Do You Have Silent Time?

posted by Andrea | 05/1/2012

I love quiet. I always have.

Maybe it’s my opportunity to clear the clutter from my busy brain… but I feel like I need at least a small chunk of silence every single day.

As I mentioned yesterday, I never listen to the radio when I’m driving. I only listen to CD’s around Christmas time, I don’t even have one song on my computer, and I don’t own any type of MP3 player.

I keep my phone on vibrate, I rarely watch TV, I enjoy doing most activities in silence, and before Nora was born, I could sit in my home office ALL day long and never tire of the quiet.

I really like peace and quiet! (and in case you’re wondering — Dave is the exact opposite!)

After Nora was born, my quiet life was immediately inundated with crying, screaming, musical toys, children’s songs, Baby Einstein DVD’s, Nora’s “chatter”, etc. etc.

My silent time was gone.

But then I started walking. 

I’ve always enjoyed a nice walk, being outside, getting a bit of fresh air, and relishing in the peace and quiet.

However now I love walking because it’s one of the only ways I can get Nora to sleep!

I first discovered this “revelation” when Nora was just a couple weeks old. Even though it was the middle of December, the weather wasn’t too bad, so I bundled her up and we went for a walk. Within minutes, she was sleeping.

Silence.

Praise the Lord! 

I finally had a few moments to myself, to clear my brain, to zone out and think about nothing, or everything, or ANYTHING I wanted to without a fussing baby, TV, or music cluttering up my brain.

I remember when we got home from our first walk — I felt like a completely different person. Ready to tackle the rest of the day.

Of course, she woke up the minute we got inside, but still — I had “my silent time”. 

My afternoon walks used to be something I did just because I could. Now I walk out of sheer desperation for those few moments of silence each day (yes, rainy days are bad for us!)

SIDE NOTE: As I type this post, I’m currently in our heated outbuilding (with absolutely no noise) while I’m paying a babysitter to watch Nora in the house.

THAT’S how much I need/crave silent time (because you all know how frugal I am!)

I hope that I’ll be able to reclaim a bit of my silent time as she gets older and starts to nap better — but by then we might have another baby, maybe a dog, and lots more noise!

I guess I’ll be walking for the next several years! 

Do you need silence? If so, how do you find it?

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34 comments

  1. Thrifty Mom in Boise

    05/01/2012

    My quiet time is first thing in the morning before anyone gets up. I sit at my desk with a cup of coffee and enjoy the quiet. I think about whatever just pops in my head. Then I start my day by reading the news, checking my email and posting my blog. After that my day officially begins.

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  2. J

    05/01/2012

    I do think some of us are just “wired” for silence, at least I am and it has been a life long thing with me. My children are now raised and I never have music on, no tv and I like it! I can hear birds singing and that is wonderful.

    My husband cannot drive the car without the radio on (minus me inside) or he would freak out. I never turn it on. lol

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  3. linran

    05/01/2012

    I too enjoy quiet. When my kids were little (I have four), I would often shut myself in the bathroom for ten minutes! The other thing I would do is go for a drive (no radio) after my husband came home.

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  4. Katie

    05/01/2012

    I just finished a book called “The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers” by Meg Meeker MD. One chapter was on taking time for solitude. It is so important. When the weather is nice I like to go outside after my girls are in bed and just sit and enjoy the peace and quiet! We live in the country and it is so peaceful outside. It energizes and relaxes me at the same time!

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  5. Jane

    05/01/2012

    I absolutely loved walks when my kids were younger. Now my silent times are when they are at school – but as soon as they are home….between them, homework, dinner, and the phone ringing….now the college kids are calling at 10 at night! I can’t wait for the morning! Since I crave quiet/solitude I love stories about people who have been “alone”. I read the book “Alone” by Admiral Byrd – the polar explorer – very interesting!

