Welcome back to the Confessions of an Imperfect Mother series! I have a super fun guest post for you all today! I think that I think a lot of us can relate to this one! I’m going to let our guest-poster Mel take it from here!
As an introvert one of the biggest challenges I find about being a mum is the lack of space I have to myself.
Kids take over every part of you. Your body, your time, your headspace…
I like quiet. You don’t get that with three kids!
I like personal space. Hard to get that when you squash on the sofa with three kids, hubby and a dog!
I like to think. But there’s always a little voice wanting to tell me about the latest joke they learnt at school or a madeup story about the day they were a princess.
Now, I know all these things are blessings. Really.
But, it’s hard for me to share so much time with my family sometimes. I’m an introvert. Introverts find it draining to be with people. We recharge by being by ourselves. So sharing a house with four other people and a dog can occasionally feel like four people and a dog too many!
I’m a read a book, pootle about the house on my own listening to the radio, journal in my notebook kind of girl. I do get to do these things sometimes. But not enough. One of the biggest sacrifices I have made as a mum is to let go of the amount of me-time I get.
Yet, sometimes when I think about how I’m struggling with a lack of space to myself I start to feel bad. I can suddenly start to somehow sound selfish, complaining about how much time I get for me. I start to enter into those guilty mum thoughts…
When I start to have to resist the urge to wriggle away as my little girl wraps herself around me for the twentieth goodnight hug at bedtime.
When I realise that my eldest son has noticed that I haven’t been listening to his blow by blow summary of his favourite light sabre duels from the whole Star Wars series.
When my kids are larking around upstairs and all I long for is a bit of peace and quiet.
The thing is, I know I have responsibilities as a mum. I love my kids and the energy and life they bring to my home. I want them to always feel loved, wanted and secure.
But I can’t help the way God made me. I need to know how to take the opportunities for down time, space by myself and an opportunity to recharge if I am to be the best mum I can be for my kids.
There are times when I need to challenge myself to give to others more. To be more present for my family instead of going with my tendency to retreat into myself. To understand they have needs too rather than wishing to follow my own.
Yet, I also need to recognise the opportunities I can take to be quiet. To honour the need I have to be by myself. To have the space to reflect, be still, think and pray. To rest from meeting the needs of others.
Not selfish. Necessary.
It’s all about balance, and though having small children around means I don’t get as much space as I would like, I just need to be intentional about taking the little opportunities and moments to refresh myself to satisfy my little introverted soul.
Mel Caldicott, a full-time mum of 3 who has spent a lot of time and prayer working out how to make the Essential Thing a priority in the midst of running a home, raising her kids and having fun with her family. Her experiences of being a wife, mum and woman trying to live for God has led her through joys and heartbreaks, times of strong faith and times of doubt. Over those years she has had a growing desire to share honestly and encourage women to know God’s grace in a world where we so often hide behind masks, disguising our true worries and sorrows, hopes and dreams. You can follow her journey on her blog Essential Thing Devotions, on Facebook or on Twitter.