It’s the perfect image of Mother’s Day… You’re bounced awake by those little humans who call you Mom, and presented with a tray filled with a beautiful, healthy breakfast spread. You laugh at the adorably burnt toast, which your youngest proudly points out as their handy work. Or maybe they take you out for a fancy Mother’s Day brunch, surrounded by other happy, loving families. Either way, your family has planned a full day of together time, and it makes you feel so special!
I’m convinced that this image, as with most things parenting, was invented, refined, and perpetuated by a bunch of extroverts.
I say that like it’s a dirty word, and it’s absolutely not. You see, extroverts are just people who get their energy from social interaction, so a day like this probably sounds like a blast. But introverts recharge by spending time alone. So let me tell you what I – an extreme introvert – see when presented with this kind of day.
I see social interaction from the moment I wake up… to the moment I fall asleep. I see chattering kids, and the intense amount of energy it can take to respond for the hundredth time in a day through body language and words. I feel the weight of responsibility for these little humans, who are absolutely impossible to control, while we’re out in public, combined with the weight of judgment from other more well-behaved families.
In short, I feel exhausted.
On this day that’s supposed to be all about me, I see one more day that’s all about what I can give to others. I see one more day that’s built not around my actual wants and needs, but around this social image of what I should want and need: time with my family.
And don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with my family! And there are days when that’s all I really want to do. But the chances of that coinciding with this one specific day are pretty slim. As an introvert I need time alone to recharge, and as a mom I’m rarely (if ever?) alone long enough to get back to 100%.
So what I’d really like this Mother’s Day, is to be left alone.
I’d like to wake up to a silent, empty house. Maybe the Medic left me Boston Cream donuts and a mini bottle of champagne to add to my orange juice. And fancy cappuccino-making k-cups for my morning coffee. But the really important part is that it’s quiet, and I am blissfully alone.
You might also like: Taking a Break From My Family Makes Me a Better Mom
Late in the morning maybe I head out for a massage. I lay on the table with the lights dimmed and the soothing instrumental music cradling my ears while skilled hands ease the tension out of my muscles. Or I just lay on my acupressure mat at home. The important part is that no one says more than absolutely necessary. My environment is low-stimulation and calming.
I spend the rest of my day reading and napping, and by dinner time I want to see my family again. I feel recharged, and actually have the energy to appreciate the Mother’s Day craft my kiddo labored over, the conversation, and the delicious food.
I have the energy to enjoy my family again, and that would make for the perfect Mother’s Day.
P.S. Need help finding time for yourself every other day of the year? My Make Time For You Workbook shows you how to do exactly that… even if you really don’t have the time. Download your free copy now!