I am hardly alone.
If anyone has the magic answer... well, I am all ears.
I am the type of person that tends to dive in to new projects head-first. For example, when a new Harry Potter book was released I slept all day so that I could arrive at the midnight book release party. I was back home at 2 a.m, only to park myself on the couch until I had finished the very last page. Forget sleep. Forget responsibility. When Final Fantasy XIII-2 came out I lost myself for 100+ hours over the course over three weeks (despite the fact that I had 3 very small children at the time.. but, don't worry, I fed and cared for them, I just wasn't spending hours on the floor stacking blocks or putting wooden peg puzzles together). I am the type of person to binge watch an entire season of something on Netflix over the course of a few days, read a book cover to cover, bake all 10 dozen Christmas cookies in one marathon all-night baking session, construct a whole new garden in under a week, and so on and so forth.
I love to immerse myself into new projects because it makes me feel alive, ignited, and excited. The problem is, I can become so focused on the project at hand that I become extremely irritable when my focus is broken. (I know, I know...you are thinking, "seriously? you have 3 kids, that is one constant interruption" and you are right). I am the type of person who gets so heavily intent on what I am doing, it becomes stupidly easy to sneak up behind me and scare the bejeezus out of me (which my girls do All. The. Time.) And so I find when I am on a "project bender," as The Husband calls them, I tend to get irritated by my children, and then I realize I am not being a very good Mom.
This is where I am right now. I am so excited by all the exhilarating things that have suddenly been happening with my writing, with my blog and with some long-term projects that are finally coming to fruition, that I find I do not have the patience I should have with my children. I find I want to spend every waking minute working on those things, and surprise, surprise, my kids are acting out with attention seeking behavior.
And so I find myself yelling at them for yelling. (Yep...that would be what we call irony). I find myself yelling at them for making too much noise, or not doing what they are supposed to be doing, or sometimes I find myself yelling at them just for invading my personal space. (My oldest tends to come up and start stroking my hair, or my arm or my back. Normally this doesn't bother me, but if I am focused on something else, it starts to feel like how I imagine petting a cat or dog's fur the wrong way would feel....like I want to unzip my skin and jump out.) And so I yell, and yell, and yell.
Epic Fail, Momma!
I am still trying to achieve what many of us are trying to achieve; the balance between our own needs and wants, and the all-consuming devotion that raising children demands. Since I always try to be honest in my blog, I will confide in you that I have been feeling that overwhelming desire to run out of the house, jump in the car and drive to the nearest hotel, just so that I can get some peace and quiet (As an aside, for fellow Cards Against Humanity fans, one of my very favorite cards is "some god-damn peace and quiet"). I just want to be by myself. I just want to work on my projects, and dive head first into this new world opening up in front of me. I want to, but I can't.
Instead I will dip my toe in and curb my impatience. I will try to stop being such a yelly mommy and instead hug my children and remember that they are only little for such a short time. (And that Starman won't actually still be in diapers when he's twenty... right?). There is plenty of time for me to tackle these opportunities that are stretching out before me, but there is a limited time to make a difference in my kids' lives. Sometimes being an introverted Mom with three active children is challenging, but it is ultimately my responsibility and my joy. As an introverted Mom I have a hard time recharging because I am never alone, and thus my projects are my recharge and I get greedy sometimes. But, ultimately I have to remember that they come first, even on the days where I want to come first.
Some weeks I may get it right, and some weeks I may need to work out some kinks. Unfortunately, this week was more of working-out-the-kinks type week. But, there is always next week.