As an introverted working mother, who spends her days in an open plan office, I face my own unique set of challenges.
Introverts need alone time to recharge. Unlike extroverts we get drained from constantly being in contact with other people.
However, if you work in an open plan office and then go home to a busy toddler, you need to make an extra special effort to find some alone time.
I manage to get my “alone” time in the following ways.
- I have a very long commute to work every day (more than two hours). In the beginning stages of my new life as a working mother, I found it frustrating and depressing. However, it has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I have two hours in which I can read or work on my writing projects. These are luxuries for which I don’t have time at home these days, but which contribute greatly to my sanity.
- I sometimes do activities with my son which also allows me some form of “alone time”. For example, I take him for long walks in his pram over the weekend or on days when I’m on leave. He is spellbound by the beautiful scenery in our neighbourhood and is quite happy to sing and talk in his pram for a while. I also get much needed exercise and an opportunity to unwind from the stress of the working week.
- Swimming season is beginning again soon and the little man will swim with me. He is crazy about water, asking to bad (take a bath) several times a day. 😛
- The little man also likes to play by himself for stretches of time in the garden. I just ensure that I’m closeby to keep an eye on him. We’ll play for a while and then I leave him to do his own thing. It’s interesting that he requires much less attention when he is playing in the garden then when he plays in the house.
- Naptime can be an important time of solitude for mother. At the moment he still sleeps between one and three hours a day. At first I used this time to do things around the house, but lately I’ve also been using this time to take a break or to spend time on something that is important to me.
- When he gets older and does not want to nap anymore, I will attempt to introduce quiet time. I will encourage him to read books and pursue creative activities during this time.
So, I make time for myself when I can and I enjoy the time I get to spend with my son. After all, he is growing up so fast and I don’t get to spend that much time with him.