Sunday, November 9, 2014

Introverted Mama

Look who is two months old today!

I, by nature, am a textbook introvert. When I read articles like this one I am always thinking, "YESS!!  This is me!" And then I forward said article to David, the [mostly] extrovert, as if it could help understand me any better than he already does. I guess I do it out of habit or perhaps to keep the understanding fresh?

You see, we did not always see eye to eye on this introverted thing. When our relationship was young, and we were not aware of these legitimate differences in our personalities, I couldn't understand why he wanted to always be together or he would take my need to be alone personally like I didn't want to be with him. Over the years we have learned so much about each other and about ourselves. High school sweetheart relationships don't always work out because you meet so young and you don't yet even know who you are.  It's hard to grow up, find yourself and continue to grow together in the process.  It has taken daily effort, some days easier than others, and open, accepting minds to get where we are.  A place where we understand, and not only accept but appreciate one another and the different people that we are.  It was a pivotal moment in our relationship when we had a conversation about how we are not "one" as many say spouses are but actually two different people sharing a life together.  It is okay for us to have different interests and desires. We now not only understand that about one another but encourage and support it.  It still takes daily effort and these differences in personality are still what stem some of our arguments but overall we love our differences and each others perfect imperfections.

But, I digress.  This post is about being an introverted mama and a stay at home mama at that.  I am with these cuties all day everyday, day in and day out.

For the most part it is the perfect gig for me.  I often times think that being an introvert is actually what allows me to happily succeed at being a stay at home mom and wife.  I am in complete control of where and when I associate with other people and if I have a day where I feel like being too social would be more draining than uplifting I simply stay home.  The problem is when I encounter days when the boys naps don't line up or I need to take a nap myself (because sleeping does not count as alone time for me).  At the moment, nap time is when I can have the space and quiet that I need to recharge. I believe "touched out" is the phrase I would use to describe such days.  It is safe to say that I am a pretty important member of this household and all of my boys (and pets) have needs that only I can meet.  That is a pretty big hat for this introvert to wear and on days where I'm meeting the needs of everyone else all day long, I can definitely feel it by the day's end.  The days where Ayden (who I am almost positive is an extroverted individual like his daddy) has little interest in playing independently are especially draining on me, even if it was a great day.  On those days I really look forward to watching Gilmore Girls while I work on kitchen clean up.  

A couple of great examples of this happened back to back recently.  Last night when we got home from my mom's birthday dinner, Ayden was already asleep but David was looking forward to salvaging an evening together. Logan needed to be nursed, the dog wanted a bone and was howling like crazy, and the cat wanted to be fed and was meowing like crazy. I had a moment where I felt so overwhelmed because almost every being in the house needed something from me at the same time after I had come home from a long social event (which are draining for introverts).  I needed to recharge.  David was trying his best to keep Logan occupied, I quickly took care of each pet and then I went into our dark, quiet bedroom and zoned out on my phone for a bit while I nursed Logan.  It was late and I took a little while because every time I tried to get up Logan would wake back up so David ended up falling asleep on the couch.  Even so, I felt better.  That quiet time was all I needed to feel rejuvenated again.  Today was the complete opposite.  David was working on the house most of the day and both boys took long naps at the same time.  I had plenty of quiet time and was able to be patient and enthusiastic up until bedtime.

My point is, it is so important to recognize which personality type you are and to make sure that you find time to recharge in whatever way is necessary for you. We can't let mama guilt make us feel selfish for taking care of this very important need because, just like the oxygen masks on an airplane, we can't take care of those around us if we don't first take care of ourselves.  If you and your spouse have different personality types, it would definitely be worth the time and effort to have discussions about your recharge needs.  It might even help them recognize when you might need it even before you do.  

Here is the progess that David made on our basement retaining walls today!  

The first course (aka the foundation) of our block walls.

2nd layer

Making progress!

Flashback!  Here's what we were up to one year ago today: "Change Of Plans"
And two years ago today: "Bath Time Peek-A-Boo"

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for phrasing so well what I often find difficult to explain to others. I found myself in nearly everything you wrote here, except that my husband is an introvert too so it is easier for us to understand each other in that respect. Finding the balance between caring for my daugther (who is just 15 months old) and my need for me time and enough sleep is not always easy. Especially on days where she needs some extra love because she is sick or going through a developmental leap or so.

    My biggest introvert - extrovert "struggle", however, is with my mom. She lives further away, so we only see her 3 - 4 times a year but then usually for several days. She then wants to spend every waking hour together and savour every moment. And I totally get that. But I really need my quiet moments and have trouble explaining that to her without hurting her.