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  6. Cindy V

    05/01/2012

    I crave time to think in solitude. I always felt a little weird for not wanting music or the radio going all the time. Noise seems to drain me and leave me little time to think my own thoughts or have conversations with God. It is not necessarily the noise from my family, but loud restaurants, or any outside unnecessary noise or constant music or talking that steals my head space. When my children were small we took a quiet time every afternoon. I would put one child down for his nap, another one stayed and played quietly in the playroom and the third one went upstairs to his bedroom to play quietly or read. I then could lay down and rest, think, or read for two hours. Other people thought I was a mean mom. I asked my now teenagers (2) about it recently and they said they really enjoyed time to themselves, even when they were little. We now homeschool and there is more noise, but it is for a season and I still carve out time to think and be still.
    Thank you for writing this post and for the others who posted a comment. This made my day!! :!)

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  7. Ramona

    05/01/2012

    I have a 1 1/2 hour commute to and from work each way. So during that time, I shut off my cell phone and just be still. It’s my unwinding time because I know when I get home, it’s all over!

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  8. Toqua's Crafts

    05/01/2012

    When I was (much) younger I remember my mother never used the radio in her car. I couldn’t understand it… After all… Driving with the windows down, the radio blaring, just cruising… It was great!!

    I am now a grandmother. My how times have changed! My husband is one that cannot handle silence at all! I sit at home in silence most of the day (ever since being unemployed for the last couple of years.) Sometimes I will turn the SiriusXM on to the “Spa” channel. I have oodles of CD’s that seldom get played anymore. I keep the radio either off or on very low in my car. I have gotten to where I *LOVE* the silence!

    Oh yes… my mother… the most wonderful mother you could ever have. She loved all 6 of us kids equally. She ran the 24-hr coin operated laundromat she and my father started. (After starting it they discovered he was allergic to the natural gas that ran the dryers so he couldn’t go to the laundromat.) I now understand why my mother drove the car (very slowly) between home and the laundromat with the radio off… awww… the sound of silence…

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  9. Bonnie Cummings

    05/01/2012

    I’m just the opposite of you Andrea, I always need a little background noise. Nothing loud, just a little soft music, and when I bake and cook, I always have an old movie playing on the TV in the kitchen if there’s nothing good on. It makes me nervous when it’s too quiet, (silly I know) and my husband is the opposite, he likes the quiet. I guess it’s true that opposites attract.

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  10. Patty@homemakersdaily.com

    05/01/2012

    ABSOLUTELY love quiet time. I homeschooled my two kids so they were pretty much ALWAYS home and both of them talked a lot. I mean a LOT. Because there was so much talking, I didn’t have music playing. Didn’t have the tv on. Now that they’ve both moved out, I still don’t play music, the radio or have the tv on. I love silence.

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  11. Dana

    05/01/2012

    When I was working full-time and the kids were in daycare, I cherished my quiet time in the car after I dropped them off at daycare and was on my way to work! We would go on a LONG walk/jog right after work too. I totally understand where you are coming from.

    You have me thinking about putting heaters in one of the other buildings on the property just to have some quiet time too!

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  12. Jen

    05/01/2012

    Yes! I love my silent time! I make my girls ages 3 and 5 take naps every afternoon. I need a little alone quiet time. Most of the time my five year old will not sleep, but as long as she plays quietly in her room for at least and hour or two I’m good.
    Good for you making some time for yourself! Love you blog by the way!

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  13. Colletta

    05/01/2012

    Sometimes I have to give myself a Time-Out. I send myself to my room, shut the door and be quiet. I can zone out and come back “out” refreshed and a little less grouchy. :)

    Colletta

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  14. Liz C

    05/01/2012

    We have a lot of musical instruments, people, chickens, etc at our house, so it’s not silent all the time, but the whole family includes quite a few introverts who *need* quiet personal recharge time. Since I’m that way myself, we’ve organized our home life to include that time for everyone, and one family basic is to respect the recharge needs of others… so if my oldest needs some down time, the little ones aren’t allowed to pester her!

    Teaching the “times and seasons” to very small children is hard, but WORTH IT.

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  15. Elizabeth Dilts

    05/01/2012

    How funny! Today, someone asked me if I slept when my 9 month old took naps ( because I had previously explained that he was a bad night and day sleeper, and I was exhausted), but I replied that I’d rather enjoy the silence than sleep! I thought I was the only one who valued silence above all!

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  16. KimH

    05/01/2012

    Im an introvert too and I adore Silence!! I live in a household full of loud boisterous extroverts and it was very difficult when we combined our two households.
    When my kids were babies, it wasnt too difficult. I didnt have lots & lots of noise going on during the day and my babies werent too bad most of the time as far as crying, though they sure did have some days nothing could satisfy them.

