Introvert Moms Unite
I was talking to a friend about this topic the other day, and I began to wonder just how many other mamas out there experience this same feeling.
I am an introvert. Always have been. You may not know this about me. That’s because I’m one of those sneaky introverts that has learned to turn it on (and up) when necessary - a social gathering, a work function for my husband, holidays, meeting a new friend. I dig deep, and pull out all the social strength I have to carry on an energetic, witty conversation. We were at a wedding last month and on the way home my husband complimented my ability to “lead the table in conversation, being personable and talkative with all the ladies at the table,”-whom I did not know. I thanked him, let out a big sigh and replied “That took so much out of me. I’m just going to sit here in quiet time for the ride home now.”
I think it was in college where I majored in Hospitality Management when I discovered that I can be lively and personable in a group, it just took a little more effort. I went on to work in hotels where I got really good at being an extrovert in an introvert’s body-as it was required by my job. Of course, on breaks I would go sit in the lounge for the entire 15-30 minutes in silence to regain my energy.
But when you are an introvert, many social situations can simply exhaust you.
But those are easy to avoid on a daily basis, right? Especially when you are a SAHM. Right?
Not when you’re someone who ever plans on leaving the house. Social situations can be as small as going to the grocery store and carrying on conversations with the check-out clerk and good hearted shoppers. When you throw a baby in the mix (especially a cute, smiley baby who makes eye contact with everyone) those situations are very hard to avoid. Running in and out of the store with your head down is near impossible when your toddler is waving at every stranger passerby. Sometimes, I just keep on trucking, giving the fellow shoppers a quick smile and wave. I’m on a mission, after all with a now-happy toddler. But those are like ticking time bombs.
Other times, I get sucked in-finding myself 10 minutes in discussing her age, name, how we landed on her name, her personality traits, etc. I then awkwardly say something in baby voice to Penny like '“okay, well you ready to goo take a nap?” to mosey out of the conversation and continue with my shopping. I feel bad, and I appreciate the sweet older ladies who just want some baby toes in their life, but she could literally burst at any moment and I need what energy I have left to put groceries away.
Now, I don’t want to sound like a complete recluse. I do enjoy communicating with other humans, especially adult ones. When you spend your days with a toddler who doesn’t carry on the most intellectual conversations just yet, it is nice to speak to someone who reciprocates with words. I actually love getting out and meeting friends for a visit. The difference with introverts is, that is takes a little more push to accept or create the invite, go and be social.
When we’re home, I’m not one of those moms that is constantly stimulating her baby, excited over every little thing, or even talking to her throughout the entire day. A lot of days are spent where it is pretty quiet. It’s nice. We can enjoy each other’s company and not have to say anything. She’s a pretty chill little baby, and I tell people I think it’s from her feeding off of my energy. My mom was never really loud and animated, but I have fond memories of playing, making crafts and enjoying her and my not-so-introverted sister’s company. I applaud those moms that can stay at a 10 at all times, constantly entertaining their kids, making goofy faces and voices, running around playing, etc. I’m just not one of them, and I think that’s okay.
What has been your experience as an introverted mama? Please comment below! I would love to hear from you! Typing is not nearly as exhausting. :)
*Are you an introvert? Extrovert? Want to find out your detailed personality trait? Click here to take the 16 personalities quiz. I’m a “Defender” ISFJ-A.
Individual traits: Introverted – 67%, Observant – 59%, Feeling – 78%, Judging – 65%, Assertive – 54%
Strategy: Confident Individualism