I like to work out alone. And I avert small conversation like it’s a contagious disease. I’m an introvert, and I’m OK for this.
However, my three kids? They all appear to shoot after their extroverted daddy. Which is okay. But well, it is exhausting.
My 3-year-old daughter greets every one by name having a huge grin every morning in midnight in drop off. “Hi, Nya!” “Hi, Noah!” “Look, it’s Parker!” She keeps conversations with these kids’ moms while I stand there grinning awkwardly, without leading.
To anyone remotely near us especially in marginally strange scenarios. Much like, as I’m unbuckling her away from her carseat and also two different people alongside us in the car are blowing smoke smoke in our leadership. “Hi!!” She says while waving adorably. Or, when I’m trying not to get eye contact in a crowded elevator. “Hi!” she chirps. Ugh.
And my 6-year-old son? From the moment he wakes in the morning when he finally drifts off to bed, my son only talks and talks and talks and talks and talks. “Mommy, understand this. Can I have a snack, mom? Mommy, can I perform this? Mommy, you know what else?” Most days, I’m all mommy-ed out before dinner.
Introverts are not necessarily hermits (even though maybe I’m toeing the point,) it’s only that social interaction dissipates our energy. Because we require time, far from people, to replenish this particular energy, the simple fact that I’m surrounded by young kids all day leaves me working on vacant.
I had a tricky time adjusting for this steep decrease in re-charging period once I was a newbie parent. My amount of physical and psychological exhaustion had me wondering if I had been cut out for motherhood.
Shouldn’t I be loving this just a little more?
Why am I fantasizing about going to a silent room without any help with nothing no one except a book, chocolate, and maybe a cat purring in my lap?
It wasn’t until I realized that my introversion probably made being touched/needed/talked to constantly by tiny humans seem that more draining. I have learned to prioritize alone time through the years. (Even if it’s just hiding in the restroom eating chocolate) Plus it has definitely helped.
Therefore I’m an introvert raising three extroverted kids. This character battle makes life interesting, tiring and awkward all at the same time. But I’m eager to endure small conversation, saying hi to random strangers listening into another person’s constant stream of awareness because I love them. It isn’t always simple, but I wouldn’t exchange my loud and mad kiddos on earth.
Sure, my extroverted children have a knack for taking me outside my comfort zone. But, sometimes, maybe that is a good thing.
Are you really an introvert with extroverted kids? What hints have you got?Share your thoughts!
Pictures by Michelle Stein
This post was originally published in October,” 20 17 .