Lonely But Not Alone

IMG_1410I don’t feel lonely as often as most people. I like being alone. It gives me time to do what I want to do without having to consult anyone else. Spending time with myself allows me to better reassess my own thoughts, emotions and goals. I am a great example of the introverted truth that in solitude I am least alone. But eventually I do like to be with people. Motherhood is a strange kind of lonely. I am rarely, if ever alone. Yet I do feel lonely, isolated from adult contact. When I’m with other moms our kids are usually there too. Sometimes we talk about things that really matter to us, but mostly we have superficial conversations peppered with interruptions for drinks, snacks, bandaids and general whining. I love spending time with my husband but the few hours a day my kids are not awake (which seems to be fewer and fewer these days), he is there. Even if we sit quietly, I feel the weight of his presence, of the expectations that come with having another human being in the room who deserves my attention and consideration. Sometimes I just want to be alone. It’s amazing that I can feel so lonely without ever actually having solitude. How do I find a balance between those rare times of solitude and the desire to commune with others sans children? As an introvert I am the kind of person who can, and in fact should, be alone to feel myself, yet not feel lonely. As an introverted mom to active children, I am still lonely for the companionship of like minds and engaged conversation, just never alone.

 

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10 thoughts on “Lonely But Not Alone

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I think a lot of moms feel this way, especially introverted ones. We want adult interaction, but we also desperately need time alone. It can be so hard to balance the two in the midst of 24 hour a day mothering.

  1. you’ve probably heard this ad nauseum… but… i have walked your path for almost 18 years. it is better now – littlest one is approaching 5 and while she still needs lots of mama time, it isn’t every bathroom trip, every drink of water and she can amuse herself for long periods of time. but i remember those days of almost suffocating because of a lack of quiet, insulated space. i’ve found seeking the treasure in those moments, asking God about the lessons He’s wanting me to learn and how He’s wanting to change me… and knowing that one day this season will be gone and i’ll miss it (even as i’m enjoying a new season) – those thoughts give me direction on those harder days.

    blessings

    1. Thanks, Richelle. Yes, there are definitely beautiful moments to treasure in this phase of life. I think part of the key to being able to enjoy these years is making sure I work in a certain amount of self-care so I’m not always running ragged and can stop to experience the sweet parts of these days.

  2. My husband is an introvert, and lately I’ve been seeking to actively understand that aspect of him and discover how I can make him happier, more relaxed and more comfortable when he’s home. One thing I’ve been learning is that, although he likes being around me, he needs some time to be just alone, in his own head–and that’s completely okay.

    I don’t really have any advice to give: just wanted to say I’m here, and I’m listening. Stopping by from FMF. 🙂

    1. My husband is an introvert too. Even more so than I am. Sometimes when we’re both feeling burned out we’ll spend an evening just sitting in the same room and say nothing at all for an hour or more, each of us in pursuit of our own activities. This used to be hard for me before we had kids but now I understand a lot more the need decompress mentally.

      Thanks for stopping by. Introverted husbands can be challenging to understand sometimes, but they usually make wonderful listeners if we don’t overwhelm them.

  3. Wow! I love that line: “I am a great example of the introverted truth that in solitude I am least alone.”
    Being an introvert myself, I relate to that truth!

    Chuckling over this line as well: “but mostly we have superficial conversations peppered with interruptions for drinks, snacks, bandaids and general whining” ~~ I can relate! 🙂

    Thanks!

  4. I have found this even more challenging since my husband’s passing in 2011. I YEARN for adult contact, meaningful, real contact – but also wish I could just be ALONE for a bit. (how about just for my monthly shopping trip for starters)!

    1. It must be very difficult for you without your husband. I’m so sorry that you have had to go through so much without your partner by your side. I do know how you feel about wanted to shop alone though. I was able to do some rare solo window shopping the other day and even though I bought nothing and was a little discouraged, it was actually fun just to try a few things on without having to make sure neither of my little ones was running off or causing mischief. Wish you lived closer so I could take your kids and let you shop alone for once. Maybe you could start a babysitting swap with some local friends.

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