On Mondays, we do grocery shopping. On Wednesdays, we go to the library. And on Tuesdays, we wear pajamas.
My children know this now. If we happen to have something scheduled on a Tuesday, they gasp and say, “But Mom, that means you have to get dressed!”
We didn’t always do things this way. But for this current season of life, Pajama Tuesday is a must.
You see, I am an introvert. In simple terms, that means that I recharge by being alone. And let me tell you, as a homeschooling mom of five, alone time is sometimes hard to come by.
Compound that with my current work schedule, which has me out of the house Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday evenings, and it’s no wonder that by Tuesday, I want to melt into a blob on the couch.
I love my kids. I like my job most days. And I do want to form connections with people. But Tuesdays? I do the bare minimum, stay home, and stay in my pajamas.
Let me tell you, it can be so tempting to fill my day with productive things. I look at the load of laundry sitting waiting to be folded, or at the computer and the blog post that I really should finish writing, or the list I’ve made on my whiteboard in the kitchen of food prep that needs to happen before the veggies all wilt in the fridge, and I feel a twinge of guilt.
You’d think that after all of that peopling over the weekend I would be glad to have a day of relative quiet, and I AM, but that guilt of not doing is still very present.
That’s why I was so happy to read this in Jamie Martin’s new book, Introverted Mom:
“After an especially challenging week, I found myself completely worn out. But I refused to take a real break. When I did have time alone, I pressured myself to try and solve the parenting problem we were struggling with. After several days of no progress, I realized my mistake. I wouldn’t be able to find a magic cure to fix this issue. What I needed, instead, was rest so I could keep handling it.”
That rang so true for me, because there will always be more things to accomplish. But I can’t do things, and do them well, if my cup is empty. And so, Pajama Tuesday.
I used to have regular “Mommy Me Time” on Sunday afternoons, way back when we were only two kids deep into this journey, my husband was in seminary, and I had just started being a full time stay-at-home-mom. Most Sundays I would go to a coffeeshop and read for an hour or two, but sometimes I would try to run a few errands.
And those weeks? I never felt as refreshed as when I just enjoyed my coffee and book. But I could never articulate it very well, and Jamie put this into words that made such sense to me:
“Have you ever returned from a few hours ‘off’ just as weary as when you left the house. I have and still do at times. What makes all the difference is what’s going on in my head while I’m away…If I’m not careful, I will spend my valuable self-care minutes in a way that depletes my energy instead of renews it.”
When I spent that time picking up groceries or dropping things off or going to six different places for a few coupon deals (back in the day when I had the box of coupons and followed about 18 different deal blogs, oh yes I did!), it didn’t relax me. It didn’t give me a chance to just be. And even though I was still new at shopping with multiple children at the time, I could have done that with them if I wanted to. Getting lost in a book with two kids under two years old though? Not so easy.
Of course I know myself much better now. I’ve been learning more about my personality especially in the past few years, and I can see where my strengths are, what makes me tick, and what the signs are that I need to do something differently.
This is why I love reading books that help me learn more about myself. Because when I know myself better, I can understand when I need to add Pajama Tuesday to my schedule. When I need to ignore the dishes and watch a movie. When I need to drink one more cup of coffee before I get the kids up from their after lunch rest time.
I’m an introvert. And if it’s Tuesday? I’m at home in my pajamas. I’ll talk to you another day.
If you’re interested in learning more about your personality and how you can be at your best, here are a few books I’ve found helpful:
- Introverted Mom by Jamie C. Martin – whether you’re an introvert or you know one (you do), learn how you can care for yourself and others in practical ways with insight from a mom who has been there.
- The Road Back To You by Ian Morgan Cron – an introduction to the Enneagram, a system of nine personality groupings with descriptions of everything from strengths and weaknesses of each type to how they deal with relationships, work, stress, and more.
- Reading People by Anne Bogel – you’ll find out just enough about several personality typing systems to give you the basics, plus bookish references and all sorts of personality nerdy fun.
- Quiet by Susan Cain – the “introverts’ bible”, a great deal of information about introversion and how introverts can thrive in an extrovert-focused world, plus lots of references if you want to learn more.
- The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin – in an expansion on the four categories she started to explore in her previous book Better Than Before, Rubin talks about personality through the lens of motivation, whether we do things for ourselves or for others.
I’m an ISFJ, an HSP, a 9w1, I give acts of service but receive words, a Ravenclaw, and an Obliger. And if you know what all of those things mean, I’d love to hear what yours are!
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I receive a bit of a commission at no additional charge to you.