Leave Me Alone

I recently took a psychological personality test that was recommended by a family therapist. I was amazed at the accuracy of the results. Frankly, I was very surprised because I don’t usually put much stock in those types of test. But when I read the results I felt like someone had read my mail, my inner – unspoken thoughts. I felt understood, vindicated even…

…for the way I do certain things.

There was one thing that it revealed about my personality that I always felt selfish for needing, and most often denied myself.

You see, the test revealed that I am very much an extrovert {this is not new to those who know me} I find my greatest amount of energy and life from face to face contact with people.  I have a huge appetite for face-to-face contact, but what is unusual about this particular personality type is that, unlike most extroverts, I need alone time to process…

…not just 5 minutes hiding in the bathroom from my kids. *grin*

When I read that I breathed a big “YES!” – I have been feeling it for so long… that void to have some quality alone time.  As a mom, wife, and business owner I wear so many hats that I can begin to neglect my real self to the point that I will withdraw emotionally from those closest to me, my family.

I stop acting like the extroverted people person I am and begin to…

  • stuff my need for quality, quiet, and undisturbed time
  • allow my daily tasks to suffer.
  • dream of going on personal retreats… ALONE… for weeks!
  • lock myself in the bathroom for no reason but to be alone.
  • find myself lingering in the car, quiet and alone, when I go to the store without my “entourage”
  • stop wanting to play with my kids.
  • get short tempered

Can you relate to any of this?

You see regardless of my personality, or whatever any test might say, I believe all of us have a God-designed need to be alone, quiet, and undisturbed to listen to and be refreshed by our Father.

It’s the enemy who positions things in life so that we don’t get it, we don’t insist on having it, or he makes us feel guilty for wanting to have it. What a sneaky lie!

To me, I fear that it looks selfish – when the truth is I would be less selfish if I had it on a regular basis. I fear it puts an imposition on others who must care for my kids and do my typical jobs when I’m gone. But the truth is I will be less effective if I’m denied the need that God gave me to retreat.

Jesus retreated to quiet and lonely places…

…shouldn’t we?

Maybe it’s just me, but between toilets that need to be cleaned, homework help, the love and attention kids and husbands need – a mom can be sucked dry of all she has to give.

We must value ourselves enough, and love our kids and husband enough, to make it a priority to get away, process, and be filled so that we can turn around and invest it right back into those God has entrusted to us. It is our God ordained calling to invest in them. Frankly, the investment is far better when it comes from my overflow, than when it comes from my leftover scraps.

Question:  What about you? Do you ever feel guilty about getting alone time? How do you get away to be alone and refreshed? Does anyone in your life not understand this need?  Share you comment by clicking here.


  1. Renee says

    I call them personal retreats. Going away to conferences or attending church womens retreats were enough, until my family grew quickly to 6 kids, one with autism. I’ve always wanted a prayer closet and now I truly needed one! Now I daily retreat into my former walk in closet slowly being made over into a mini glam library & prayer room. My husband gladly shares his clothes closet with me so that I can have my pretty pink ‘n purple quiet space. I leave there feeling creative, energetic & ready for my family. It does seem selfish, to want glitter walls, a comfy chaise & time to myself. And I’m grateful my husband wants that for me. Perhaps that’s because he sees the family benefit, too!

  2. Debbie says

    oh. my. YES!

    Yep – this is me all over. And being sucked dry without recharging made me NUTSO! Not just dry and empty, but crazy and chaotic in my home and family relationships!

    I am learning to DEMAND (when necessary) without guilt, but more often REQUEST time alone to process and it makes a MONSTROUS difference in my relationship with God and with everything else in my life. Awesome post!!!

  3. says

    I totally agree with this post. I am a mother of 7 children and homeschool, I have been running on empty for at least 3 years for sure and there is not end in sight. My husband works a job where he gets up a 4 am and comes home around 5-6 pm monday thru thrusday and home at noon of fridays, but he is so tired himself there just isn’t time for me to get away by myself. I do have morining time reading the bible and prayer if I get up early enough before the kids get up. Lately I find myself getting really angry and irritated and yelling with everyone and having to appologize every other day. I feel so much guilt if I need to get away and that only fules the anger more. We are having conflic in our church and had to go to another church for a time so we could seek God’s will and so I don’t really know anyone that well and there are no bible studies. I just feel so upset these days and I keep asking God for help and even just typeing this I want to cry. I know hardly anyone will read this, but at least I could write it down. If anyone has any comfort to offer I sure could use it and your prayers. Thanks!

    • says

      Oh Amber! My heart goes out to you! You certainly have a lot on your plate. I understand your overwhelming feelings! Be certain that I will be praying for you. God is good. Keep praying and seeking opportunities for you to have that time you need to recharge. It just might be that it shows up in an unexpected place. I know for me, God has been working on my ability to assert myself and ask for what I need rather than expect others to figure it out and give it to me. This is a hard lesson for me and one that is challenging me to value myself and my needs rather than seeing them as a burden on others. We are daughters of the king, we have great value in his eyes. He doesn’t intend for us to put these God given needs last. Be blessed today Amber!

  4. says

    I’m right there with you. I’m actually a mild introvert. Not that I’m mild, just mildly introverted. I do need lots of time just to think and process things. I’m a fast processor but I still need time alone.

    I homeschool my children and truly enjoy them, so when I began to feel an almost desperate craving for alone time I felt guilty, like I didn’t love my kids a much as I claimed. But that was a lie from the devil. Just like you said, I’m a better mother when I get time alone. I think it’s good for the kids too, I mean really, do I think I’m so great that they want me around 24/7? Probably not, absence makes the heart grow fonder!

    I’m still not getting the alone time that I crave, at least not to the degree I’d prefer, but we’re working on it. It’s hard when you have little ones and you husband has lots of responsibilities. But this article has reinforced my resolve to insist.

  5. says

    I feel like you just wrote MY inner, unspoken thoughts! Spot on! I was at the end of my rope just last weekend when I asked the hubs if I could go to the mall. He said, “let’s all go.” Which, of course, made me want to wave a wand and instantly disappear. I said, “I really want to go…alone.” He wasn’t super excited about my idea, but he supported it. I came home a mere 4 hours later a NEW woman. Note to self: do this more often. MUCH more often. Everyone will be better for it.

    • says

      Oh Stephanie… my hubby offers for us “all” to go to the store too…. um, NO! I too feel completely different just spending a few hours walking and looking. Thank you for reading and commenting!

  6. says

    Thanks for the blog post today – I can totally relate. I take full advantage of my quiet times whenever I get them. I think the Mom in me sometimes feels bad when I do take those alone times, but like you talked about I need those times. And I know that, it is just sometimes hard to make the time. I am getting better at both taking the time and not feeling “Mom guilt” about it!

    • says

      Good for you Val! I am glad that you are taking those times and feeling less guilt about it. We so need to recharge, regroup, and just put two thoughts together without being interrupted! ;-) Thanks for reading!

  7. Heather says

    Isn’t really a testament to everyone’s need to get alone time when you take an hour, even to go to the grocery store alone, and the kids welcome you back like they haven’t seen you in days. They can totally tell when mommy is withdrawing into that “alone” space and getting crabby. I can say I am a whole lot better for a few days for sure when I get a little time alone.

  8. says

    boy can i relate to this post Kari! its me to a TEE :) finding balance is hard for me because i struggle between these two extremes. i love being with people, but if i don’t pace myself and balance it with ‘alone’ time – praying, meditating on Gods goodness, reflecting…etc. i start to feel …well, not my ‘best’. thanks for helping me to see i am not alone :)

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