Prior to having my son in 2008 I kept a pretty busy social schedule in addition to managing my clinic and working full-time as a chiropractor. I probably had a modest level of energy but there were certainly times where I would hit the wall and be overwhelmed by all my commitments.
I anticipated that having a newborn would further deplete me and readied myself for a decade of fatigue. In fact the opposite happened and becoming a mother ended up giving me more energy.
I have discovered that at the heart of it all I am quite an introverted person. True introverts recharge their battery while being on their own while true extroverts feed off the energy of being with others. All my socializing pre-motherhood and hands-on work with patients was tiring me out.
I took 11 weeks maternity leave after my son was born and it was a lovely time to hibernate at home with my baby. Once I started to branch out and leave the house I realized that I didn’t want to be away from him two nights in a row. Even though I was taking care of an infant, I wasn’t completely exhausted since I was home more through my self-imposed restriction.
It was also interesting to discover my natural limit at parties and social gatherings. I would bring my son all bundled up to a party and he’d be happy as a clam for 1.5-2 hours and then begin to fuss. I realized that I actually had had enough of the party at that point as well – it became a perfect time to either head home or grab some quiet in a room to breastfeed. Before having a kid, I would have ignored that tired/depleted feeling and would have stayed longer at the social event.
Now that my son is 10 years old and more independent, I am still trying to be mindful of my energetic limits. Building in free time into my schedule and trying not to over-commit myself is still something I strive for a regular basis.
[originally published September 2018]