By Erin Davis
Motherhood is hard for me. Its’ not hard in the usual way. The I’m sleep deprived, I have so much laundry to do, my kids are pushing my buttons way. Honestly, I can handle those challenges most of the time. But still, most days motherhood feels extraordinarily tough. I think I know why.
I’m an introvert. I’m not the quiet, shy type of introvert. Nope, I’m very outgoing and genuinely love being around people. But, people exhaust me. After a party or speaking engagement I just want to crash into an empty house or quiet bath. My batteries are re-charged by being alone. I am at my best when I can build some alone time into each day.
But, motherhood is not a job well tailored to introverts. We are in constant communication with our kiddos. If we try to escape to the bathroom for a few moments of solitude, our children stick their chubby fingers right under the door. I swear mine start talking before they are even awake in the morning and they keep talking to me through the bedroom door each night after I put them to bed.
I’ve found that when I’ve had too much “together time” that’s when I tend to get a little raw. My desire to nurture wanes and is replaced by fantasies of somehow being the only survivor of a plane crash on a desert island. I get cranky and irritable as a byproduct of never being alone.
Any other introvert mommas out there? You smell what I’m stepping in, right? Yep, for introverts motherhood can be tough simply because our littles are always with us. But here’s the deal, our kids don’t deserve to pay a price because we are over stimulated. Our wrath and irritability is misplaced and wrong. It’s not their responsibility to make sure our batteries are charged. Their insatiable desire to be with us is an expression of love, not an attempt to wear us slick.
It is your job to make sure your batteries are charged. If like me, that happens through sitting in a quiet house with a cup of something steamy, then do that. Make it happen. Set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier. (I can hear your collective groan, take it up with the sunrise). Stay up 30 minutes later. Leave the dishes in the sink during nap time because a calm mommy is a better gift than a shiny kitchen. Hire a sitter one morning a month and go sit in a coffee shop. Ditch the guilt and get yourself re-fueled.
Maybe you charge up a different way. Maybe you feel better after lunch with friends or a long run. Great! Do those things.
Your family is unlikely to say “Mom, we see that you are stressed and tired. Take some time off. We will run things on our own.” But we should not resent them for it. Good mental health is our responsibility and ultimately it’s up to us and the Lord.
So, take a minute and think through what fuels your batteries. Then do that. It’s possible to mother well and have a full tank. The beautiful byproduct is a momma who is able handle the challenges of motherhood with grace and energy.
What fuels your batteries? What do you need to do to make sure you are getting filled back up?
Beyond Bath Time Takeaway: It’s our responsibility as moms to make sure our emotional and energy tanks are full enough for us to mother well.
ERIN DAVIS is the founder of Graffiti Ministries, an organization dedicated to addressing the issues of identity, worth, and true beauty in the lives of young women. She is the author of Beyond Bath Time, which addresses the importance of motherhood as a sacred role. A popular speaker, author and blogger, Erin has addressed women of all ages nationwide and written several books including Beyond Bath Time, Graffiti: Learning to See the Art in Ourselves, True Princess, and The Bare Facts, co-written with Josh McDowell. Her quest for the perfect scoop of ice cream is never ending and her children Eli and Noble are her constant source of entertainment.
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