Guilt-Free Alone Time for Introverted Toddler Parents

Find out how this introverted toddler-mom is getting her guilt-free alone time and how easily you can do it, too, without taking time away from your little one…

Guilt-free time alone for introverted parents

 

No Rest for the Wicked

I’m walking up and down our hall.

We have a fairly small apartment: living room, bedroom, daughter’s room, kitchen, bathroom, all pretty small.

So, I’m slowly walking through the dark hall, around the corner into the dark bedroom, turn around, walk back along the hall, into the living room, turn around, back to the bedroom.

Daughter dearest is 17 months old and she’s getting her molars. Since last week she has not slept before 10pm a single day because teething is nasty. She’s in pain. She’s a tough cookie and doesn’t cry. But she also can’t sleep.

Tonight, once again, breastfeeding and singing and cuddling couldn’t lure her into magical sleepy land. So I put her on my back in the emeibaby carrier and start walking around the apartment.

My Baby in a baby carrier on mom's back; Owner: Lovely Audiobooks

 

The Introvert Needs to Recharge

Before the molar teething got so bad I’d sometimes take 1 or 2 hours of alone-time in the evenings. Whenever I wasn’t too tired and would just fall asleep alongside her. As an introvert, I desperately need that me-time to unwind.

Therefore, one way to preserve introverts’ well-being is for them to recharge as often as possible in places where they can return to their true selves […]
Source: Wikipedia

Now, though, I have my trusted Bluetooth earpiece in my ear. Instead of watching Jessica Jones on Netflix I’m listening to the adventures of Sam the Imp [1], while walking slowly up and down to help my wonderful child fall asleep through aching gums, growing pains and development spurts.

Between playing with the little girl, cooking, doing laundry, tidying up toys, and – oh right – working, I have found a niche for guilt-free alone time that doesn’t take anything away from my baby.

 

Two Versions of Me-Time

There’s Me-Time DeLuxe, when one of the grandparents comes to visit or daddy has a day off and takes the little girl for a long walk or a playground visit. But that’s just not enough for the sensitive introverted soul. I desperately need my daily alone-time to recharge. If I interact with other people all day I end up feeling completely drained and exhausted. For introverts it’s very important to make time to gather their thoughts and just be alone with themselves. If you aren’t aware of it and/or just ignore this need, a burn-out is waiting just around the corner!

In the first year after birth I had more time to myself, because the little girl would sleep much more. And it was absolute bliss for her and me when I put her in the baby carrier. I didn’t have to use as much energy to check on her, because I could just feel her against me. And she’d enjoy all the many up-sides of being a carried baby (click here to read about it on Wikipedia).

When she became more active, started to walk more and sleep less, I was very exhausted – like pretty much all parents. I felt I had to consciously create a niche for my introverted side. This isn’t easy when you’re a working parent. Between work, cooking and keeping your house remotely clean-ish, there are simply not enough hours in a day for spending time by yourself and spending quality time with your child, while still getting enough sleep, too.

 

Daily Alone-Time for Introverted Parents

Audiobooks are magic and give you back Me-Time

There’s only one solution: Two things at the same time! So I made my Daily Me-Time. Packing the dishwasher while the hot alpha millionaire tells the nerdy Amazonian woman that he can’t live without her anymore [2]. Folding laundry while she kisses him for the first time. Cleaning the bathroom while the Queen of Hel (no typo) flirts with an Archangel [1].

Through book-ish magic, audiobooks have brought the me-time and the wonder that are books back into my daily life. Put on those headphones and your chores or your commute turn into quality time for yourself.

 

“But I don’t like audiobooks!”

I’ve heard that a few times from fellow readers. The main issue is usually that they can’t focus on the audiobook. I’ve experienced that a few times, too. I just couldn’t focus on an audiobook. But I can tell you, it’s either because the story doesn’t work for you or the narration isn’t captivating enough.

If you want to get into audiobooks, this is the best way: Pick a few books you really love and want to re-read, go to Audible (I’d love if you used my link below for that, it supports my blog but doesn’t cost you anything extra) and search for those books. If there is an audio version, check the Sample by clicking on the arrow below the cover image. Choose one with a voice you really like.

Alternatively, if you aren’t a re-reader, look for new books from authors you know and enjoy very much. Just make sure you find a story that will really work for you and where you have more to go by than an interesting blurb. Pick something that you’d immediately read if it were a book.

Then check those voice samples! I recently read a quote about how you can fall in love with a voice. It’s true! Find a narrator whose voice you love and who makes the story come to life.

If you keep those two points in mind, I’m sure you’ll find an audiobook that is worth it and that you will love to listen to. Just don’t accidentally throw the red socks in with the white laundry because you got too distracted by your exciting new story!

Don’t forget, audiobooks can give you back considerable amounts of reading time you had to give up before.

 

All the Audiobook Love

Please follow or subscribe to Lovely Audiobooks and stay tuned for more upsides of audiobooks. Now you know how, thanks to audiobooks, introverted parents can get guilt-free alone time. Read on to find out how old audiobooks really are and why they matter so much; How they can calm your mind and help you sleep; And how Romance audiobooks can be very educational.

