It’s Hard to be an Introverted Parent
Some people might be surprised to hear this but I consider myself an introvert (and Myers Briggs agrees). I love hanging out with friends but don’t really like going places that I don’t know anyone and I’m not really good at schmoozing (at least it doesn’t feel natural). I’m starting to realize that having a kid can be very challenging for people like me.
Yesterday my daycare provider needed to take a sick day which meant I had to stay home from work (we use an in-home daycare). I decided to take my 18 month old daughter out to the Lutz Children’s Museum in Manchester, CT so that we could (1) get out of the house and (2) have some fun. Lillian loves animals, like REALLY loves them, and this museum has a whole room dedicated to them so it seemed like a good way to occupy the morning.
And it was a fun morning, don’t get me wrong.
But I had to interact with other parents and the introvert in me was quite uncomfortable. I was surprised by how many parents and kids were at the museum first thing in the morning – I had this idea that it would be just me and Lillian with maybe a handful of other kids. But nope, lots of kids and lots of moms.
Lillian is shy like her mama too but she isn’t as bothered by it as I am. I suppose that’s in large part because kids don’t get social cue’s yet so the fact that she just stands there and stares at the other kids without saying anything (not even a hi!) doesn’t matter. Kids can do that, grown ups can’t.
I’m not saying that I stand there and don’t say hi to anyone – the very opposite is true. I talk to the other parents but it’s hard for me, it’s not comfortable. My hands sweat a little and my heart beats a little faster. And yesterday I found myself wishing that all the other parents would just disappear so I could enjoy the museum with just my daughter.
What I’m learning as Lillian is getting older and we can take her out to do more stuff is that I’m going to have to work on not wanting to retreat back into my shell when we’re somewhere with lots of other parents and people. My introverted self wants to avoid places with lots of other people but I also want to give my kid lots of fun experiences, and I’ve got to let fun trump shyness.
Does anyone else go through this? Sending love to all my fellow introverted mamas!