I was born an only child, and stayed a true only child until I was around four years old. Then my dad remarried and my step-mother had two daughters. So then I was Cinderella except my step-sisters would argue that I didn't have to clean any more than they did. That lasted until I was around 6 1/2 when my dad and step-mother had my half-sister. Confused? Let's just keep it simple and say I have three sisters.
Three sisters that I was only with 6-8 weeks out of the year. Which means that I really was raised an only child. Even when I spent summers with my sisters, I had my own bedroom (except when I slept on the floor of my sisters' bedroom which seems really uncomfortable now). I never truly had to share a room until I went to college at the ripe old age of 18. My roommate was pretty messy and we were in a dorm room. It drove me nuts.
Once I started college I always had roommates in a shared room other than one year that I lived with my aunt and uncle. Even then, there were 8 people living in their house at the time so it was crazy. Bear with me - I am getting to the point.
Now I share a bedroom with my husband, and a house with my husband and two children. Two children may not seem like a lot to women who have more than that, but to me it can still be overwhelming. I regularly need space from all three even though I love them the most on this earth. And by space I mean space from everyone, not just a Girls' Night Out. I cherish my moments of solitude, and it makes me grateful for my family when they return.
Fortunately, my husband knows me well enough that when I start working myself up into a lather it means I need a break. I spent the day cleaning my bedroom and my son's bedroom. I got up at 7:30am an started, and finished around 4:00pm. That's a long day of cleaning. I have three large trash bags worth of stuff to throw away. Around 3:30pm my husband said, "I have a lot of shows recorded that I need to watch." This is his way of saying, "You need to get out of the house." It's his designated "cave time" where he puts the kids to bed, turns on the scifi channel, and zones out.
We all need solitude no matter how large or small our family is. A time to get away from the crazy chaos of everyday life. Even if we are single, we need solitude, although many of my single friends complain to me how MUCH solitude they get. :)
When was the last time you had a few moments of solitude?