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    • Having our first child this past February was an incredible gift. He’s bright, funny, happy, and healthy, and I’m grateful and thrilled about those things. We have such a fun time hanging out!

      But naturally, being a new parent is a lot of work. As someone who’s always needed “alone time” or “personal projects” to recharge their batteries, I’ve found that I’m not getting everything I need in those areas as of late.

      I’m curious how other parents out there have navigated this. What are your strategies for managing and getting personal time while raising kids?

    • It is really hard when the kids are young! I confess I used to settle into a comfy rocking chair so that after the kid went to sleep in my lap, I could still stay there for much longer before I put them into the crib/bed and just relish the calm and quiet—and not be disturbed! With young kids, it is almost impossible to get enough quiet time to yourself.

      It gets better as the kids get old enough to go to preschool and then to real school. The demands change but there’s more time to carve out for yourself.

      We have very few pictures of those young kids days, but the ones we have just crack up my kids. They look at them and can see that I was just a total mess barely able to hang on for dear life. LOL.

      (I had four kids in six years.)

    • 1, Time for the kids

      2. Time for the relationship

      3. Time for yourself

      That’s the priority order list with young children, IMHO. Which makes it difficult if you’re an introvert and get a significant part of your energy from solitude time. Grandparents can be a godsend in carving out free time. Grocery delivery service can mean less stress and again more free time. Every extra bit of time you can free up helps.

      I’d also take a look at where you’re spending your limited free time and whether you get more joy by narrowing your focus on fewer activities: it’s easier to feel like you have time for solitary activities if they number one or two as opposed to seven or fifteen.

      Also, look at how much joy you actually get from watching television or scrolling through the Internet on your phone. It’s an easy choice to instant entertainment, but not always the most meaningful. Here’s a good review of The Shallows:

    • Congrats Keenan! He’s so adorable and what an awesome pic.

      Every parent I’ve ever met, introvert or not, says bringing their first child home changed their life completely in good ways but there were times of physical and mental exhaustion.

      I was never particularly good with kids under two. I was always the two-things-at-once guy: pushing a stroller around the neighborhood while reading a book; watching TV while bouncing them on my lap.

      Parents I’ve admired over the years have been able to teach their kids that there are times the parents are busy or need personal space. The kids know what they can do during those times — books, puzzles, whatever. It works best when the kids know that when you can spend time with them you really are present and love to be with them.

      I’d love to hear what works for everyone else.