And not just for the 2nd time, but the, well, I don’t know exactly how many times. But enough.
And I know, it will happen again.
I love being a mother. Being gifted by God with two amazing individuals has been an enormous blessing in my life.
I love the mothering. I love the active and intimate role I have in their lives. I know them better than anyone else (well, their Dad knows them pretty well too!) to the point I can predict their needs and wants and thoughts without thinking about it myself.
I love the cuddling, playing, being, teaching, learning, showing, hugging, kissing, cooperating, collaborating, instigating, assisting, leading, following, and seeing. I love the loving.
I’m all about the active parts of mothering. The doing that demonstrates my love and creates a safe home-base for which I hope they will always feel welcome to return to.
Yet, with all the doing and touching and never really stopping, ever, this introvert eventually slows down, then shuts down.
My brain will creak along slowly, literally only able to handle the next few tasks. Living the moment takes on new meaning, when anything beyond the next hour has to wait.
Then there are they times when I literally zone out, unable to process anything more.
With a husband and two kids who are definitely extroverts, I at times, just want to flee. I’ve had enough. Not that anything is bad, I just can’t take any more information into my brain, I can’t feel anything more with my senses, I can’t think of anything other than this precise second and whatever I am focused on.
I can try to go to bed early, only to be awakened multiple times by a crying child. I can try to take time for myself, only to lose any advantage with the erratic drama of a toddler and preschooler and a husband arriving home from a long work trip. I can be mindful, I can write, I can differentiate, I can do everything I am supposed to do.
But as a mom, my life is not my own. My mind and heart and body and nerves and blood and bones and everything else are in tuned to what they need, when they need it. And I am not even a helicopter parent, I have time “on my own” when I work and they are in school/daycare, and a supportive husband who is a wonderful dad (when in town).
Yet, in the end, there are still hours or days where I both want to be with them and not be with them. When I want nothing more than to be their mother, and not have a thought of them cross my mind for one hour! Think of that! One hour without any thought of their needs and wants and dreams and past and future and present and, and, and!
I don’t know how to explain it, other than, it just takes so much more out of me…and I know even extroverted moms who collapse too!
If you have any suggestions on how to get through this stage…please let me and other moms (parents) know!
Here is my prayer for the introverted mom, and any mom or parent or guardian, actually. I wrote it as a way to recover from the most recent “episode”.
A Prayer for (the Introverted) Mom
Lord, I want to cry,
No, I did cry.
But I don’t know exactly why.
I love them so much!
these unique beings
who are transforming my heart and soul.
I ache for them.
Dream for them.
Melt for them.
You gave them to me,
to love and cherish,
to mentor and guide,
to keep safe.
To love them…
to love them with my whole being!
Yet, I am so drained!
Diapers changed and meals made.
Noses wiped and jackets zipped.
Backs soaped and toys gathered.
The angelic sound of “Mommy”
grinds at my sanity
as nothing ever, really gets done.
Something is always forgotten
and time goes to fast.
They, the ones who have done this
say it is a beautiful stage
and a frantic one.
They, the ones with grey hair and smiles
say it will be over all too soon
and I know what they mean.
Yet, I do my best not to scream,
feeling isolated and alone,
for after any break
the days quickly meld together again.
No real reprieve.
Their needs push mine out of reach.
Their wants, make mine disappear.
I love them so.
I want it no other way.
Yet, I pray for an easy day,
an easier week,
a bit of understanding,
real time to rest,
and a fraction of my sanity to heal.
Lord, help me to breathe.
Hold me when I cry.
And love me when I can do no more
than love with energy I just don’t have.