just left on his bike to meet dh at the barber shop to get hair cuts.  Ah, alone time to make dinner in peace and quiet. joy.gif Or to waste time on line and start dinner when they get home.  he he he whistling.gif


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#20 of 58 Old 11-28-2011, 07:14 PM
 
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Yes, OP!  I usually only get four or five hours of sleep during on week nights because I really need a few hours to unwind at night without being answerable to anyone.  I WOH but my work is very client intense, I don't really take any breaks because I have to bill a certain number of hours every day, and my commute is a bust because most of the time I'm a standing strap holder with my nose wedged in some guy's armpit (not my idea of a peaceful moment).  I would say that I'm more of an extrovert in my daily dealings but I do need time to regroup and have creative thinking time that doesn't involve other people or their demands.  

 

I know it may sound weird, but cleaning without interruption is great alone time for me too.  Scrubbing my stainless steel kitchen sink with a Brillo was the most enlightening thing I did last weekend, as far as introspection.  


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#21 of 58 Old 11-29-2011, 04:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapdragon View Post

yes!! I regularly stay up at night watching tv or browsing the web or cleaning the house or doing random projects while ds and dh sleep! I ahve learned to get by with less sleep since becoming a mom and I really need that "me" time to recharge. DH is always like- don't stay up too late- because then I am tough to get out of bed in the morning! but yes, me time in trade for sleep.

 

This is totally me too. Though I'm still in the learning phase of coping on less sleep. I'm the type of person that used to need around 9 hours a night to be functional. I'm lucky to get six now. I've had my son for two and a half months, and I think adrenaline has gotten me this far. Now that the adrenaline is wearing off... I just hope something else kicks in. It would probably make sense for me just to drop internetting or reading before bed, but I can't. I get really grumpy if I don't get a chance to do something little just for me. 
 

 


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#22 of 58 Old 11-29-2011, 06:14 PM
 
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YES! I love solitude, and get very precious little of it. I tend to stay up very late, and even fight sleep just so that I can experience waking moments where I do not have to interact with anyone. I sometimes can't wait for DH and the kids to fall asleep, so that I can get a snack and watch a movie, free of any interruptions or requests for exactly half of whatever I am eating. ;)

 

I used to get up really early in the morning when DS was little, as he stayed up very late, and I just couldn't keep my eyes open at night after he went to sleep.  I trained myself to wake at 5:30, and would sneak out of bed to go downstairs and play Lexulous, or read the paper, or message boards on the net, or whatever.

 

I love my family and everything that entails, but I NEED my quiet time.


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#23 of 58 Old 11-29-2011, 07:59 PM
 
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Big yes! I'm just now starting to feel more rested since DS is sleeping so much better since turning 3, but I still stay up way later than i should to have some alone time.


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#25 of 58 Old 11-30-2011, 10:27 AM
 
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[quote name="Alphaghetti" url I love my family and everything that entails, but I NEED my quiet time.
[/quote]

yeahthat.gif I often read alone in my nook in the kitchen. Or sometimes I just sit there. There's only one chair and ottoman in there for a reason.

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#26 of 58 Old 11-30-2011, 06:22 PM
 
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am curious - what are your favourite things to do?

 

as i was reading this thread a lot of what you all wrote really hit home with me. and it struck me - that while i like doing stuff with my dd and friends, i also treasure doing things alone. a LOT.

 

and i have yet to come across anyONE person who could understand that. it isnt really a question of not having people around me - its more of a time to spend with myself. 

 

dd and i still cosleep so i feel we get a lot of time together. really sweet times. and i think it meets my people need too. i am a better sleeper with company than by myself. when dd is at her dad's i dont sleep as well as i do with her here. 

 

i love going to movies by myself. i am a huge movie buff and love the theater experience. 

 

i love going to my favourite cafe and sitting the sun eating and reading a book. 

 

my all time favourite is going out on a break of dawn walk in the busy area and watch the city wake up. when i go on vacation i always do this. i love having a  tonne of time so that i can maybe grab a hot drink and saunter home. 

 

i think my biggest luxury is not having to watch the clock. i havent had a chance to do that in years. 

 

i also love going to graveyards. what is fun with that is dd goes and does her own exploring so she pretty much leaves me to myself. i think sometimes i really appreciate the alone time i get with her there. that is my favourite part of her growing up. sharing a silence together, knowing i dont have to go and take care of her - is v. freeing. 

 

oh and another question - have you guys been able to sleep thru the night? after dd finally started sleeping when she was about 3 1/2 i have never been able to do so. my sleep pattern changed completely and i now sleep less than i used to. 


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#27 of 58 Old 12-01-2011, 08:27 AM
 
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I used to find it more necessary to trade sleep for time alone when dd was younger.

Now it isn't such a big deal. I will usually wake up about an hour before dd and stay up about an hour after I send her to bed. I get 6-8 hours of sleep per night now. We spend a lot of time together but dd will often amuse herself for several hours while I do my own thing somewhere else in the house. If I need time alone I just tell her I need a break and it works out most of the time.

 

Reading is one of my favorite activities.


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#28 of 58 Old 12-02-2011, 01:49 AM
 
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SO FUNNY to read this right now.. i was just thinking about how i do this. 

 

By the time DS goes to sleep i've had such a long day but i end up staying up way too late most night just to have some time to myself! some nights im getting things done around the house, but a lot of times i just want so be on my laptop or read for a bit. 

 

im glad im not alone!

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#29 of 58 Old 12-02-2011, 04:07 AM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by meemee View Post

 

i love going to my favourite cafe and sitting the sun eating and reading a book. 

 

I never enjoyed doing that - don't want to deal with too many people! smile.gif I see it in the movies, locals spending a lot of time in the cafe, and to me it looks like a punishment.

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#30 of 58 Old 12-02-2011, 06:30 AM
 
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I have to discipline myself.  I used to stay up for hours after the kids were in bed and DH came home at like 1 AM.  Now that he works overnights, I go to bed maybe an hour to 90 mins after the kids, but yeah I NEED that alone time. 


lovin DH since 1/04, SAHM to 3 boys 10/04, 11/08, 11/10 one girlie (1/07), and one 13 wk (10/13) just your average :ha ng multigenerational living family!!
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