In my twenties, I used to feel sorry for the people I saw eating alone in a restaurant or drinking a cup of coffee by themselves. I used to imagine them sad, feeling sorry for being lonely and I would make a story in my mind about their life: a lonely house, no friends or family, trapped in the darkness of their depressing reality.
Years have passed and now I am a mom of a toddler and a 7 month baby, and if you are a parent too you understand my life: crazy house, no time to sit down between playing with them, taking care of their needs + work +hubbie +another million things= no quiet time at all. Finding time for yourself is pretty hard. The dynamic of the house keeps you incredibly busy and being able to put a pause to do something for you seems impossible. That is parenthood!
Now I looked back in my memories about those people I used to watch eating alone and I can see now a happy mother or father enjoying some QUIET TIME! where they could read the paper without interruptions, read a good book that is not for kids or do whatever they feel like in the moment ALONE.
And please don't get me wrong, being with our family is great and I wouldn't change that for anything. But God I enjoy so much a quiet time to drink a cup of coffee and think about my projects, and I have found it is so healthy for my family life too since I go back home full of energy. We (my husband and I) have even named it, we call it "ME TIME", a space in our busy schedule to be just by ourselves.
So now every time I see a person alone in a restaurant, a coffee shop or at the movies, I no longer pity them, now I understand they are probably enjoying some "ME TIME"