Mothering as an Introvert
I am an introvert through and through. Though I may not have had the name for it early on, I always knew that I felt physically drained from being around people for long stretches of time. Groups of people intimidate me. Having to make small talk makes me want to hide in a corner. And I need time away from everyone in order to feel like myself again. For a long time I thought there was something wrong with me, so I just kept pushing myself to be more "normal". I joined cheerleading, I went to parties, hell, I was even Homecoming Queen my senior year. But all of those experiences left me feeling drained at the end of the day.
Fast forward many years later and the overwhelming feeling to want to hide within myself has come back full force. The outside pressure? My two beautiful baby boys. Motherhood is not built for being an introvert. From day one you are needed so completely that you're lucky if you get five minutes to shower. When you slip into bed at night, chances are you've been touched and hugged and climbed on for most of the day. It's a beautiful feeling. But for me, it's also really, really hard.
I love my boys more than anything in this world. But at the same time, being needed 24/7 is exhausting for me. I need time to myself to decompress. I need silence and quiet and to not be touched in order to feel recharged and able to start again.
Since welcoming Harrison nearly five months ago (!), that time for me is very, very limited. There is no silence in a house full of boys. There is no alone time when you have an infant. And there is no decompression until you fall into bed at night - and even then, chances are you'll be up most of the night being a mother.
Motherhood is beautiful.
Moterhood as an introvert? It's a bit more challenging.
Recently we put both boys in daycare two days a week for 5 hours at a time. That's 10 hours a week that I am completely alone in my house. As I'm typing this, it is one of those times. All I can hear throughout the house is the subtle sounds of the birds chirping outside my window, and the keys clacking as I type. This right here is exactly what I need. Within these 10 hours each week, I begin to feel a bit more like myself. I'm able to be a better mother when the boys get back home. I'm able to enjoy time with my husband once the kids are in bed. All because I'm able to get that little break that my introverted soul desperately needs. And that break is priceless.