    Baby swings are wonderful things if you havent tried that one. That saved my sanity quite a bit.

    TVs drive me insane.. I can tolerate a couple shows if its something Im really really interested in but even then, I cant take much more than that. Often, at work, I turn my stereo off & enjoy the silence. I can go outside for a quick walk any time too. Every night, M’honey watches the boob tube while I read email/blogs and it jams my brain.

    I head to the tub & soak in the silence & steamy scented hot water for about 30 minutes every night, unless we’re out of town, and then go to bed and read my book in silence for another 30 minutes or so. Its so essential for my well-being.

    I also get up very early in the morning so I can have peace & quiet alone, and then I pray & meditate every morning too before I hit the shower & get moving for the day.. I cant tell you how much of a wonderful difference adding even 10 minutes of meditation to my day makes.. Its immeasurable.

    I love music & enjoy going to concerts but there are sometimes I do just turn my radio off & enjoy the silence.. Also a walk in an arboretum or a botanical garden are awesome.

    I also built myself a back yard sanctuary that is a wonderful place for me to go to, to enjoy the sound of silence.. I had M’honey make a small patio where I could do Tai Chi under a large tree, and I surrounded it with shade loving plants & he bought me a nifty water fountain that lives there too. Sometimes, when I need to be alone & the house is alive & making me crazy, I’ll go lay down on my little patio & look up at the beautiful tree, or do a few ballet or tai chi moves… So so tranquil.. ♥

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  17. ShannonP

    05/01/2012

    My husband works four days and then has four days off. The days that he is home, the radio is going all.day.long on the sports channel, and then he has ESPN.com or something going on the computer. It absolutely makes me crazy. We don’t have TV, and I rarely have any type of music going. I am a general and legal transcriptionist, so my JOB is listening to other people talk. I also have three children, ages 5 and under, who all like to talk A LOT.

    I am finding silence more and more precious as time goes by. If I am hearing too much noise, I get really grumpy.

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  18. Julie

    05/01/2012

    I would take my kids for a walk and when they were still sleeping when I got home, I would wheel them into the house and let them stay asleep in the stroller. Worked for me…sometimes. My first two were twins so usually only one would be sleeping, so I would take the one that was awake out and leave the sleeper in.

    I too love the silence. However, I should probably teach myself how to quiet my thoughts. My mind is always working,thinking etc. I especially notice this in the shower.

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  19. Rebecca

    05/02/2012

    YES! We love taking walks and getting out for some sun and a little quiet (and no wrangling a squirmy baby). We also canceled our cable and just have Hulu and Netflix-I love that when a show is over, it just shows the home screen of Hulu/Netflix with NO NOISE. This helps so much because with cable, when a show is over I am much more likely to just leave it on. And the background noise gets to me after awhile.

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  20. Michelle

    05/02/2012

    I, too, LOVE the quiet. We homeschool our four children ages 2-11yrs and I find myself sometimes getting overwhelmed at the noise level! We have Quiet Time immediately following lunch for 1-2 hours. I get up at 4:55am every morning so I can work out and then just sit without any noise – it’s so quiet…I love it :) My husband asked me just the other day what I did when I walked on the treadmill in the mornings. When I said nothing, I just walked and thought, he was so surprised! Guess who’s the extrovert in our family!

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  21. Debra Kapellakis

    05/03/2012

    i walked my babies when they were still small enough for strollers. It was wonderful for my brain too.

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  22. Jenni / Life from the Roof

    05/06/2012

    Sigh . . . I LOVE quiet. And I have three little noisy boys. I love them to pieces, but by the end of the day I am about to lose it because of the noise level. My husband and I have worked out a deal where I get 1-1.5 hrs after dinner to myself, and often I just go into my room and lock the door. :)

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  23. Suzanne

    05/07/2012

    I am with you! I so miss the hour or so I had to myself in the mornings to drink my coffee and read a good book or journal before my son was born. Now he can hear me come down the hall and wakes up! It has been a long time since I’ve had silence except maybe at work, which is actually “downtime” for me sometimes! I’m looking forward to a new job I start in July, when after I drop my son off at preschool, I get an extra 20 minutes one-way to my new job. More miles on the car, more gas, more wear and tear on the car, but more sanity and quiet for me!

