"Will I even be a good mother? I'm always so selfish w/ my time and energy....and I get so in my head and detached from those around me...."
This was probably my biggest fear about becoming a mother - that I would no longer be able to get "in my head" and detach from the world. Now I'm sure that some of you are reading this and shrugging your shoulders in confusion. But some of you, and you know who you are, know exactly what I mean. It's difficult to be an introvert in an extroverted world. And it's not just the discomfort an introvert feels walking into a room full of strangers. Being an introvert affects every aspect of your life. As an introvert, I need time by myself - to read, to take a walk, to take a bubble bath, to be alone with my thoughts - the way others need to breathe. But being a mother requires you to be on 24/7. Time for yourself is hard to find under the best of circumstances, but when you throw work, a husband, and two children into the mix, it can become almost impossible.
So how do I keep from drowning? I'm lucky enough to have the most supportive husband on the planet and that helps. T can tell when I need to be alone. He knows that when I'm beginning to snap at people, when my face looks a little pinched, and when I don't smile and laugh quite as easily, that it's time to take the kids on a Daddy outing so I can have some time. But I also take advantage of the time when I'm at work. I used to be a social butterfly at lunchtime at work. My job is frequently full of solitary research time and I liked to have a little social contact. But now, if I'm not in client meetings, depositions, or court, I frequently grab my lunch, close my office door, and read the paper for an hour. When I'm driving to and from work, I turn off the radio and listen to my thoughts.
I can't say that I'm not frustrated at times, or more stressed because I haven't had as much alone time as I'd like, but what mom does? And I've also discovered something I never expected. When I manage to get my toddler and baby to stop running/crawling around like wild animals and spend some quiet time with me - reading, playing with blocks or play-doh - it's better than spending time by myself.