The house is eerily silent. No one is home. All that can be heard is the humming of the fridge and the occasional cranking of the furnace. It is peaceful, it is quiet, and it is exactly how I like things to be. I am an introverted mom, and this is my zen.
To the outside world, I don’t seem like a true introvert. I can be bubbly and friendly, and if the mood strikes, I can also be quite chatty. But that’s only with a select group.
Most people don’t know much about what is going on in my life. I’m likely not an ideal friend because I don’t willingly share a lot of information, nor do I ask too many questions of others.
It may seem like I’m not interested in getting to know anyone, but the truth of the matter is, I do want to get to know other people. Just one-on-one, and in-person, so we can really talk.
I’m not so much a fan of big gatherings where there are so many people milling about.
Nor am I a fan of five-minute conservations with someone I just met. Or catch-up conversations with people I hardly see and likely will never see again.
Playdates for the kids? My favorites are the ones when it’s just me and one other mom so we can connect while our kids having a blast playing together.
Lockdowns due to the pandemic weren’t that difficult for me as they were for a lot of people I know. They gave my introverted self a much-needed pause from the social scene that I didn’t realize I probably needed.
There are very few people who are close to me in my life. My Facebook and Instagram networks are extremely small, and my inner circle is even smaller. It may seem exclusive, but these are all the people I need in my life right now. This likely will change as the seasons change and people come and go, but for now, this is what it is.
As expected, I married the exact opposite of me. An extrovert. A person whose motto in life is, the more the merrier, the bigger the better.
I’m pretty sure I have extroverted kids too . . . or perhaps this is just how kids are at this age when there’s more than one trying to get my attention? I’m still trying to figure this out.
The shrieking, the yelling, the continuous chatter—three little voices all talking to me at the same time. It can be sensory overload for an introverted mom like myself. Some days, I can’t process it all.
I’m not the mom who likes to be told to enjoy the craziness of these days because someday I’ll miss it because mentally, I know I cannot handle the craziness. I often need to step away from things, but that’s not always possible, especially in a small house. Even if I did, I can usually still hear everyone anyway. On those days, I count the hours to bedtime. I yearn for when I can enter my peaceful, zen-like state once again.
I used to feel very guilty about feeling this way, and if I’m being honest, I sometimes still do.
Surrounded by extroverts in my life, I have always wondered what was wrong with me. Why don’t I look forward to big get-togethers? Why am I not embracing the daily rambunctiousness in my children with open arms? Why don’t I enjoy certain situations to the same degree everyone else does? Why am I instead craving solitude? Longing to be by myself sometimes, away from the ones who love me the most?
Not because I’m a jerk although it may seem that way.
Not because I’m anti-social although sometimes it may look that way, too.
Because I’m an introvert.
And like a battery that is about to lose its strength, my introverted self needs to recharge. But once I’m fully charged up, I’ll be back to my optimal functioning (introverted) self again.
So, I guess what I’m trying to tell you is, my name is Wendy, and I’m an introvert. And I’m slowly learning to be OK with that.
P.S. Introverts are a varied group. There are many different types of introverts with different characteristics. The essay above describes one particular type of introvert.