Friday, April 25, 2014

My Mother’s Day Wish | I Want to Be Alone

For years, my only wish for Mother’s Day has been a night away. Alone. Somewhere quiet and clean and neat. No one calling my name, asking for advice or needing anything from me. For just one night I can read a book or watch a movie in complete peace.

In the past, when people have asked what I would be doing for Mother’s Day and I told them about my tradition, most of the time I got the sad-eyes/head-tilt, “Awww, you won’t be with your children for your special day?” from those without children or if their children are grown up and out of the house.

When I told other moms of younger children I got, “That’s a GREAT idea! I’m doing that this year.”

Thankfully, I have been able to go away for a night for Mother’s Day almost every year of the nine years that I have been a mom. I have stayed in hotel rooms nearby or an hour away. 

I have gone to the movies alone, watched movies in my hotel room, eaten fast food in my hotel room, gone to a nice restaurant, wandered around a mall, gone for a long walk outdoors, read books, written letters to my daughters, pumped milk, talked on the phone to my husband like we did when we were dating, and completely gone silent. 

Every year I have released guilt. I have embraced my own thoughts. I have answered my own questions. I have taken stock of all I have to be grateful for and acknowledged that. It is a refreshing, liberating, and centering experience.

This desire to be alone does not mean that I do not love my children. It does not mean that I secretly wish I were not a mom or want to be alone all of the time. It does not mean that I want my life to be any different than it is on a daily basis.  

Mothering is demanding and challenging and wonderful. We can read this almost anywhere. It is especially exhausting for someone that craves time alone. 

Being an introverted parent has its own challenges. Being an introverted parent that works and is constantly interacting during the day, the evenings, and the weekends is overwhelming. Introverts need time alone like we need oxygen, water and sleep. It is absolutely vital to our mental and physical wellbeing. 

Personally, I am a thinker and spend time in my head a lot. Without time alone, I feel like my thoughts pile up and overload my cognitive functioning. They become cluttered like old mail piling up. Without time alone, my stress levels stay elevated for longer periods of time. Without time alone, I am less patient and more easily frustrated. Bottom line, I need time alone to recharge and to be a better mom.

Many mothers love to be celebrated. Many mothers want to be appreciated with outpouring of affection with words, gifts, acts, and togetherness. Mother’s Day changes as your children get older and more independent. It becomes something different. It’s a time to remember what mothers do for you through the years and tell them you remember. 

This year, honor your mother with what it is she wants. One of the best gifts you can give a mother is something that shows her you know her and love her for who she is. Making it about her and not you, the child, is truly the best gift.

For now, this mother just wants to be at peace. This mother just wants to be nourished with love for who she is and allowed to be alone and unneeded for one night without guilt or judgment.     

Wishing all the mothers in the world the best of days
and much appreciation for raising our future.

Much Love,


  1. I absolutely loved (and was inspired by) this post! How wonderful that your family understands you so well and gives you just what you need for Mother's Day. My family took me to an amusement park last year. I'm not kidding. I think I might need to communicate my needs a little better! Thank you, thank you for sharing this. :-)

    1. Tarissa,
      I am so glad you liked it. An amusement park, oh dear! Those can be fun (if you were the only family allowed in for the day...) I have learned that my family want to give me what I want but most of the time have no clue what that might be. I now make lists or say straight out what I want. It is better for everyone! :-)

      You are so kind. Thank you again.

    2. Chris, thank you so much for speaking these words! I have always felt like a night or day alone would be the best gift for any holiday/birthday, but have felt guilty about it -- like if I love my family, I should ALWAYS want to be with them, right? I guess that's what our extroverted society portrays! I think I need to start a Pinterest board for "Birthdays" and fill it with pictures of cabins by mountain lakes instead of party pictures!

    3. Kristin,

      Yes! If there is one thing I have learned, ask for what you want. I rarely ask for anything so when I do, my husband is so happy and relieved! What he would get me and what I want are rarely the same thing...we both realized that a long time ago. And that's okay. Pinterest is a great idea!

      I spend almost all of my time with my children and husband. I don't feel guilty anymore for asking. I know it what I know will help me be a better mom and wife (and so does my husband).

      Here's hoping you get what you want!

  2. I SO COMPLETELY RELATE TO THIS. I am also an introvert and by the end of a busy day teaching and mommying, I need my quiet time and down time. I also want Mother's Day to include alone time -- I love how you take that time for yourself on mother's day! Enjoy it this weekend! :)

    1. Yes, Sarah! I am so glad that you will have some needed alone time for Mother's Day as well. I talk to more and more moms each year that are comfortable asking for time as part of their gift, which is encouraging. For my first few 'mom years', I didn't know anyone else willing to ask for it.

      I hope you enjoy your weekend too!

  3. You.Are.My.Hero! I, too, love my family but as a SAHM that is in demand to 5 year old twins and a teen, it's exhausting at times. I started waking up at 5:30 every morning just to have "me" time. I look forward to my coffee and escaping for an hour or so before anyone wakes. I know once the boys start school, I can start to regain "me" again. This mother's day, I am going horseback riding with some ladies (it's been 6.5 years since I've ridden. Once the boys came, the horses went). Next year, I'm following your footsteps. Happy Mother's day!

    1. Thank you Amber and Happy Mother's Day to you! Wow, yes, I can imagine you've had quite a shift in activities with having twin boys. I am so glad you are doing something that you love for Mother's Day. We are better moms when we take care and nurture who we are (as I talk about in "One Simple Way to Be A Great Mama", so you know I mean it! :-)

      You have more wonderful times ahead of you, I know it. Have an amazing time with the horses, I may have to put that on my list for next year too!