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A few weeks back, Scott kindly asked if I was stressed (read: I was on edge, testy, and distracted). I brushed his question off and told him everything was fine. However, Scott wasn’t buying it. The next day, I received this text from him (man, I really must have been acting like a brat!):
I read the article he sent (linked here) and was reminded of the importance getting time away to refresh and recharge. This isn’t a new concept for me. Since I’ve been a mother, I’ve had several conversations with other women who have carved out personal time, and I’ve read, on a number of occasions, articles like the one above that detail its importance. In fact, in the past, I have taken time away from the kids. I’ve gone on little day trips or weekend getaways with girlfriends, and that time has been so good for me.
However, one condition for this getaway–one that Scott stressed was important when he was setting everything up–was that I went away by myself. GASP! I’m an extrovert, and as soon as Scott mentioned a night away, my immediate thoughts were “Who should I invite to dinner? What girlfriend would want to shop with me? Should I invite any other moms to stay at the hotel with me?”
My friend Merriam (last name’s Webster-you know her?) describes an extrovert like this to an English language learner:
“a friendly person who likes being with and talking to other people : an outgoing person”
Give me allllll the people. While it may seem counterintuitive to some, I am EXHAUSTED after a day home by myself with the kids (a day where I have had no other adult interaction). I’m fueled by being around others, so I was a little resistant when Scott encouraged me to just be by myself. I knew he had my best interest in mind, so I decided to listen to his suggestion and plan a night away to be by myself.
I left on a Friday (late afternoon) and returned the next day (evening time). Friday’s theme was treat yo self while Saturday was all about getting ‘er done. My Friday activities included catching up on a podcast, getting a work out in at the hotel, treating myself to a mani/pedi, a little retail therapy, dinner, wine, a good book, and ok, I confess, some trashy television (Married to Medicine, anyone?…anyone? No? Oh.). I woke up early Saturday (why, oh why, can’t I sleep in?!) and used the day to catch up on work, the blog, and some other personal growth items.
Friday Night Activities
You don’t have to look far to find articles encouraging moms to get away, and for introverts, that may seem like a no-brainer; however, I want to encourage you specifically, extroverted mom, and share why I think it’s important for you to take time away…by yourself! Here are a few takeaways from my overnight vacation:
It Stretched Me: Eat dinner…in public…alone?! NOOOOOO! But, I did it, and, hey, I survived. As I mentioned earlier, I like doing things with people, so dining, shopping, and even sleeping alone was a bit foreign for me. Doing these things solo was uncomfortable at first, but by the end of my time away, I feel like I grew a lot in this area.
I Was Productive: One downfall of wanting to constantly be around people is that sometimes I can’t be as productive as I should be. I’ll choose coffee and good conversation with a friend over doing a load of laundry (duh!) any day of the week. And sure, for me it’s good for my soul (and sanity) to surround myself with the ones I love. With that said, I completed so many tasks that were on lingering on my to-do list when I was on my getaway. If you like making lists like me, you know there is nothing better than drawing a line through a task or chore that’s been staring you in the face for the last few days…or weeks..or months…or years. Wait…Huh?
I Came Back Refreshed: When I think about this, it seems strange. I mentioned above that a day without adult interaction is usually draining for me, but after this 24-hour trip, I really did feel re-energized. I wasn’t around my family or friends, but I did get to invest in myself (and by invest in myself I mean shop for myself…kidding. Kind of.), and I got a ton done.
I Remembered That Scott Is My Buddy: Ok, I know this point doesn’t really have anything to do with me being an extrovert, but I felt it was important to mention. Raising three kids under five is taxing on Scott and me. We often operate in a task-oriented mode (Feed kids. Bathe kids. Separate fighting kids. Hide in closet from kids. You know the drill.). This getaway allowed me the opportunity to remember how thankful I was for a hubby who recognized my need to take a break (…or who needed a break from me?). My guess is that your hubster would be willing to send you away for the night if he knew how rejuvenating it would be for you!
I Had Fun: Dare I say it? I had a great time. Alone. All by myself. With no one else. In fact, I had so much fun, I was thinking on my drive home that I wasn’t ready to come home (and within 15 minutes of my arrival when my three-year-old had a meltdown over a Lego minifugure, that thought was confirmed). I was thankful for my 24 hours away, but I believe, even as an extrovert, I would have enjoyed a 48 hour vacation by myself (Scott..are you still reading? HINT HINT).
So there you have it. Have I convinced you, you people-person parent? Get away! By yourself! And come back and tell me how much you loved it.
Ok, I have to confess. I didn’t go the ENTIRE 24 hours without adult interaction. At the end of my time away (right before I went home), I did meet a friend for coffee. BUT, I had already reaped the aforementioned benefits of being away by myself before she and I met at a local coffee shop. Whew! I feel better now that that’s off my chest.