Confession and Prayer of an Introvert Mom

Happened again.

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 children
these angels
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.
Amen.

Advertisements

About SFriant

A mom and wife trying to live deliberately and spiritually in a crazy world.
This entry was posted in Parenting, Prayer and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Confession and Prayer of an Introvert Mom

  1. gracetracer says:

    I think all of us who are actual introverts struggle with the occasional desire to flee from those whom we love most as well as from all the many others with whom we deal on a regular basis. I know a man who spent all day, every day in meetings at work. When he got home he was desperate to “cave.” No surprise, his extroverted wife who thrived on personal interaction all day and all night took it personally.

    It is no crime to be an introvert. God seems to have made quite a few of us. However, in a society where extroverts are in the clear majority, it is tough to make and get our needed “recharge” space and time without being penalized for it. Communication, love and understanding are needed. Let’s keep praying.for each other.

    I was an introvert in a family where an implicit but well-understood dictum was, “No introverts allowed. Introverts suck. Introverts are failures.” I was a phony extrovert for forty years because I was schooled to always be quick with an answer and a joke and a story. I could not even admit my introversion to myself until I was looking at the results from the Form G Inventory which I had taken for a week-long Meyers/Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI) instruction course for certification as MBTI instructors and inventory administers. For the second or third time I had come out as an INFJ instead of what I thought I wanted to be, an ENFP! I finally settled down and let the information sink in. Eventually, getting to know a key piece of my soul which I had long denied was refreshing and a great relief. I still have to work hard to not force myself to be the boorish center of attention that I was raised to be. Now, when people ask me for my opinion on a topic to which I have given no previous thought, I can smile and honestly say, “You know, I could give you something off the top of my head but let me think about that. What you get tomorrow (or next week) will be much better than what I might say now.”

    The old, fake extrovert Trace would have died before he would have done that. Feels good now.

    (Also, although your children appear to be extroverts at this early stage, the jury is really still out. As the MBTI folks point out in discussing the dynamics and development of type, as people mature, their type preferences do so as well and orientation — the introvert/extrovert thing — becomes much clearer. If you think about it, every child until grade school needs to be an extrovert just to get needs met. There are type preference inventories for grade-school kids, but not before. So, you might not be as alone in your family as you think!)

    More than you needed to know about this, but at least I had long ago thought these issues through!

  2. gracetracer says:

    And yet, it sometimes takes everything out of you. I know. So does Karen. Every parent who is truly present to their children knows what it is like to feel like they aredrowning in their children’s needs. As I have written before, we will keep praying for you and we know you are praying for us. Blessings!

  3. Lydia says:

    Thank you so much for being this open and this real. I feel exactly the same way. I have a two year old and a six month old and there are moments where I feel will lose my mind. And just hearing someone else say it is relieving. The way you described it all was so perfect — it gave me a lot of clarity into what’s happening to me at certain moments. Often times for me, just having words for something can help me to not feel crazy when its happening. I’ve been wondering why I just cannot answer questions at all anymore since having two kids, and in reading your post I can see that its that “shutting down” you talked about, I just can’t process any more than I already have. It makes me feel better seeing that, because then I feel like, at least in theory, if I had some more down time I could answer questions again, my brain hasn’t broken since birthing a second child, it’s just tired. 🙂 Your prayer is really beautiful — and very healing for me. Its hard. But its nice to not feel alone in the hardness. Knowing I’m not the only one gives me a bit more strength than what I can must on my own — gives me the gift of being able to step out of my situation momentarily –and that can be a recharge in and of itself. Thank you.

  4. Lydia says:

    Thank you so much for being this open and this real. I feel exactly the same way. I have a two year old and a six month old and there are moments where I feel will lose my mind. And just hearing someone else say it is relieving. The way you described it all was so perfect — it gave me a lot of clarity into what’s happening to me at certain moments. Often times for me, just having words for something can help me to not feel crazy when its happening. I’ve been wondering why I just cannot answer questions at all anymore since having two kids, and in reading your post I can see that its that “shutting down” you talked about, I just can’t process any more than I already have. It makes me feel better seeing that, because then I feel like, at least in theory, if I had some more down time I could answer questions again, my brain hasn’t broken since birthing a second child, it’s just tired. Your prayer is really beautiful — and very healing for me. Its hard. But its nice to not feel alone in the hardness. Knowing I’m not the only one gives me a bit more strength than what I can must on my own — gives me the gift of being able to step out of my situation momentarily –and that can be a recharge in and of itself. Thank you.

    • SFriant says:

      Thank you! There are so many of us together in this. Reaching out is hard and confusing, especially when we are already overwhelmed. You are a wonderful mother! This is not easy and we all have our own journeys – but as long as we try… PRAYERS!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s