I am a classic introvert and always have been. I love my friends and my family, and I adore my children, and there’s nothing I like more than a good discussion of a topic I’m passionate about. However, I can only take so much of other people before I start to feel a little unsettled and unbalanced. I need time alone to feel refreshed and honestly, simply to feel fine. One of my biggest challenges as a mother has been to figure out how to get my need for solitude met while still meeting the needs of my children and keeping my relationship with my husband strong.
To make it even more complicated, both of my children are currently high need children. My older daughter still carries deep wounds from the upheaval she went through during her adoption, and we have decided to homeschool her because she is simply not ready to be away from me all day each weekday. Elvie has myriad medical needs and fresh attachment needs. My day is completely full of meeting my chilren’s needs. To even slip into the bathroom, I have to provide ample distraction or somehow get both girls to sleep at the same time. (It’s happened once. Just once.) I am thrilled to be the mother of my two girls, and I would choose my two babies over all the other babies in the world, no matter how easy the other babies’ needs are by comparison. My kids are worth it. At the same time, I’m a much better mother to them when I can have my own need for solitude met on a regular basis.
Lately I’ve been brainstorming ways to get time alone without completely deserting Jarod and the kids in the evening or on the weekends. First of all, that’s not fair to Jarod, who deserves a break sometimes, too, and second, Elvie is a bit of a mama’s girl lately, so I really need to be at home for her bedtime, or there will be no bedtime, just crying. My alone time right now has to be brief, so I need it to be somewhat frequent in order to get enough. Long gone are the days I could go somewhere for a weekend on my own; that’s just not good for my kids right now (and I’m pretty sure Jarod wouldn’t love it either). So far, my best idea is going for a run as soon as everyone is in bed. Our neighborhood is safe and well lit, and I’m killing two birds with one stone. I get to be alone and get some exercise, not mention get out of the house. I’ve got other ideas of things I could do, but so far none of them has really worked out.
So I would like to ask a question of the readers who are also introvert moms. What do you do to recharge on a regular basis? Is there something tried and true that helps you get enough time to yourself that even when your children aren’t napping at the same time, you don’t feel like finding the nearest wall and banging our head against it before the day is through? How about if you’re tired from being up with a baby all night? I’d love to hear what you do and how often. Leave me some ideas in the comments–I need them desperately!