This post also appeared on My Big Jesus!
All of my life, I have loved to be with people. I’m not a loner in any way… I like spending time with people, talking on the phone, building relationships, and getting to know people. It energizes me and makes me happy. I’m a typical extrovert in just about every way; that’s part of what made me a successful teacher. I assumed it would be the same way for me as a mom.
Since becoming a mom, I have given more of myself to a person (and then multiple people) than I ever thought possible. All day long I meet the needs of others. I am touched. I am jumped on. I am talked to, cried for, shouted at, and called for. I wipe noses, bottoms, hands and mouths. I dole out hugs and kisses. I toss rubber balls, race little cars, pretend to drink tea and eat cake, and locate missing loveys. While often it does energize me, I do truly enjoy it, and I adore my children, I’ve realized I need “me time” in a way I never have before.
By nap time most days, I am ready to clock out. I have been needed and touched and talked to all I can stand. I put those darlings down for their naps, and want to run away. I’m no longer looking for phone calls to make or friends to invite over while my kids sleep. I’m not wanting to run errands to find a person to talk to. I either want to crawl in the bed or climb in the shower so that I’m truly and sincerely alone. If you’ve ever seen the movie Date Night with Tina Fey, she tells her husband (Steve Carrell) about her amazing fantasy:
If anything, I fantasize sometimes about being alone. There are times when I’ve just thought about, on my worst day, just, you know, leaving our house and just going someplace, like checking into a hotel and just being in a quiet room by myself. Just sitting in a quiet, air-conditioned room, sitting down, eating my lunch, with no one touching me, drinking a Diet Sprite, by myself. Look, I just want to have one day that doesn’t depend on how everyone else’s day goes.
I’ve been joking recently about this with Hubby. I’ll just say, “Diet Sprite”, and he knows I’m referencing my desire to tag out and be alone for a while. When J is pulling on my pants so much that they’re falling down, and EK is shouting from across the house that she needs to poopy, and all I’m doing is trying to fix lunch so they don’t have hunger meltdowns, I fantasize about the very same thing: being alone, in a quiet air-conditioned room. Except change that Diet Sprite to an enormous glass of wine.
So after giving and pouring, day in and day out, I’ve gone from someone who desires company and conversation all day and all night to someone who has a new appreciation for solitude. A cup of tea by myself is a treat the likes of which I haven’t fully appreciated until now. I still love to be with people, and thrive in social situations; my friends and family can certainly tell you that. But my desires have changed as my lifestyle has changed. My entire personality has shifted, and I’ve never been more okay with it.