Amy and I are both extreme introverts who work very demanding jobs. And then we come home to two kids. They are relatively low-maintenance, and yet, because they are 8 and 6, they still require a fair amount of attention. Which means that our non-work, non-sleep time is broken up into thousands of tasks, conversations, and surprises. Just what we need to recharge, only the opposite.
So we live for that window of time between their bedtime and ours. If it's a weeknight, it's a time to decompress, chill, put the nose in a book, and ease into falling asleep. And if it's a weekend, it's a time to actually enjoy a little sliver of fun, like watching TV or enjoying a dessert.
Except when our kids encroach on that window. Which they have for the last several nights in a row. If it's not the two of them fighting about or over something, it's one or both of them bringing up something that simply must get done right then and there. (Never mind that I never give into this; still they try, cajole, and wheedle, and even though I still don't give in, it's no less restful to hear from them in this way.)
And so the weeknight space becomes cluttered and noisy: death for an introvert. And the weekend space becomes compromised and chopped up: death for the marital relationship between two introverts.
We are fortunate: 8 and 6 is a bit of a golden age, in terms of parental worry. We don't have to worry about the kids wetting their beds or swallowing a marble, nor do we have to worry about them getting their hearts broken or sneaking out of the house. And yet, we are weary, because when you have an 8 and a 6, you don't get even the 60 to 90 minutes of quiet and alone needed by every introvert.