The Rumley Family

Loving Jesus, Loving Life

Introversion

I’ve been feeling really worn down lately. Less patience with the kids, more overwhelmed by the chaos. So, so, SO tired of the bickering…and wondering what in the world needs to change.

I’m not ready or willing to give up homeschooling, even though that would give me some much more peaceful hours during the day. I still can’t imagine sending them away. I LOVE what we’re able to do as a homeschooling family: learn together from a God-centered worldview, go at the correct pace for each child in core subjects, spend time together as a family, read together by the fireplace…Not to mention sleeping in and not having the need to rush through breakfast. It’s pretty great.

But I also know that I spent time in tears almost every day last week, feeling like I’m not an adequate parent, let alone teacher. I want (NEED) to get to the heart of my kids’ bickering and other sin issues, and I feel like I can talk with them (one of them in particular) until I have no more words, I can use other Biblical disciplinary measures (ahem, spanking), and still nothing changes. The Holy Spirit has to do the work of softening and changing their hearts, and I’m left to be consistent and wait. That’s hard.

In the meantime, I’m learning about myself. I love people, and I think I have a gift for hospitality. But I also treasure the quiet. I love having a weekend with girlfriends, but it’s not rejuvenating to me. I come home happy and exhausted. I also love being with our four crazy kids, but the chaos is exhausting to me.

Apparently I’m an introvert.

Knowing that should probably affect the way we operate around here, and I think it’s going to take some tweaking before we have a good solution. But I’m encouraged to have a name for my problem. At least now we can figure out a way to fix it.

Today a favorite mom blogger of mine posted about this very topic (which was obviously very timely for me).
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11 Comments

  1. Amen. I’m such an introvert. Well, since it’s so rare that I get kidless time with friends, that totally rejuvenates me too, but…

    While my bigs are at school during the school year (and that’s a huge help for me), they’re still home quite a bit with weekends, breaks, snow days, and of course the summer months. I need the 2-3 hours between the time that the kids go to bed and the time that I go to bed. Like, I don’t even apologize for putting them down a bit early when it can be done. Anyone under the age of 10 is down between 7:30 and 8:00 so they can be asleep within the hour following (my ADHDers have a hard time getting to sleep).

    And I’m learning that when I’m somewhere within the other 21-22 hours and I’ve just had it and am about to blow a gasket, to just call on God for the Holy Spirit’s help to be what I’m not. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a crazy slow learner. The majority of the times I’m still currently blowing the gasket. But I think that us progressing in that is such a huge part of His plan.

    As is drinking from His refreshment. Sometimes the kids are assigned time to play in their room, or attempt a nap, or an older to watch a younger, not because I necessarily think THEY need it, but because I do.

    You could consider budgeting in a sitter one afternoon a week as well, if that is possible and would be helpful?

    I’ve been challenged by husbands that tell their wives not to DO so much. Not to take on so much that the women don’t have enough left to care for their family with a joyful spirit. Balance… prioritizing… knowing when it’s okay to say no without guilt… I’m so glad God promises the wisdom I lack!!! 🙂

    • Dana, you challenge me so much (in a good way), because I do have the option of leaving the kiddos home with their daddy if I need some alone time. You are a great example of selflessness, and James 1:27. I know you’re too modest to admit it, though. 😉

      We’ve talked about budgeting for a babysitter. Northpointe also has an awesome option to send the kids only on Fridays for enrichment (chapel, music, gym, art, etc)…but it’s $1000 per kiddo. Yikes! I guess if we win the lottery that we don’t play! Ha!

      This week I had a good talk with the kids about how I need some quiet time in order to stay sane…I love them and want to be with them, but if I get some quiet time each day, I’ll be a nicer mommy. They seemed to be okay with that. So, we’ll see how it progresses. Part of it is just how un-disciplined I am with actually getting them to take a rest time during the day. I”ll be working harder on that now!

      Thanks for your encouragement! I’m so thankful for your friendship!

  2. Lacey, I have been feeling the SAME way lately! My kids are restless and bickering; I was just telling Tim last night that I have no enthusiasm in our school days lately. I just want to get the work done and be done with it for the day. I am ready for Spring and opportunities to be outside in the sun!
    I’m going to bring them in to the Children’s Museum next week for a change of pace and a day of fun. Would you be interested in meeting us there? We need a break from a “typical” day of school.
    On a side note, Tim had lunch with Luke’s cousin, Wade, this week. He set up our home insurance for us. Tim said he’s a nice guy; he had a good visit with him. 🙂

    • I’m so thankful for friends who understand where I am! You are an encouragement to me. (And we love Wade and his wife Sarah! They’re great people!) 🙂

  3. I hear you, Lacey. There aren’t any kids in my house, but living on top of each other doesn’t leave much room for peace and alone time either. I am definitely an introvert, and Dan is an extrovert. It causes issues every now and then when he (and me too, really) is constantly scheduling social events and I just need a break.

    Is there anyway you can carve out 15-30 minutes a day for “mommy time?” I have no idea how feasible it is, but for me, time alone is necessary for my sanity.

    I can always babysit too, to give you free time. I’m not the most available (only nights and weekends), but I don’t charge for my services. 🙂

    • I think I’m going to re-instate an hour of rest time every day. We used to do that quite often, but it went by the wayside when we got busier…Or, to be truthful, it was when we moved here. I can now run out to the store for a pound of butter instead of doing rest time. But I think overall rest time is more productive for me in my current situation. And I would love to take you up on your offer for babysitting! 🙂

    • P.S. It’s interesting to think of an introvert and extrovert being married to each other, and the issues that could come up. Luke and I are both introverts, so the upside is that we recharge the same way…the downside is that we both get overwhelmed with our crazy children. 🙂

  4. I think that you may have also been suffering from this little thing called February. The shortest month that seems the longest. Spring is coming! DST is coming! Easter is coming!
    As for introversion, I read a book called Quiet last summer that I highly recommend. Good luck! This too shall pass!

    • Karen, I love how you said I’m suffering from February! That’s SO true! 🙂 I also requested that book from the library…thanks for the suggestion! I hope you and your littles are doing well!

  5. Chances are, some of your kids are introverts too. (And even extroverts need to learn how to spend some time alone.) That afternoon rest time, though they may balk about it, would actually help them be more calm and peaceful over all. Maybe not huge changes–but I found my kids got along better with a little time apart each day. I highly recommend it, helped so much here!

    • Merry, that is an excellent point, that our children could be introverts, too! One that I hadn’t thought of…I’m sure that is the case with at least one of our kids, maybe more. And I also think just making them take a break from the general chaos of our days helps to reset their attitudes. Thanks for the encouragement to implement that. We almost always used to take an hour or two for rest time each day, but it’s been a while since we’ve done that consistently. This week we have re-instated rest time, and it’s been so helpful thus far!
      P.S. I checked out your blog. Your example of faithfulness to God and your husband in the midst of great difficulty is inspiring!

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