Are there any fellow introverts out there? Any other moms who feel like, by the time they come home to their little people, they have used up all their words for the day?
When it was just my husband and I, I felt like that, too, but I could always tell him if I needed a night on my own or to just watch TV and decompress for a bit.
Not so these days!
As soon as I pick up my girls from school, it is a constant stream of chatter and discipline and “Mommy!” and “Up!”
And I love it! I’ve missed them, and I want to talk about their day, play, read, and do all the “mom” stuff.
But I’m still an introvert.
I imagine introverted moms who are at home with their kids have their own set of challenges and solutions, but here’s what I’ve been doing lately to make sure I have the all-by-myself time I need to recharge.
Take It Where You Can Get It
Lunch hours, coffee breaks, the drive to and from work–wherever I can grab a few minutes of alone time, I take it. And, even though it’s tempting, I try not to fill every second of that alone time with multi-tasking. It’s more helpful to me sometimes to drive in silence instead of listening to a podcast or to just sit and read on my lunch break instead of catching up on phone calls and errands.
Generally, though, these snatches of time are not enough to completely refresh me and keep me ready to interact with other people.
Ask for It
Thankfully, my husband is a fellow introvert, so, when I get desperate, I call for help. He steps up while I go for coffee, or he lets me take the dog for a walk. (As long as we don’t need introvert time at the same time, we’re good!)
Even though my girls are young, I’ve already been trying to talk with them a little about this, too–just asking them to give Mommy a couple of minutes in the next room or if we can sit quietly and watch an episode of their favorite show.
One-on-One Time Is Better Than No Time
I’ve also learned that, like most introverts, I do better one-on-one than in crowds. Same with my family. If I’m interacting with both of my daughters, chatting with my husband, and trying to corral the dog (all at the end of the work day, no less), I can quickly get overwhelmed.
But if I can take each of my gals for her bath while the other stays with her dad, that helps. It’s easier to decompress with just one other person than it is with a lot.
That being said, there are times that I just have to push aside the introverted tendencies and be present and cheerful with my family. This is a season of life, and it is already passing more quickly than I would like.
At some point, I’ll probably have all the time on my own that I want, and I will miss these girls clamoring for my attention. Until then, it’s all about finding that balance between making sure I get the time I need and they get the interaction with me that they need.
How do you incorporate “me” time into your life? Do you have any tips to share?