Discovering How Alone Time Can Help Me
Lately, I’ve been finding myself in need of more “alone time.”
Now that I am a mom to a hyperactive and curious toddler, most of my days are spent listening to nursery rhymes on repeat, chasing our baby girl and making sure she doesn’t hurt herself while exploring her surroundings, and trying to sneak in some work.
I emphasize the work part, because lately I’ve been spending much of my time doing work for our small jewelry business. Sometimes, I go beyond our scheduled work hours to focus on things that need to be done.
Focus is important to me, as I find it difficult to work when so many things are grabbing my attention at the same time. I think of my ideal work environment as being enclosed in a tiny bubble, in which only my work and I exist. When I’m with my husband, Jared, and my mischievous toddler, Cittie, I have a hard time focusing on work, because I prefer to play with them. So, I make up for the lost work time after office hours, when father and daughter are back in the bedroom, and I’m alone in our work area.
Jared and I recently had a disagreement about all the time I’ve been spending by myself. He wishes we could spend more quality time together, as our “couple time” has significantly diminished due to our responsibilities with the baby and our business. I, on the other hand, find myself exhausted from work and baby care and just want more time to do things I like.
As an ENFP personality type on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, I am equally social and independent. Interaction with other people energizes me to a certain extent, but too much of it can make me feel tired and smothered. My work as a business owner requires me to respond to client inquiries and deal with concerns about our products. After a typical work day, my energy is often drained. I find myself yearning to recharge my spirit through hobbies or quiet time.
Ever since I was a child, I’ve been fond of bringing books into the bathroom. I would lose myself in the pages and not realize that over two hours had passed! I’ve brought this habit into my married life, without knowing how much it really hurt my husband.
Last night, Jared opened up to me about the source of his disappointment. Ever since he was a kid, he liked having a constant companion. It made him feel safe and secure. Growing up as a hemophiliac meant that he had to go through so much pain at a very young age, but having someone with him gave him the reassurance that things would be OK.
He told me that my spending time alone made him feel afraid I would drift away. As much as he wanted to believe that I would never leave his side, in the back of his mind, he thought I would someday grow tired of caring for him. And if that were to happen, he would understand, although it would hurt, he said.
All I could say to that was, “I’m just here. I’m not going anywhere.”
I then admitted that sometimes things are hard — especially when he has a bleed. “Please help me stay,” I told my husband. “Understand that I need my alone time to rest and process things.”
An aptly titled HuffPost article is bold to suggest that alone time is the key to a successful marriage. It says that our daily schedules may allow only a few hours of free time, which married people tend to use as “quality time” with their partners. Couples need to make the most of their quality time together so they can connect deeply with each other. However, much of this connection potential is lost when one person (or both) yearns for time alone to recharge.
Lately, I’ve been feeling that need to recharge often. Perhaps it’s just a phase, since having a toddler at home can be exhausting. Having to constantly think about my husband’s health conditions adds another layer to my existing parental exhaustion. I need to find some way to relax, even if it means having to be alone for a moment.
Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.