I used to love to be alone. There was a time when my ideal weekend included curling up under the covers with a good book or Netflix series and hiding away. I found the solitude refreshing, even necessary, for my sanity. I was a much nicer person after spending time by myself.
Then, I got married to the most extroverted extrovert I know. He can’t stand being alone, which made my hermit-ing much more challenging. Shortly after tying the knot, we became pregnant with our first child, then our second, then our third—all in three years. Yes, that’s right. Three. Short. Years. My solitude and sanity quickly vanished into thin air, and I struggled!
But something happened over the course of my pregnancies and raising these three precious people. I slowly let go of my need for aloneness and embraced my need for community! I discovered just how much I love planning parties and hosting playdates. I learned that I’m a better mother when I am opening my heart and my home to others, because it keeps my heart and home open to my children.
That may sound silly, but for an introvert, space is such a sacred thing!
Don’t get me wrong: I still do need some alone time along with a healthy dose of peace and quiet, but I’m not so stingy with my space or time anymore. And I believe that change in myself is just as much a blessing to me as it is to others! I would not say that I have any more friends than I did before children, but I do think the friendships I have now are much richer than before!
I guess I did not realize just how important connecting with others was until I became a mother.
There is no greater bond than the one between a mama and her baby. For me, I got to experience their movements, listen to their heartbeats, and feel their hiccups before ever laying eyes on them!
That’s not something that every mother gets to experience, but the fact remains: there’s something so special about connecting with your child. And I’m convinced that connection burrows in your heart and shows you how great the capacity to love another person really is!
Realizing you are responsible for that person, though, can be daunting. I found myself craving interactions with other women who were going through similar transitions. The expression “it takes a village” comes to mind.
Let’s be real, as wonderful as motherhood is, it is NOT easy, especially in the early days!
Finding a tribe to come alongside me on this journey was more crucial to my health and sanity than I realized. I’m thankful for myself and my children that I found one!
My kids taught me the value of vulnerability through the tougher times. They taught me that it’s better to let people in than to shut people out. They changed my life! And I’m a better mother, and hopefully a better person, because of it.