Being a mother and an introvert is an interesting juxtaposition. I am someone that has always greatly valued having time and space to myself. I truly need it to recharge and rejuvenate my spirit. It has nothing to do with the feelings that I have for my husband or my children; it is just the way my brain is made up. I often wonder if it has anything to with the fact that I grew up as an only child because like a lot of only children I grew up quickly learning how to occupy myself and I very much enjoyed being solitary.
There are a lot of times that I have to jump outside of myself because it benefits my children. I’m not going to pretend that isn’t hard. There are moments when I am talked out, touched out, and I simply just want a few moments of solitude. There are plenty of times where I don’t really want to reach out and speak to teachers, when I don’t want to make phone calls, when I don’t want to try to make small talk with other parents when I quickly see I have nothing in common with them. My introverted nature as well as my anxiety start talking and everything inside of me wants to just not do it.
And you know what? That’s okay.
There are plenty of times that I will leave certain tasks to my husband. He understands and gets those parts of me and he will carry the weight on certain things that are hard for me but not for him. I’m glad that I have a partner that balances me out and I know that I do the same for him.
There are the times when I look into my kids’ eyes and I draw strength from them. I look at them and I want to advocate for them, I want to fight for them, I want to do everything in my power to dig deep and work past my fears. And a lot of the times I do, and I am happy and proud of myself for putting in the work.
My two babies are too little at this point but I am very honest with my oldest, especially considering he has proven to be so much like me in personality and a lot of the time needs his own freedom and space to recharge. He knows that there are times that I might just need a moment but I will always be right here for him. I don’t want my children to see me as someone who martyred myself at all times, saying that it was for their benefit. I don’t feel like that is realistic and I also don’t feel like that is fair to put on them. I want them to know that I’m flappable, that I’m flawed, that I’m not a perfect person, but no matter what I tried the best that I could and I loved them dearly. I want them to see in me that you don’t have to be perfect to be good so they will not be ashamed of their own imperfections.
These are the sorts of things I think about when I am in my bathtub soaking, taking a much needed break. When I am done I will rise and be ready for a million questions and a million hugs and a million pieces of love transferred across the current of my family back and forth.