What a hopeless title.
But Motherhood is not just fun and roses.
And more and more women are opening up about its challenges.
We don’t have to pretend its ONLY roses, no thorns.
We can confess that we cry. Or shout. And we get frustrated. A LOT.
But lately I’m starting to realise, I’m afflicted with a bizarre triad of ‘personality traits’ that makes parenting even MORE difficult for me.
I am an introvert. I am extra-sensitive, an Empath. I am a perfectionist.
I realised it when I was walking with another mum friend. And she was chatting away with me as her baby cried. She was actually having an entire conversation as she pushed the baby in the stroller, and I walked alongside her. I mentioned to her how mind-blowing her abilities were to me. She shrugged my compliment off, and kept chatting away.
Because, I could NEVER do that. Even now, though my child much older, his wailing, whining, or crying…taps into a very direct radio frequency in my brain. And it drowns out EVERYTHING else. Literally. It’s as if someone plays a recording of my son crying at the loudest volume, with surround sound. And other people talking, other things going on around, sound very, very far away. All I hear is the incessant wailing. It drives an animal-like panic inside me, to make it stop. At all costs. Immediately.
My husband will attest to the fact that once my baby starts crying, I pay no mind to anyone else. I can’t hold a conversation with him as long as my child is unhappy for ANY reason. And to be absolutely fair to him, he has taken being second place in this particular way, very well. More that I would have if it was being done to me!
This extra sensitive nature of mine, is a symptom of being an introvert. I read a BBC science article recently about how introverts, ‘feel things more intensely.’ If you mention the word ‘lemon’ to an introvert, they start salivating immediately. It’s because even just the thought of the taste, makes their body react to it. An extrovert does not react to just the ‘idea’ of something. They need a bigger stimulus. (I tested it on my husband. He looked at me like I was crazy. Why would he salivate to the word ‘lemon’???) Lol.
So in general, parenting makes me FEEL more. I feel it deeply every time I don’t live up to my ridiculous perfectionist parenting standards. My child would not eat sugar. My child would be in bed by eight pm. My child would not throw tantrums in public (the first time I failed that one was…funny. In retrospect)
But to say that I don’t appreciate that I am in the unique position of spending every day with my child, would be a lie. I love my son so much my teeth hurt.
But that’s just it. I love just as fiercely as I feel everything else. And boy, does it fill me up. Constantly.
So I need to carve out, and fight for moments alone. His nap times, are so extremely precious to me. A moment of the day I can just empty out my thoughts and emotions. And fill up my cup. With things that are just me. Not a mum, not a wife. Just me.
So mums make sure you take that time out. Reach out and embrace it.
We are all uniquely made. Some of us need it more. Some less. But make sure you get that ‘me’ time. Fight for it. Demand it. Do not, above all feel guilty about it. You deserve it.