It’s often impossible to find time for yourself and ‘be alone’ when you’re a parent. We all know that. Kids assume that since you’re there, all your time is for them, and they can always come barging in and tell you about their own stuff without you minding or taking offense. And largely, that’s true, because what kind of parent denies his child attention and demands some me-time, right?
Well, the answer to that is “a healthy one.” By making sure you find solitude, that you have the time you need for yourself, you’re doing your family service.
1. Solitude gives us a chance to reflect.
When there’s no one demanding our attention, we can finally pay attention to ourselves. To how life’s going, to what we’re satisfied with life, and what could be better. It also allows us to reflect on our relationship with our partner or with the children. When you’re parenting 24/7, you don’t really have the time (or let’s be honest, the patience) to actually analyze this or to try and find a better parent or spouse. That’s because parenting is done on survival mode. It’s much more basic, and often, it’s just a long to-do list.
By reflecting on the good and the bad of our relationships, we get the chance to improve them and thus become better parents.
2. Solitude allows you to create memories.
According to certain studies, people tend to form more long-lasting memories when doing something alone. It sounds wrong, but it’s actually true. When experiencing something by yourself, you’re paying more attention and can focus on how you are experiencing it, how it’s making you feel, what you think about it, etc.
3. Alone time allows us to recharge our batteries.
Maybe it’s just twenty minutes a day, and that’s okay. It doesn’t have to be too long. Perhaps you’re just doing some yoga or doing your nails, something that you can do uninterrupted, and that will allow your mind to wander.
See, the thing is, our brain needs to unwind too, and the only way it can do this is by following a trail of thoughts into some rabbit-hole like brains tend to. Your brain wants to be allowed to roam freely, and you need to find time to let it because otherwise, it will turn against you.
4. Lastly, parents need solitude because they’re human.
Shocking, right? But why do we need these big, psychological reasons why you, as a parent, should be entitled to some solitude? You need alone time for the same reason everyone else needs it. Because that’s when you can be your most honest, most true self. Because it gives you a chance to be just with yourself and maybe pamper yourself a little or get some mental clarity.
Too often, we equate parenting to some sort of prison sentence, spending some time by yourself (maybe even doing something fun) is perceived as a crime. But why should it be? It wouldn’t have been seen as a crime if you didn’t have kids, and honestly, you’re the same you, deep down. You still need time to think or to focus on yourself.