I am an INFJ which means I have the personality type of less than 1% of the world. If less than 1% of the world is wired like me then I guess that makes me exceptionally special. And weird.
I can’t deny it.
I need to do each day what I feel needs to be done each day. Redundant schedules suffocate me and orderliness is my bread and butter. I'm a type-A free spirit which makes my brain a never-ceasing combat zone.
What I need and what I want often look different every single day and often don’t align in ways that leave me satisfied.
Did I tell you I’m exceptionally special?
I neeeed to write. Often. And, to write I need unhurried quiet time of solitude.
Children preeeetttttty much make this impossible unless I can muster up the energy to organize a way to pawn them off on someone else and 98% of the time that I can as soon as they’re out of the house I pass out into a deep slumber.
(Everything is always my children’s fault.)
Now, if you don’t already think I’m crazy you will after I share this slice of added info: I think motherhood is one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had or will ever have in my lifetime. Not a day goes by that they don’t make me LOL (for real) or help me know myself deeper or stop me in my tracks to thank God for the overwhelming slices of magic that they are. They enlighten me, stretch me and make living a life of gratitude one easy to come by. (Of course this does not mean I don’t have my Ursula days or drop them off unannounced at my parent’s house and drive away leaving nothing behind but skid marks on their driveway.)
But here’s the catch: If I don’t have daily time to be quiet and introspective I feel as if life is hurrying me along to places I’m not yet ready to go. If you want to see me grumpy find me when I haven’t had a minute during the day without humans sharing my air. [Insert: Ursula]
The easiest way for me to process all that life layers onto my INFJ is to write. I can of course only write when it’s quiet. And, when I write I need the space to look inward to find what it is that needs to be written about. And, then as I write all kinds of things swirling around my head get organized into really pretty lines on a page. IT’S GLORIOUS.
But, have I mentioned that the same children living in my home that have given me the best and brightest season of my life to-date aren’t human? They’re monkeys who exist only on Red Bull and Vodka. It’s pretty insane.
That is until they finally pass out around the 8 or 9 o’clock hour leaving only a trashed house and a bug-eyed mother in their wake. And, by that point all I can barely find the energy to do is pour wine into my mouth and watch really crappy TV.
(Everything is always my children’s fault.)
My love for motherhood and my love for solitude are at war right now.
The two cannot co-exist.
One requires calm and quiet and solitude and the other demands chaos and noise and so so so much togetherness.
‘Tis the season.
The season of schedules and snacks (oh the snacks) and early mornings and blood curdling screams outside while I’m going poop and spilled drinks and crushed up goldfish in the couch and choking from laughing so hard while chasing a lightening bug and screaming that the TRAIN, MOMMY, TRAIN!!! is coming even though it comes 10 times a day right off the edge off our property and elaborately designed towers built from Legos and tucked in babies in all the beds around the house and unexpected “I love yous” before running back to the swing set.
If I am one of those that live the average life expectancy then it means this season of motherhood where we share the same roof will take up less than a quarter of my entire life. LESS THAN A QUARTER.
So, here’s my suggested solution:
(I actually don’t fully know, but I'm really hoping that as soon as I start writing I’ll find the answer.)
There’s a lot of talk about finding balance as a mom. There are inspirational quotes and articles and other smart moms that encourage the importance of it. It’s vital; you can recognize that with ease. You can only give as much love as you’re willing to receive so don’t forget to take care of you, right? Because taking care of you is the only way you’ll be able to fully take care of them. You get it.
But maybe the one small thing that needs to be looked at differently is the word balance. Maybe it’s just a matter of semantics? Using a word that evokes the idea of stability and equilibrium when you’re living in a season of life that scoffs at it feels sort of depressing... far-fetching... IMPOSSIBLE. Let's instead use a word that gives space to all the evolving that never ever takes a break. Because maybe, just maybe, it’s less about pursuing balance and more about embracing imbalance?
A small shift in a significant paradigm.
A recognizing that it’s not formulaic and it never will be.
Because you’ve learned that as soon as you have created a routine that both perfectly suits you and them someone gets sick. Or ANOTHER [enter government holiday] shows up on the calendar canceling pre-school yet again. Or you’ll hit a stint of severe writer’s block wasting your paid angel’s time and your own money. This list is, as you know, is endless.
Instead of searching for a life that allows you to pursue your life’s calling while not missing a moment of your children’s lives maybe instead keep your eyes on the big picture (less than a quarter of your life and then they’ll be out and on their own) while knowing that your life’s calling will never ever ever pass you by because you’ve chosen motherhood (THAT IS A LIE STRAIGHT FROM THE DEVIL. DON’T DARE BELIEVE IT!)
Maybe just maybe you’ve been given the gift of knowing your calling prematurely so that you can have a little extra time to let the season you're in refine it...?
An imbalanced life caused by an ever-evolving one? This sounds like a life that you could embrace. Stagnation kills. Change however equals transformation and growth and expansion….
Less pursuing balance; more embracing imbalance.
This you can do.