It’s 4:35pm. Usually by this time I’m so drained that the thought of performing even the most basic tasks (for example, making dinner) seem almost insurmountable. I’ll be cranky and irritable, and basically just counting down the minutes to when everyone goes to bed and I can finally be alone.
Today, however, I feel pretty good. In fact, I even got up and swept/mopped the floors and did a thorough cleaning of the cat water fountain- tasks I’ve been meaning to get to for a couple of days, but haven’t because my mornings got busy and any exertion at all just seems impossible in the afternoons.
So what’s the difference, you might be asking. Did I have an extra shot of caffeine? (No) Did I cut out all processed food? (Hahaha… never).
Turns out the secret is… Bebe playing quietly all day.
I know, I know. It sounds terrible to say that I’m in a better mood because Bebe didn’t talk to me all day. And of course, I love all of the myriad thoughts and non-sequiturs that she chatters at me (incessantly) on a day to day basis. But the fact is, I’m intensely introverted, and the non-stop presence of anyone, much less an incredibly clingy 4yo is exhausting.
Now let’s just discuss the definition of introvert- it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re shy. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have social anxiety or a fear of large crowds of people. What it means is that your energy is internally derived- you need peace and quiet and solitude to recharge and refresh. Talking and socializing are extremely draining for the introvert, as opposed to an extrovert who is invigorated by interacting with other people. It’s not something that you can really understand if you aren’t also wired this way. Even explaining how utterly exhausting I find even just listening to the children talk sounds stupid and selfish to me.
But that doesn’t make it any less true.
The fact is, I haven’t been alone for more than a few hours in OVER FIVE YEARS. And I can feel it chipping away at me on a daily basis, which is why today was such a pleasant escape.
Sure, I feel terrible about allowing Bebe to just watch videos all day (we can talk about proper screen time rules some other time). But she got to be in the room with me all day (which is what she primarily wants), and yet I didn’t have to do anything or put myself out there in any way. It was seriously heaven.
I can’t wait until next fall when all of the children are in school ALL. DAY. LONG. And I’ll have seven hours to myself daily. Think how much more productive I’m going to be!!
ps: lest you blow a gasket in outrage over my self-indulgent and neglectful parenting, I’ll have you know that yesterday I spent well over an hour in the backyard practicing baseball with Jack (with Bebe as my assistant). So sometimes I’m actually a good mom!