Don’t tell anyone, but I’m actually an introvert.
How can this be? I have a job that requires lots of networking and public speaking, a very social family and therefore a very social schedule, and I’m most certainly not shy. Then, you may ask, how the heck are you an introvert?
Well, I’ve heard that you can gauge whether you are an introvert or an extrovert by the way you recharge your batteries. In other words, what do you do to feel restored to your truest self? Do you yearn to gather a group of friends, host a get-together, or go to a party? If that’s you, by this definition, you’re probably an extrovert. Or do you prefer to do something by yourself, whether it be shopping, reading, running or just regrouping your own thoughts? If so, you’re probably an introvert, according to this theory.
Sure, there are exceptions to every rule, and also personalities that are split right down the middle. But what happens when you are an intrinsically introverted mom with an extroverted job, extroverted husband, and extroverted kids? Are you beyond exhausted but just can’t put your finger on the reason why?
See if you can relate:
1. Sometimes You Secretly Dread Weekends
After a busy week of work, packing lunches, bath time, homework time, cooking dinner, cleaning up and doing all the requisite weekday things, your brain and body crave a bit of something for yourself. If you’re longing to curl up with a good book or movie, but the rest of your family has other plans, whether it’s a sitter and a night on the town, or hosting a neighborhood cookout, you can easily spiral into a rut of resentment if this goes on too many weekends in a row. And you feel guilty about this.
2. You Are Raising a 7-Year-Old Socialite
Your kid does not like to be alone. She’s constantly asking for a play date or sleepover. You love that your house is a warm, welcoming place for your kids’ friends to gather, and the sight of a slew of bikes in the driveway and laughter erupting from the playroom. And while you are happy your child seems to be well-adjusted and plays well with others, sometimes you might just want your little family to yourself. And you feel guilty about this.
3. More “Book”, Less “Club”
Maybe you love to read. Maybe you even long to discuss that book with someone who shares your taste in authors. Perhaps you’ve even joined a book club in the past. But sometimes book club can turn into a regular girls night. And while that is fun, if you are an introvert it doesn’t necessarily recharge your batteries, and perhaps you leave feeling more exhausted and depleted than before cashing in your hall pass to enjoy an evening of “me” time. And you feel guilty about this.
4. You Have Inadvertently Pulled the “Bait and Switch”
Just because you can doesn’t mean you necessarily want to all the time. Many introverts are great with people. They have the ability to nail the job interview for a pretty public position, banter with the best of them at a networking event and possibly even partied down with the party crowd back in the day. And perhaps that caused you to continue that pace of activity after you had children. And since you can, you do. And do. And do. You accept invitations and do all of the things even if your energy level is pulling you in a different direction. And you feel guilty about this.
5. You Get Chills of Excitement at the Mere Prospect of Being Alone in Your Own Home
In the rare event that you find yourself inside of your own home with no one else around, perhaps you find yourself literally running from room to room, trying to do all the mundane yet satisfying things that bring you peace. Run and turn on HGTV! Run brew some coffee so you can sit on your porch! Run to the bathroom and paint your nails! Run to your kids’ rooms to hide the outfits that they seem to put on every day that you cannot stand. Do not walk. Run. Because this will not last long and you want to make it count. You might even feel sad when you hear the doorknob turn. And you feel guilty about this.
Who really cares about labels, anyway? Introvert, Extrovert, Flextrovert – it doesn’t really matter. What matters more, I think, is that no matter how grateful you are (and I most certainly am!) for your family, your network of friends, their kids, and lots of fun things to do to keep everyone busy, all moms crave a bit of head space now and again. If this sounds like you, then maybe you and I should meet for coffee. Or then again, let’s not and say we did. And enjoy and embrace an hour of alone time. And not feel guilty about this.