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5 Ways Moms Can Stop Feeling Anxious About Alone Time

Posted by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 12:47 PM
  • 4 Replies

5 Ways Moms Can Stop Feeling Anxious About Alone Time

Posted by Jacqueline Burt

yogaThe concept of "alone time" takes on such a radically different meaning once you're a mom. Before baby, taking time to yourself meant spending the night at home with a book instead of on the town with your girlfriends or going on a weekend yoga retreat without your spouse. After baby, alone time can mean anything from a 10-minute shower to a quick diaper run (without the wee one strapped to your chest).

When my kids were babies, anytime I left the house without them, I felt like like I was missing something. Did I forget my wallet? My phone? Walking down the street without a kid in a sling and/or stroller was nothing short of bizarre. I felt so ... light.

But not always in a good way. At first, those rare child-free moments were both disorienting and guilt-inducing. Not only had I forgotten how to function as an individual, I felt like I'd abandoned the tiny creature who, until recently, actually lived inside my body.

In retrospect, of course, I can recognize my fears as nothing more than new mommy anxiety.

I can also recognize that alone time is kind of essential to your physical and emotional well-being as a new mom -- and will continue to be just as important 18 years down the line.

Here are a few of the ways I learned to love spending my alone time:

1. Sleeping. I know, I know -- you have a billion and a half things to get done, you can't waste your child-free time on sleeping! Sure you can -- the less exhausted you are, the more efficient you'll be. (Not to mention more patient, reasonable, and optimistic.)

2. Having uninterrupted conversations. Whether on the phone or in person, the first time you get to have a good long chat with a friend without stopping to nurse/bounce/feed/soothe/change a crying baby is AMAZING.

3. Exercising. I'm not talking about a punishing baby-fat blaster regime here -- just something that makes you feel good. Yoga or a long walk. Whatever does the trick.

4. Getting a haircut/facial/manicure. When you're taking care of somebody else 24/7, being taken care of for an hour or two is a huge mood-booster.

5. Eating. I'm serious! I mean sitting down at a table in a grown-up restaurant or coffee shop or someplace where actual utensils are used and eating something somebody else prepared for you. Decadent, I tell you!

Do you -- or did you -- ever feel anxious about alone time? Can you share any tips?

by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 12:47 PM
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by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 12:50 PM

I never feel axious about alone time because I rarely get it.  When I do get it I savor it buy relaxing doing meditation or reading.

I think many SAHM's need to be more assertive in getting alone time.

by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Excerising works best for me. When I do sleep I'm still not well rested. 

by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 2:00 PM

I do feel anxious, but it's better now. My husband used to make it worse, because I'd come home and he'd be all "the children are still alive, but barely, grr!" (it was a joke, he'd never hurt them, but he was always furious and stressed, even just a couple hours watching them)

Now, he still gets annoyed, but I can deal.

I KNOW that it's good for the kids to be in school. It's good for them to be home alone with Dad. It's good for them to be with a babysitter (it took a while before I'd allow that- now that they all speak well and the older 2 know about bad touching and calling 911 and stuff, I'm much more relaxed about it). 

Oh, and what I like to do alone...

1) Shopping. Because trying on clothes with a 3 and 5 year old girl, never mind the 7 year old boy, is worse than useless. And it's so fast! I hate shopping, but 2 times a year, I need to buy myself jeans, and these times are now child-free!

2) Eating (I love to eat!), and drinking coffee while reading or doing church stuff, in the coffee place. Yay!

3) Exercise- I have always gone to the Y since my boy was about 4 months old and my doctor could see I was insane and gaining weight fast. I read and work out hard. I get tired but I'm so much saner after

4) Going to meetings. Because that's how I socialise and try to make friends. I love it! I love arguing and listening and thinking

After 7 years of kids almost all the time, after 33 years of no kids and TONS of alone time, I don't feel too guilty wanting to be alone sometimes, and I re-adjust well to aloneness. The only thing is, I LOVE to talk so I have a hard time tearing myself away. We're alwyas glad to see each other though

by Peggy on Apr. 26, 2012 at 12:09 PM

distraction can help if you're alone time makes you anxious.  when i was in a real bad depression, i played scrabble with the computer.  that's the distraction that helped me get through it.  i hope you find something.

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