Sunday, February 22, 2015

The introverted mother: a Cautionary Tale

I love that in the last few years, the introvert/extrovert concept has gotten so much airtime.  And by airtime I mean eye-catching articles about introverts shared on Facebook.

I love reading about myself, especially when it's illustrated with pictures of quirky, cute leading ladies.  I'm in good company!  We're all mad here.

Here's the thing though.  Being single and living alone is the perfect setup for an introvert.  You control all interactions with other people.  When you want to be alone, you are!  Those were the glory years.  It can only be downhill from there.

Being married to a musician is the next logical step for the thinking introvert, though.  You have your spouse that you love, but he is often away in the evening, leaving you lots of downtime.  When you get up in the morning to go to work, he is still asleep.  There are still long hours of silence and "solitude" in your life, but you don't have to worry about dying alone. (Joking.  But kind of serious, right?!)

When you start having kids, that's when your life really changes.  They have no boundaries.  And they can't even read, so those "How to Love Your Introvert" articles won't do you any good, either.

If you are blessed with a stay-at-home husband, there is still hope.  Your alone-time will look different now. You will learn to cherish your commute to work.  The backseat of the taxi becomes your own little world, where you recharge and process.  It's 20 minutes of peace.

It may not be perfect, but it works.  Until. Your child turns four and starts coming to school with you.  The following year, your other son joins you.  Once a zen chamber of silence. your taxi ride soon becomes just another medium for questions. No, I don't know how far the next nearest star is from the sun.  Yes, I can search it up.  No, I don't know if the word destroy comes from word stroy; I've never heard of stroy.  Yes, it does make sense... Yes, I can search it up.  No, I don't know why the driver has so many hairs growing out of that mole.  Actually I do.  But I'm so tired I can't even think of how to answer.  You know how sometimes moms of babies feel "touched out"?  I am questioned out.  I love that I have curious children.  They just require a level of on-ness previously reserved for final exams and public speaking.  All the time.

My mind is only fully functional when it's calm and quiet, which means that basically I have been running on reserve resources for the last six years, with the last year and a half pretty much on E.

I love my kids!  I love my life!  But I cried real tears of joy when Whim said he was taking the boys to church today so I could rest.  One morning alone and I feel like I can conquer the world! I tidied the whole house while they were away, and still had time to watch the first half of my favorite movie before they got back.

Yes, I can answer that question!  Yes, you can make a volcano. Yes, yes, yes.

I love this picture that Whim took of me so much that I made it my Facebook profile picture, even though I'm practically scowling in it.  It was months ago, and it still makes me happy when I see it.  Just me, alone, thinking, while the boys were having piano lessons.  I need to be better about grabbing those moments of solitude when I can get them.


  1. I feel that.

    School starts up again here tomorrow after one million days at home. I am so happy.

    1. The day after I wrote this they were so sweet in the taxi, they each snuggled up on either side of me and told me nice things they would do for me if they had powers. I felt a little guilty.

      I'm still at the stage of loving "snow days" but maybe it's because I'm a teacher.