I am a social being. I thrive on being with people, and generally would choose to be with someone rather than be on my own. That being said, I also require alone time to "recharge".
When I was working (pre kids), I desperately needed at least an hour of quiet at the end of the work day to recover from being "on" all day. This was one of the first issues my husband and I needed to work out when we got married. Not having seen me all day, he wanted to talk to me and discuss the day. It was hard for me to explain that I needed some quiet time before I was ready to be social. Obviously I wanted to see him too, but I needed to recuperate. My husband is also a morning person. He wakes up and is ready to go right away. I have teased him that he wakes up talking to me. I, on the other hand, like to wake up slowly and have a bit of time to process things before I'm required to speak. I think I need that time because once I start talking, I don't stop.
Of course, this is all B.C -- before children. In the B.C days, I had the luxury of quiet, the luxury of alone time. Now even my "alone" time is peppered with child interaction. Bathroom breaks, a bath while the kids are getting ready for bed, a trip to the store...I'm never actually ALONE (please find me a parent who gets to pee by themselves, without an audience, and I'll find you a liar). When I do get a few moments of time to myself, it is just that -- a few moments. A half an hour of time to myself while I run to the store to do an errand really isn't enough time to feel rejeuvenated.
My husband has always had time away. His fishing trip in the spring, hunting in the fall. Sure, he's with other people, but it's time away from his responsibilities. In the past, these trips never bothered me because it was his time to do what he loved, and in return he supported me while I joined a baseball team and got to do what I loved. But in the last year, I've been feeling more and more resentful that I don't have the same opportunities for quiet.
So I made one. I decided I needed a weekend away. A weekend of responsibility-free time. More importantly, a weekend of time where I could be by myself. I could sleep if I wanted, or see friends if I wanted. The time was my own.
I am now home from the weekend and it was lovely. I had dinner Friday and Saturday nights with friends, but the rest of the time I was blissfully alone. I even ordered room service for breakfast on Saturday so I didn't have to speak to anyone in a restaurant. I slept in. I went to a movie by myself. I watched TV. My husband was alone with both kids for the entire weekend for the first time. And we all survived.
I think we all needed this (my husband may disagree). I think it was good for him to spend that time with both boys. I think the boys loved having that time with him. As they get older, the "dad weekends" are going to be the ones they remember forever. I definitely needed some time away. I needed some quiet, some time to just be with myself. I had a lovely time with my friends, but an even better time when I was alone. Not having to talk, not having to think of an answer to "why mommy?", not having to plan dinner, not having to feel guilty for the mess that surrounds me -- well, it was pure bliss. And this may make me a bad mommy, but I didn't even miss them! Sure, I was happy to come home today. It was lovely to be greeted by little faces who missed me. I couldn't get enough of the hugs, and I really appreciated the special dinner the boys made. But while I was gone, I was happy to enjoy every moment of being alone.
I've informed my beloved that this needs to be a yearly occurence.