Just in case you weren’t aware, today marks an important holiday for the Asian community: lunar new year. This year is the year of the rabbit, and while I hardly pay attention to astrology (western or eastern), I can’t help but share this awesomely cute picture with you:
Because today is such an important day in the Chinese culture, J took the day off from work. And he gave me the best new year’s day present —
He took the baby out with him to dim sum and left me all by myself.
For three, GLORIOUS hours.
(Well, the dog was home too but let’s just pretend he wasn’t there for the sake of the story.)
You guys, I can’t tell you how happy this made me. How refreshed and recharged I felt afterwards. How — and this will irk some of my readers, I’m sure — it made me miss the days before the baby.
Look, I love Claire. I really do! I would lay down my life for her and I would do anything for her happiness.
But motherhood is tough. And only recently have I come to realize that it is especially difficult for introverts like myself.
Contrary to common belief, being an introvert does not equate being shy. You can be an introvert and be outgoing, just as there exist shy extroverts. The true definition of an introvert is someone who derives his/her energy from within. An extrovert, on the other hand, derives energy from other people.
J is an extrovert through and through. He gets cranky and depressed when he is alone for long periods of time. And only after he has been around others that he is “recharged” and becomes himself again.
I have always been an introvert. My parents tell me that even as a child, I much preferred to be alone, reading in a corner somewhere rather than play with the other kids. And while I had my extremely social, outgoing days in my early twenties, I have found that I am becoming more and more introverted as I grow older.
This causes a huge problem for me, because being a mother is a 24-hour job which requires me to be with someone else at all times.
I know that taking care of a baby does not require much interaction. But you can’t deny that a baby is still a human being — another person an introvert like myself can find extremely draining.
And while I have been very blessed to have others help take care of the baby while I was out running errands, or even the couple of times when J and I have been out on dates, today was the very first time since the baby was born that I was able to be home — a place of peace and rest and comfort — all by myself.
Right before J left with the baby, he said to me, “Don’t call me in 10 minutes crying about how much you miss her!” to which I replied, “I would only call to tell you guys to take your time!”
I was only joking with him, but the complete and honest truth was that I didn’t miss them. And I feel like a horrible wife and mother for feeling this way, but it’s the truth. I really, really needed those three hours to be home by myself and I am so thankful that J was able to give it to me.
And you know what? I feel like I was able to be a better, more energized and happier mother after taking some time alone.
J immediately noticed the change in attitude and energy and suggested that he start doing this more often. It was his very first time taking the baby out by himself and while she wasn’t a complete angel, I could tell how proud of himself he was when he described how he was able to calm her down from a bout of crying.
And I’m sure they had fun. Because you can’t be taking pictures like this when you’re not having fun.