I’ve had these thoughts tumbling around in my head for a long time. I know I’m not the first one to think about this or to address it. I purposely didn’t have a look around the interwebs because I wanted to get my own thoughts on “paper” before I started investigating the thoughts of others. I’m sure when I do have a look, I’ll find lots of helpful & intriguing ideas.
So I’m an introvert. That simply means that I recharge be spending time alone. It does not mean that I am shy. It does not mean that I am anti-social. It does not mean that I don’t need relationships. It was fairly easy for me to be an introvert before I became a Mom. I had good relationships, but I could always find time to be alone.
Now I’m a Mom. One part of being an introvert Mom that has been a huge revelation is that kids are people too & being with them doesn’t really constitute being alone. I don’t know yet if my boys are introverts or extroverts, they both enjoy time alone, but they are both pretty social too. One of their favourite people to be with is me! I love that, but it can also be tough on me when I need to find a few minutes alone.
Being a Mom has widened my social networks. I have conversations with strangers in the supermarket, with people I might never have interacted with before I had kids & I am involved in groups that I never thought I would be involved in before I had kids. I love it.
I’m also a bit more isolated than I was before I had children. I used to work full-time, did lots of social stuff, went “out” a lot more. Now I’m a stay at home Mom & let me tell you, I stay at home a lot. I tend to be a bit reclusive at times & sometimes it’s just easier to stay at home than to load up the boys & head out – I never knew what an undertaking it was to go out with kids.
Relationships are incredibly important to me. I’m also not always very good at cultivating relationships. Given time, I can develop deep relationships, but as most Moms know, time is a rare commodity. My children have opened doors to relationships that I would never have developed before & I am so thankful for the Moms that I have met & gotten to know. It’s still a struggle at times to develop those relationships. I crave the interaction, the fun, the shared experiences, but I also have a hard time reaching out, putting myself out there & being consistent.
I am committed to doing better though. For my sake – I need my friends! I need new friends! I need deep relationships! For the sake of my boys – they need relationships too & they need to see real relationships modeled. Introverts can come across as being very independent & may seem like they don’t need much in the way of relationships, but don’t let our love of being on our own deceive you, we need people. We are all created to be in relationship.
Being introverted or extroverted is neither good nor bad – it’s simply a way of being in the world. It’s important to be aware of what you are. There are also differing levels of introvertedness & extrovertedness. Moms who are extroverts may find that they feel isolated too, not getting out enough & having face time with people.
We have this amazing privilege & responsibility as parents. When you have children some things seem easier & some things become a lot more difficult. Sometimes we do need to sacrifice our own comfort for the sake of our children, but at the same time, they need to see us caring for ourselves & making sure that we are healthy.
I know that I need to find that time to truly be on my own. I need it for my own mental health – I’m a better wife, mother, person when I get regular time by myself. It means that sometimes on the weekends when Zane has a nap in the afternoon, I head out the door to go thrifting while Jude & Colin hang out. It means that most weeks, one evening a week, you’ll find me at a coffee shop with a book or my laptop. I don’t get time alone while I’m home with the boys so I have to make the time. This is actually a recent thing that I’ve started doing, I don’t know why I didn’t do it before – it’s amazing!
I’m married to an extrovert & we brought balance to each other’s lives. I’m so thankful that Colin gets me & understands my needs & helps me to find the time I need. It will be interesting to see on which end of the spectrum my boys fall.
So what does it all mean? If you have friends who are introverts, don’t give up on them. Keep asking them to spend time with you – they may say no a few times, but trust me, they want to make it work! Be persistent & consistent – go deeper. For those who are introverts, reach out, take risks, be vulnerable. Be persistent & consistent – go deeper!