Tuesday, March 22, 2016

I Need Quiet Time as an Introvert!

So lately, I've been struggling with not having time alone. The kids have been on a later bedtime (9:30) for a few weeks, and it's taking its toll on me! I don't get any time alone until after they are in bed, plus, the time after they go to bed is the time I usually work on other things, like tidying up, church ministry responsibilities, responding to emails, as well as my downtime. However, with 9:30 (which inevitably turns into 9:45+) bedtime, and wanting to be in bed by 11:30 for my own sanity, that's not much time!

It's definitely taking its toll because I've been so irritable, and pretty unreasonable in my control-freak-discipline about getting them to bed at 9:30 on the dot. I've reacted pretty awfully when they are up any later, and daytimes are filled with being annoyed at just about everything.

One of the hardest things for me to get used to, when I first started homeschooling, was having someone around 24x7. Even on days I go to work, the kids are in the car with me until the last 10 minutes of the drive...and then I'm at work with more people! It drove me crazy and I had more than one meltdown over it. It got better when I realized I needed time alone, and for a while, I regularly had time after they went to bed and gave myself permission  (because I'm the type of person who will say 'yes, sure, I'll hang out', to any request, and I always felt guilty if I didn't hang out with my husband at night, since we don't see each other all day). to just be by myself, and not feel guilty about not spending time with hubby, or not make plans with friends, etc.Anyway, that was 2 years ago, with a 8:30 bedtime.

Bedtime slipped to 9:00 at some point over the past 2 years, but there were still 8:30 nights mixed in. About a month ago, we started allowing 9:30, as the kids are getting older, and because we enjoyed some evening activities together (since I'm working during the day, I actually don't get to spend a lot of 'quality time' with the kids, as I bounce from working and teaching and cooking) and didn't want to cut them short.

BUT at the same time, I started getting more and more stressed out, anxious, and snippy. It finally dawned on me that I am missing my alone time- to just be by myself, to reflect, to think, to plan, even to just get something done, so I don't have to wait until after bedtime to get it done.

I saw this post today on FreeHomeschoolDeals.com:

This was EXACTLY what I needed! I always felt guilty just having 'quiet time' to myself while the kids were awake because I felt like I needed to interact, spend time together, teach, bond, etc, if I wasn't doing some kind of work. I already lose so much time with them because of work, I felt guilty taking more time away from them for myself. Plus, I hate the idea of just letting them play on screens while I get downtime, which is what I'm afraid they would do, because they already get more screen time than I like.  So now I'm trying to figure out how to do this. Maybe a 'quiet reading period'? Maybe institute screen time for ONLY during this 'quiet time' period, so they don't double up and have screens during 'regular time' AND 'quiet time'? Not sure yet, but this post really hit the nail on the head, and I'm determined to find a way to incorporate some quiet time for me during the day, even if they are awake.