being alone by choice

I’m not talking about relationships today, friends.  Sorry if that’s what you thought, but just no.  That’s one part (probably the only part) that gets left off the blog for a multitude of reasons.  For now anyway.  Maybe not forever.  Hopefully not forever.

ANYWAY… Being a single mom is hard.  I’ve said it time and time again and it still stands true.  I’m not looking for nor do I need any head pats.  Today I’m talking about the difference between being alone by choice compared to not.  You see, as a single mom, I spend close to all my time with my little William whom I love dearly with my whole heart.  With the exception of school (work), William is with me most of the time.  And when he’s not… well, that can be hard.  Let me try to explain.

this little one is my world

Don’t get me wrong; I like having “me” time.  There are times when I need to be alone in order to be able to recharge my batteries.  When I became a mom, that all changed.  I give everything to William and put him first.  That’s what moms do.  That’s not to say I don’t take care of myself; I do, as that’s incredibly important as a mother.

When the divorce was finalized and a visitation schedule was set, I knew I would have time without William.  While many say to me, “Well, you can use that time to get things done,” because any momma knows how challenging that can be with a toddler (or infant or child).  But it feels different when it’s not by choice, and, frankly, it’s hard and can be a little heart wrenching.  Yes, I can use that time to run errands, go grocery shopping, do the laundry, etc.  Most of the time, that is what I use that time for.  But sometimes, when all those little things are already completed, or maybe when I just don’t feel like doing those tasks, that alone time is hard because it’s not my choice.  So what do I do about it?

Almost always, I workout.  Finding time to workout with William around is not easy.  He’s two and likes to be engaged all the time.  Not to mention working out always gives me a boost, both mentally and physically.  Lately, my go to has been power yoga in a heated room which I am absolutely loving.  But that only takes an hour.  So what else?  Many times I try to schedule a get together with a friend.  Whether it’s coffee, lunch, or a walk in the park, not being alone during a time that is hard is a good thing; I just have to make the effort to solidify plans.

I do have the very best friends and family.

Other times, if I’m unable to make plans or choose not to for whatever reason, I do try to stay busy.  This means catching up with friends on the phone, running errands (sometimes unnecessarily shopping), cooking, or blogging.  I do have a very hard time relaxing.  Very rarely will I lay on the couch and watch tv during these times.  I feel like I need to be doing something.  The distraction is helpful when I stay busy, not to mention the productivity of it all.

It’s a funny thing, being alone by choice compared to not having that choice.  While I used to crave that time, it certainly has changed these days.  Now it makes me feel lonely.  Maybe it’s the dreary winter days that’s keeping me inside more than I’d prefer or maybe it’s the nerves of William being away from me.  If I don’t have something planned, that time is hard.  The mature part of me does recognize that it is a positive thing for William to have a father in his life, but it’s still hard because there’s a lot I disagree with on that end.  It is different from our nice routine that we have going on when it’s just me and William, or when William is at school, or when he’s with my parents or my sister.  There is a notable difference when I get William back.  Change is difficult, for everyone, at any age.

Another thing that makes it challenging when I am alone not by choice is that it’s a reminder of the family I don’t have right now.  Anyone who knows me, knows how much I’ve always wanted my own family, to be a mom, to create what I had growing up of unconditional love and support.  While I still can and do give that to William, it’s in a different way than I imagined.  My immediate and extended family are more than always there for me and William, and they are my family, really and truly.

my sister who I text and call 50,000 times a day – I know she wouldn’t want it any other way (despite her frequent #needy hashtags)

William and I are doing well.  This really isn’t meant to be a woe is me post, just some thoughts that have been on my mind the last few times I haven’t had William.  As much as I’d like life to always be rainbows and sunshine, it’s not always.  I do try to make the most of it, and while these feelings are uncomfortable, they do serve as good reminders to cherish the times I do have with William, even those challenging toddler times.  I wouldn’t have it any other way!

just you and me, baby!

I’m very grateful for my life, my William, my friends, my family, my health, and my happiness.  Like I’ve always said, everything happens for a reason, even though we may not know or understand the reason at the time.  It all works out; it always does.  I keep on believing that as it’s held true thus far in my life.  Good things happen to good people, so I’m going to keep on being the best person I can be.

What are your thoughts on alone time?

10 thoughts on “being alone by choice

  1. This is one of your best posts! So heartfelt and honest!!! I had similar feelings when I got divorced…not being alone by choice. Today I am remarried and sometimes am alone not by choice. I recently lost my job and my daughter is in school so what do I do with myself? I feel so guilty relaxing in front of the tv but sometimes do. I feel like I should be cleaning or cooking. I’m learning to accept that I deserve to relax but it’s so hard!!!!

  2. First – love the pics of you and little William <3

    I'm a little introvert, so sometimes I need alone time, but then I can choose it. When I'm alone and not by choice (my husband travels for work), sometimes I think I'll go crazy being alone!

  3. It has to be crazy hard and I give you a ton of credit for being awesome at it. I like being alone and carve out time for myself but I don’t know if I could ever handle being a single mom! You are a ROCK star in my eyes. Hang in there girl!

  4. I cherish my alone time. Cherish it. I never in my entire life thought I would ever be able to give up my alone time, so as to allow someone else to spend “alone time” with me. But I did, and while that scares me, I invite it with open arms because I love this man so very much. Sure, I have a few evenings/nights where I just want to be alone and he knows that, which is amazing… And we respect each other’s space. Of course, at times I feel a tad guilty when I want to be alone and then he wants to be together, but… I have to have alone time every once in awhile for my sanity. That being said… If/when I become a mother, I don’t see alone time for me ever again. And that scares THE CRAP OUT OF ME. You make motherhood look easy, even if you say it’s a struggle as a single lady. You’re mature enough for motherhood and it looks good on you. Perhaps I still have some growing up to do! LOL

  5. What a heartfelt post. I completely understand where you’re coming from, even if my situation is different. Those small humans take a piece of your heart with you and even if you do need alone time to get things done, when they’re gone, you don’t feel quite as whole. Keeping yourself busy is a great idea, especially with yoga where you can also be mindful of your feelings. Way to go!

  6. I love your honesty, Linds! Being a momma is hard under any circumstances, but you handle it with so much grace and positivity. Miss you lady!

  7. Alone time on my terms is cherished. Even more so I cherish the time with my family and when everyone is gone for the day, evening or whatever it can be hard. Hugs to you Linz <3

  8. I completely understand this, but from a much more basic level (and please understand that I am NOT equating this love with the love you are talking about!). When I had a broken back, not running, and watching people run and talk about running was excrutiating. Because not running is my choice this time around, and because I have certain other freedoms (like being able to walk), I am doing much better about it. Of course, Boston isn’t on the schedule, but even that decision was much easier because it was my choice, and my own volition.

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