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  24. Linda (Phila burbs)

    05/09/2012

    i’m coming out of lurking status and also a little late to be posting a comment on this post, but wanted to tell you that this post actually made me feel a little less “weird.” i had my tv turned off right before christmas as i was feeling like i was way too addicted to tv and not living my life enough. i don’t even turn on the radio and sometimes have to make myself turn it on in the car to get caught up on what’s happening in the world. i think that the quiet is healthy and you can actually hear sounds like the birds. my sister was over last pm and she told me that i had to get tv back b/c it was horrible in my house and way too quiet. i felt l ike a freak until i remembered your post. frankly, i think it is peaceful and i feel like my life is now so much better than it was before.

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  25. monica

    05/10/2012

    I too love the quiet. I remember when silence was broken in my world as well. Battery operated toys drove me batty. I’ll never forget the “musical” ( musical my eye!) train that my mother gave to my sons. I got rid of that thing as fast as I could. Flash forward and I have grown ups. My house is constantly a clutter of noise pollution. Primarily of the electronic sounds of global battle being executed from our television with surround sound.
    Thank you Lord for my quiet job. I’m alone mostly. I am the office admin at our church. I can answer email, do the paperwork for the church, keep up on community events, learn more about the care and stewardship of our church. I can read my Bible. I can pray. This prepares me for returning home to global combat.

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  26. sn

    05/26/2012

    I, too, like silence.

    I have a sensory disorder and asperer’s (high-functioning mild form of autism, super super sensitive to noises, tastes, etc.).

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  27. TK

    05/28/2012

    More quiet time as she gets older??? Ha! Good luck with that! (Said in a laughing, smiling, twinkling eyed way, not meanly) My little one just turned 3 and from the moment she discovered words, I don’t think I’ve had a single moment’s silence other than when she’s asleep…she used to just babble and mimic sounds she heard (did a great creaky door impression!) now she constantly sings, comments on everything she sees, makes comparisons, rhymes any word she thinks of , makes her guys and cars and dolls talk to each other (one even “hung up” on her the other day and she was yelling at it) and generally keeps a running dialog every waking moment. I try not to get too fed up with the millionth “what’s that” or “why” in the car, because I know when she’s a teenager I’ll wish I could get her to talk to me ;)

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  28. Tash

    08/25/2012

    Silence is golden, and elusive.

    I have four children – 6yo, 4yo and 2yo twins. The only silence i ever get now is when they are all asleep.
    Driving is tricky…usually the 4 and 6yo are discussing significant matters in the rear row ( yesterday it was a disagreement about exactly what God wears in heaven), in the middle row one 2yo shouts out every time a bus or truck drives near us (often-we live in a busy city) and the other twin sings constantly!
    I wear those big yellow industrial ear protectors when i drive, just so i can concentrate :)
    When i had o children, i never really appreciated the lack of noise.

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    mis Reply:

    I’ll have to try the headphones..seriously!

    Anther idea you might think about is installing those Limo windows that separate the back and front

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  29. Meaghean

    10/03/2012

    I find myself way too often getting out of the bed at four in the morning to have my quiet time and bible study before I have to get the kids up and ready for daycare… I have two, two years and six months. Never a dull moment!

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  30. Andrea

    01/07/2013

    I just ran across your blog and I LOVE it!! We both have a lot in common..must be the name ;) I definitely crave my quiet time too! I have a 2 year old daughter..and her nap time is how I keep my sanity. And I don’t like the radio or tv on either! I could sit in a quiet house all day! I’m glad I’m not the only one :)

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    Andrea Reply:

    ah yes… I’ve forgotten what a truely quite home “sounds” like! and my middle name is actually “lynn” too :)

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  31. mis

    01/19/2013

    They only get louder and more unorganized as they get older but if you make things easy for them to do themselves (no nitpicking sorting system) it helps reduce a lot of stress and fights and aggravation (and nOISE !) later on.

    The out room sounds like a great idea

    Once she’s preschool age she could always go there for a bit.
    if you need more than a reasonable amount of time seriously look into stress management therapy as life is noisy

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