When I was pregnant with my middle son I was admitted into the hospital (2 hrs from home), which ended up being my home for over three months. There’s no privacy in hospitals, nurses and Dr.’s coming and going without any thought about knocking on doors. I learned very quickly that when I wanted to be alone and pray without being walking in on, the bathroom was my hiding place. It had a lock. Every time I became overwhelmed (which was often) or angry I would run to my bathroom, lock the door, and pray. Now I don’t know how most people pray, but when I pray I’m usually crying. It was the only thing in my life at that moment that felt like I could control.
Six years later I find myself still running to my bathroom and locking my door before the tears start falling. Longing to be alone when I’m at my level of having too much sensory. Did I mention I’m an Introvert? Being an Introvert doesn’t help matters. The constant bickering of 3 kids, constantly cleaning messy rooms that I just cleaned, and on top of all the necessary daily activities working FT outside of the home. Chaos. I’m exhausted all the time, I’m sure most all moms feel this way. Mentally and emotionally drained. I was telling my bestie recently that I felt like I was constantly in a fight or flight mode. I struggle with too much sensory. This could be at work, home, or out in public. When I get home from work I’m unable to just sit and relax. I spend probably the first hour (I’m lying, sometimes 2 hours) cleaning up, starting the laundry, or de-cluttering. Order, I love order. My friends and my husband often tease me about my need for order. I sincerely do try to just “chill” and lounge for a bit, but before I know it I start to get irritated and distracted by everything that is laying around out of its place. Whether I’m at work, home, or out in public I’m usually struggling to concentrate on my agenda through the noises, the TV’s, people’s conversations around me, and even my children’s daily loudness (loudness, arguing, millions of what is or what if’s, and crying). Too much sensory. I need to escape.
Please, don’t confuse my feeling drained with not loving my kids. Only God knows how much I love them and would do anything for them. It’s merely about not being able to decompress, feeling sucked dry by life’s demands, and sometimes finding it difficult to breath.
I often feel guilty about this on a daily basis. I can be difficult and unpleasant at times, thank goodness my husband is amazing at reading me and knows almost instantly when I’m starting to become over stimulated. Especially when the entire family is out and my children aren’t necessarily being unruly, just loud and busy. Too busy, I’m not a helicopter mom by any means but I do keep a very close eye on my children when we are out. I have 2 extremely hyper boys who seem to lack any sense of fear. I’ve had to leave department stores, the post office (Yes, this did happen), and church because of having a moment when I felt like I was going to “flight”. Exhausted. I long to be care-free and relaxed, you know, that “laid back and cool” mom. Instead I’m the mom who stands by herself and is quiet, interacting with kids mostly.
You see, I’m not shy or lack confidence. I enjoy socializing and connecting with people, but doing those things really drains me. I socialize all day at work, in fact, my job requires me to ask my patient (I normally have 6-9 patients for 1 hr each) questions and talk about how they feel and such. I do this ALL day. Then I arrive home and sometimes my family only gets my leftovers. Some people become energized the more they are around people, fueled almost. I become grumpy, irritable, and by the end of the day I sometimes begin to disengage myself. My body is telling me to recharge itself, run to the bathroom for some alone time. I go to bed super late, mostly because the kids are in bed and I finally have some alone time. I may be on Pinterest, sometimes I workout, or a lot of times I’m watching James Corden or Jimmy Fallon on Youtube (did I mention that I love to laugh). I’m refueling, just being by myself and have quiet time is all I need to come alive again.
Please don’t mistake my post for being whiney, I am so grateful for everything God has blessed me with. Some days are easier than others. I’m just a mom being honest, admitting that sometimes life is difficult and its hard to breath. Sometimes its hard to ask for help when I need it the most.
Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
So here is a list you should know about The Busy Introverted Mom (this is my view based on myself)
- PHONE CALLS. I won’t answer my phone when you call. There are tricks that my family have in making me answer, they text me that I need to call them. Silly? Perhaps, but thats our system and it works. Texting is usually the only way you will reach me.
- I DON’T HATE SOCIAL EVENTS. I like to have a good time, I just prefer intimate conversations. I get awkward with small talk. That doesn’t mean I dislike someone, it just feels fake and unsatisfying. Please don’t stop inviting me when I decline your invite once, twice, or more than that! Sometimes I really want to go, but sometimes I’m struggling with giving up my alone time. Large crowds can be so overwhelming.
- ALONE TIME. Alone time doesn’t mean I’m mad or upset. It doesn’t mean that I’m ant-social. I’m selectively social and I need alone time to recharge. Once I’m recharged I’m ready to interact with friends and family. Recharging could be 30 minutes by myself or even an afternoon doing a task completely zoned into without any distractions from kids. That’s how I come back to life.
- I ANALYZE EVERYTHING. I analyze life, situations, my past conversations, my patient’s, my relationship with God. It’s never ending. I’m analyzing things with no importance, which is exhausting. I notice details you may miss. This can be a good things when it helps with coming up with a solution when a problem arises, especially in my line of work.
- I AM A LISTENER. I’m usually the one listening in a conversation, not always but usually. Just know that while you are talking, I’m analyzing you. I truly do enjoy getting to know you. If I begin to look away, I’m getting distracted by stimuli thats interfering with my listening. This is why I prefer intimate conversations, less distractions.
- I’M NOT SHY. Being an introvert doesn’t mean I’m shy. I’m not afraid to meet new people, I actually enjoy it. As stated above, I’m selective and quiet, not shy.
- FEELINGS=UGH. I’m not really into talking about how I feel all the time. I won’t talk about my personal life easily. I am super affectionate with my husband and kids, other than that its starting to feel pretty awkward for me. I’m not good with receiving compliments. It makes me feel weird and I start to clam up inside. Slightly embarrassed actually. I’d rather be the one to give a compliment or give you a small, light pat on the shoulder and that will count as my affection. I’m choosey who I let in.
- All Introverts are not created equally. Everyone has their different qualities that make them unique. These are merely my opinions based on my daily life.
Have a Blessed Day!