There are days where my energy has run completely thin - to the point where I almost feel winded- and by the end of the day I am wishing that it was just bedtime already, so the kids can go to sleep and the house can be quiet for a little bit. So that I can actually think. I've never been proud of wishing my kids away, for they are wonderful little balls of curious energy, but I get to the point where I just need to be alone. I always wondered about the moms who love being with their kids every minute and thought it odd that they never needed a break, or loved spending all their time with them doing all kinds of activities. And then I read this article on being an introverted mom and things became clear. Another article supported the first.
I've always maintained that I am an introvert (as posted several times here before): I don't like large crowds of people, I don't like making small talk with people I don't know, and while I like to go and hang out with friends, I am often worn out afterwards. There is so much about me that craves alone time, but I never really thought about being an introvert in relation to having kids.
Here's the thing: when you are a parent, you are always on. Always. Someone always needs something, someone is constantly talking to you and you constantly have to acknowledge them and talk back. It's often very repetitive and roundabout conversations. There is very little quiet alone time. Even with small breaks in the day, it proves to be not enough to fully recharge, and some days there are no small breaks in the day, so energy levels dip lower and lower, compounding on itself. I have always joked that my kids have so much energy because they are taking all of mine, and now I realize I may not be wrong.
I need time to recharge, quietly, by myself, which is why, I realize now, I sit out on the couch with the computer after everyone goes to bed, catching up on emails and anything else that requires me to put longer, more coherent thoughts together, like a blog post or a list of things to do the next day. That is the only time of the day where I can really sit and think and not get interrupted. And even though it's busy work and I'm not really being "quiet" the act of sitting and not talking helps slow down my mind and frees it from some of the things it's been holding onto all day, waiting to be remembered.
And for this, I will not feel guilty for happily seeing my kids off to bed and hoping they are worn out enough to go right to sleep. A break from each other does us all good and we can start fresh in the morning. Connecting parenting and intovertism is a huge epiphany for me, and from reading the comments on those articles, I'm not the only one. Having more school time and a regular schedule is going to help a lot over the next coming months and I'm looking forward to seeing the progress I can make on myself.