Check out my Audiobook Guide right away to get the best deals on high-quality Audible books.

 

Discussion

Are there other reasons why you don’t listen to audiobooks? Share your concerns in the comments below and I will look for a solution!

Are you already addicted? Share what audiobooks do for you in the comments below!

_______________

The two books I mentioned:

[1] The Imp series by Debra Dunbar, pick it up on Amazon**

[2] Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid, pick it up on Amazon**

 

26 comments on “Guilt-Free Alone Time for Introverted Toddler Parents

  1. Oh yes, I have been where you are. My kids are 4 and 2 now. We’ve passed through the teething and I spent a lot of time with an audiobook as I tried to get kids back to sleep. Great post ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, they really are just perfect for that! Fortunately, our bad teething stretch is over again and sleep comes more easily – for the time being. ^^

  2. I am now the grandparent rather than the mum with a baby but I remember those days vividly and my youngest grandson is teething right now. I am right with you on checking the narration before buying. I have forgotten a few times and had to return the books. (thank you Audible’s no trouble swap service)

  3. this is a great post i have a nearly 2 year told and haven’t really tried audio books but i’m definatly going to try tomorrow will doing the washing and dishes. Great post!!

      1. I will!! I have a couple already downloaded on audible but lost 7 credits as I never used it ๐Ÿ™

  4. I really need to get my ‘me time’ back on track. I used to be somewhat of a book worm but now it’s finding the time. And, to be honest with a 19 month old who is waking in the night my eyes are so tired that reading after the bedtime battle has been won is just out of the question as are films with subtitles. I’ve never considered audio books…I don’t even know why! It makes perfect sense, I’ve got Bluetooth speakers, headphones the lot. I think the general perception of audio is that they’re aimed at the ageing generation but posts like this are bucking that trend!! Thanks for sharing

    1. I get what you mean, not that long ago I thought audiobooks were for kids and the visually impaired. But these days audiobooks are a huuuuuge thing with tons of independent authors bringing out audio as well. You should definitely give it a try with the Audible promotion and see how you like it ๐Ÿ™‚ I know so so many people by now who don’t have the time to read anymore but listen all the time.

  5. Me time is so important! I love audio books too. They’re less distracting for my twins than Kindle or an actual book when I’m waiting for them to fall asleep!

  6. This is what I needed. I just recently discovered that Iโ€™m an introvert and I need me time or else I will crash. I have a 17 month old too and we are inseparable. Thatโ€™s a good and bad thing. Good because we are besties, but bad because I need alone time. I find my self getting frustrated and exhausted after two weeks of daily duties. I do listen to audio books after i take the boys to school. I have a question though, how long should me time be? I feel for the amount of things I do all day everyday I should at the most, receive 4 hours every Sunday. lol wishful thinking.

    1. I think you definitely need and deserve a few hours on the weekend of Me-Time Deluxe! I think we all need to find our individual balance between the amount of alone-time we need to get by, and the amount of alone-time we can actually get. That’s why those audiobooks are so important to me, because I can do something for myself while doing something I need to do, like chores.

  7. Okay, so first off, your writing style is so fun and engaging! I was pulled in the minute I started reading. Secondly, we are like the same person because pretty much everything you said is exactly how I feel about my 21 month old son. I love him, but if I donโ€™t get some me time, I go crazy. Itโ€™s hard to find the right balance, but Iโ€™m trying. Also, I recently discovered audiobooks too and they are a LIFESAVER. They make the chores go by so much faster! Anyways, thanks for the lovely article and welcome to the blogosphere ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ Yeah, they really make such a difference, don’t they?
      I think we have similar expectations for our romance as well. Maybe you’ll find something new here!

  8. I love audible, and of course pages books. I think audiobooks are great when Iโ€™m driving or if Iโ€™m overwhelmed. They always come on after Iโ€™ve read my real book to put me to sleep. My audible library is now embarrassingly big so Iโ€™m always on the look out for things I want to read again or extra long books I canโ€™t be bothered reading but I would like read to me! Great post Eline! Iโ€™m trying to get my daughter into listening as sheโ€™s dyslexic and wonโ€™t read for fun ๐Ÿ˜‚

    1. They are a great sleeping aid, aren’t they? I keep wondering if I should get the Wheel of Time on audio. I never got around to finishing the series and: IT. IS. SO. LONG. ^^
      I’m still looking for a dyslexic listener for the article about inclusiveness!

      1. I know, I just have to get used to them. I have a problem with hearing people talk. My mind drifts and I cannot concentrate on what they are saying. This is why I struggled in college.

  9. Me time as a parent is so, so important!
    I often sit down on my own in the evening when the twins are in bed and I’m glued to my phone. Audiobook, however seem like a much better way to spend my time alone!
    Thanks for this post, I’m definitely going to give audio books a try!!

    1. Yeah, I often just fell on the sofa when daughter was in bed and played games on my phone. But phone games and audiobooks actually match so well! Haha ๐Ÿ˜€

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