The older I get and the less time I have to myself, the more it becomes clear to me that I am an introvert.
I know it seems odd that I would have so little self-awareness to not realize where I stand on the personality charts, but to be fair, I’m really outgoing in social settings. I love public speaking, become more animated and sociable when I’m nervous, and honestly get a kick out of making small talk. But once the crowds have parted, the last drop has been poured, and the night is over, I find myself so incredibly drained that my body feels like I’ve just run a marathon. I simply cannot function until I have some time alone, in silence, to get myself together.
Before motherhood, I could always count on driving in the car alone to gather myself. I would use my commute to ditch the work stress and gear myself up for dinner, the weekend, or even just one-on-one time with my husband (let me be clear here: it’s not his presence that I needed to prep for, but the social interaction in general). But now? Now, I am never alone—ever.
In the hunt for a moment of solitude, I’ve picked up some really bad habits that I don’t think are doing me any favors—namely, staying up really late and watching TV, while my husband sleeps beside me. I know I should go to bed, that the baby will be up soon, that I function better with a good night’s sleep, but the alone time is just so…delicious. I lie there sipping wine from what is most likely a plastic cup, watching a rerun of The Big Bang Theory that I can quote, and soak in the silence. No one needs me, a snack, a meal, a bill paid, a favor, or a fresh bowl of water (that’s for the dog, not the baby, just to clarify).
Thinking about my late-night hideaway got my wheels turning about the other ways that I sneak alone time, and as it turns out, some of them are down right shameful.
So, without further ado, here are my top five ways to be alone once you become a mom:
1. Get Food Poisoning
I got a fun little case of food poisoning from the local Mexican joint up the street, and I can assure that my husband did not mind spending time with the baby outside of the house just to be away from all of the vomiting.
2. Sleep in the Guest Room Because ‘the Dog Is Snoring Too Loudly’
She does snore—sometimes. So does my husband—sometimes. But sometimes I just hide in the guest room because I can sleep in the middle of the bed and not be touched by anyone else for an entire night.
3. Fold Laundry
I pile up the laundry on the living room sofa, secure the baby in his playroom where I can see him, and turn on an MTV marathon of Teen Mom. Nothing accompanies a session of folding laundry like the mind-numbing bliss that is a Teen Mom repeat. Sometimes, my mind gets so numb that I forget to fold the laundry.
4. Clean Out the Car
Sometimes when I stop to fill up for gas, I take an extra long time cleaning out the loose odds and ends from my vehicle and tossing them in the trash. I’m talking one fry at a time, as many trips to the trash can as possible, all in blissful silence while the baby waits patiently for me in his car seat.
5. Go to the Doctor
Listen, we all know when you go to the doctor for a non-emergency reason, you are going to wait forever. The last time I hit the OB/GYN for an annual visit, I booked a babysitter for four solid hours and treated that doctor’s appointment like a spa visit. A hot coffee, a fresh magazine and some solid WiFi, and I was happy to sit alone in a paper gown for as long as they needed me to wait. The dentist and eye doctor will also do in a pinch.
What can I say? This is motherhood, and I’m just living the dream.
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