For the longest time, I thought something was wrong with me. Being around people exhausted me and so many times, I would much rather have a night in by myself than an evening surrounded by friends and family. Don’t get me wrong, occasionally I enjoy social outings and spending time with friends and family. It’s just that doing those things are not what replenishes me, what calms my mind and my soul and makes me feel whole again.
In an extroverted world, it was so hard to accept that I was like this. Until I finally understood that there was nothing wrong with it. Introversion is just the way I regroup and regain my energy. The way I fill myself up again to be able to go out, give and share with the world.
My biggest struggle by far with my introverted nature has been since becoming a mother. OH MY GOODNESS! I love my children so dearly, but it simply exhausts me to be on all the time. The constant needs and demands from these tiny humans who need me with no time to recuperate. I am feeling constantly at wit’s end and exhausted. Interrupted sleep, interrupted conversations, interrupted everything. It drives me absolutely crazy. Coupled with my lack of limit setting because I want to please everyone, I haven’t figured out the magic formula for balance yet.
I suppose it will be a lifetime of trying to find that balance and continually recalibrating once anything changes, which let’s face it is basically a daily occurrence when you have young children.
I wish I had the answer to offer you, other introverted mothers. There is no answer, but know this you are not alone.
I dream sometimes of just driving away because it is so hard, and so demanding and so exhausting.
I judge myself as an unfit mother, for not being able to give my kids constant undivided attention. (Which I know is unrealistic and unhealthy, but I feel guilt nevertheless)
I feel guilty for wanting and needing so much time to myself, to just be quiet, to think, to meditate, to be by myself and regroup.
I fight with my partner to try and incorporate routines and capsules of time where I can get my alone time.
And almost every day it feels like I fail. My patience is thin, my temper is short, and I can’t help but think to myself maybe I should have not become a mother.
And then I get some time, some quiet uninterrupted time, to dive into a project I have been dying to do. The house is quiet, I put on some good ol’ 80’s music and away I paint or craft or write. No fighting, no screaming, no whining or interruptions in the background. It’s just me, a paintbrush, some paint, and some 80’s music. I feel myself sing along to the music. I am calm and relaxed. When I am hungry I stop to eat, I stop when I am tired.
That evening, I am happy to see my kids. I see them happy too as they are chattering away, eating their dinner. I smile. I enjoy their chattiness now, their giggles and their silliness. I am more patient during regular bedtime battles. Bedtime is a breeze tonight, and I have time to sit down and write…
Maybe I am a good mother after all. Mommy just needs resourceful time outs. Now I have to figure out a way to do it regularly…