Monday, May 16, 2011

The Introverted Mom

It is no surprise to anyone that I am an introvert.  I can do very well in one-on-one conversations, particularly if you are already an acquaintance, but most of the time being around people is just exhausting to me.  I can do it and have fun doing it, but afterward I just need a nap and a chance to recharge.

Being an introvert didn't do much when I had an infant.  Their interactions are not so mental mostly.  I could be alone with my thoughts while cuddling a sleeping child.  Oh sure, I was physically exhausted but it wasn't a social interaction exhaustion.

But as little goat grows I realize that toddlers are not as introvert friendly.  Toddlerhood is something that demands attention, and is verbal enough to call for it frequently (and frankly if it gets too quiet then you best track down your toddler stat because trouble is afoot).  In fact, this clip is pretty much verbatim of life with a toddler some days.

It is wonderful, it really is, but it is easy to get stretched thin.  So Friday was a wonderful day for me - I actually had a day off where I didn't have plans, appointments or have to go into work anyway.  Little goat still went to day care and I had a gray drizzly day to myself.

First I went back to bed for an hour.  Then I read for another hour.  Then I headed out to the gym and had a long workout, just me and HGTV.  Then lunch - Subway and my book again.  Finally a pedicure with a gift card I had.  And I didn't chat with the nail tech, I just read my book and recharged.  I didn't  go on twitter, or the blogs, or the computer all day.  Finally, I finished my book and an ice cream sundae and finally went to pick up little goat.

By the time I did I felt full and happy and ready to dive into being mom, wife, Children's Ministry director, friend, and all of those things again full time.

And you know what, even though we had a busy and fairly social weekend it is now Monday and I am still smiling.  Which just goes to show that you can't really change who you are, but you can know enough about yourself to give you the emotional full necessary to be the best you can be.  It means caring for yourself to give you the tools to succeed.  And for me, that means the occasional day, afternoon, or hour where I don't have to talk to anyone but myself.

What does self care look like to you and how will you plan for some in your week this week?


scrubmama said...

Even us extroverted moms need a lot of alone time--or at least I do! I feel like that need has gotten even stronger after having the second kid. Good for you for having an enjoyable, quiet day to yourself.

angela said...

Oh, so true. I have those random anger moments and now I know why. They seem so unreasonable and hard to forgive.

And then I beg my 3-yr-old to please have quiet time so mommy can recharge. She's starting to understand. Over the edge.

Misty said...

I'm the exact opposite, I crave social interaction ! I start getting very depressed when I go to long without any

Jen said...

I never thought of it this way - that toddlers are non-introvert friendly. It's so true.

You day sounds amazing.

Momma Hunt said...

I love that clip from family guy. It is so my life. I am a high school teacher and there are those moments where I think between the crying baby, my four year old, and my 125 studetns if I hear someone call my name(or mommy) one more time I migh explode

Rebecca said...

Liz, I TOTALLY get it! I'm an introvert too and I related to this post so much. You're absolutely right that toddlers are not introvert friendly. And if you have an extroverted toddler, heaven help you!:-)