I Love My Fur Kids, But I Need Alone Time

My entire life changed last year when I got married and adopted a couple very spirited young rescue dogs. For years, I had the luxury of my apartment always being as clean as I left it, not taking care of anyone but myself, and having all the “me time” in the world when I wasn’t working. Now, it’s hard to get a second to even pee alone. I certainly don’t regret the marriage or the adoptions and I definitely don’t miss the desolate wasteland that was being single in Raleigh (AKA bro central 😖), but I do get overwhelmed sometimes because family life requires constant interaction and I don’t get much space to just breathe and be alone.

I’m an introvert, so my alone time is what recharges me, but dogs don’t understand that. They want to be jumping on me, sitting in my lap, and the center of my attention at all times, and their adorable puppy eyes make me feel guilty about not being able to provide that. I know it’s because they love me, but it gets to be too much sometimes. I guess I wish I was some kind of superhero who could handle 24/7 interactions and not feel like my internal battery is about to die.

My husband is as helpful as he can be. I work from home, so I deal with the fur kids 24/7. When he’s home, sometimes he takes over supervising them for a couple hours so I can close the bedroom door, be alone finally, and watch something he has no interest in watching (think Teen Mom or Shameless, not his style). I appreciate those small chunks of time so much, and I don’t imagine that it’s much of an imposition for him since he doesn’t deal with them all day while he works (and so he can watch something I don’t want to watch, like baseball history documentaries or any movie where all the female characters are damsels in distress).

If anyone has perfected a way to translate communications between humans and dogs, please let me know. I’d like to be able to explain to them that I love them so much but they have to entertain themselves sometimes so Mom doesn’t lose her freaking mind.

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