Introverted Parenting

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I’ll start off by making it clear that I’m not writing this post looking for a pity party or pity friends. If I wanted attention I’d pull a Britney: Shave my hair all off and throw milkshakes at people. This post is more about my desire, or maybe lack thereof, to have Mom Friends… 

In the World of Moms, I often feel like a bit of a loner. I sit here in my house most days of the week, just existing with my kids. Sure, I take Isla to swimming lessons twice a week and to dance lessons once a week, but by no means does that make me a social butterfly. I sit there while she does her thing, talk to Norah (if she’s awake), and mind my own business.

While I have no particular to become BFF’s with the other moms at Isla’s extra-curricular activities, I can’t help but feel a little left out. Here are all these women gossiping having in-depth conversations about their jobs, where their next playdate should be, and which kid is sick at daycare {again!}, socializing and being outgoing. Maybe it’s my resting bitch face, but not very often am I addressed by any of these women, and if I am, it doesn’t last long before I’m back to sitting quietly off to the side checking in on Facebook to see if anything exciting has happened in the past 3 minutes.

Social butterfly, I am not. I am the One Mom Wolf Pack. Mom Squad of One. On social committees and PAC’s find me, you will not. But, that doesn’t mean I dislike people altogether. I enjoy interacting with other adults, but I like holing myself up in my Fortress of Solitude a little bit more. It takes me a while to warm up to new individuals and I’m not one to reach out on a whim, and that’s probably my biggest challenge with making (and keeping) new mom friends.

image via Buzzfeed

I once met another local mom who I followed on social media but never actually met in person before. It was her suggestion and I figured, “Why the heck not?! Potential new friend? Yay!” Except it was weird and awkward and we really had nothing in common. Basically, it was like an awful blind date and we never met up again. That experience left me feeling a little hesitant to reach out to new faces, so I avoid social events unless there’s someone else who I know and can cling talk to.

Sometimes I find myself thinking, “What about me?” when I see other parents hanging out together and going on park/play/lunch dates, jealous of their friendship and wondering why I’m not good enough to be a part of their crew, but then I always remember this one time I was waiting for one for Isla during one of her extracurriculars when one parent (who I actually knew outside of class) sat down and started chatting me up. It was kind of nice talking to another adult about adult things, but then someone more entertaining showed up and that was it. “Right,” I thought. “We’re not actually friends. We’re acquaintances. You’re welcome for keeping you occupied until someone better came along.”

“Am I that lame?” I wondered. “Do I need to do more outgoing?” Then I snapped out of it because I knew the answer: No I’m not and no I don’t. I have no desire to throw myself out there and do things I don’t necessarily enjoy doing just to become better friends with someone or be a part of the Cool Mom Clan. I’m sure if you were to ask Isla, I’m pretty f-ing cool enough.

In the past I thought my disinterest in socializing with “strange” parents would have a negative impact on Isla, but she has proven that isn’t the case. We’ll go to an indoor playground, and she’ll beeline it for the jungle gym and make friends with whoever she fancies. She proudly proclaims that she’s playing with “her kids” and like most toddlers, following along with whatever shenanigans is happening. Isla is proof that an introverted parent can have a totally outgoing kid.

Oh, and just so we’re clear, I do actually have friends. Some of them have children, some don’t, and we see one another when we can. I’m happy with the people I’ve surrounded myself with; they get me, I get them, and we’re never too good or not good enough to hang out with one another. Introverts, unite! We just get one another, yah know?

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3 thoughts on “Introverted Parenting

  1. Better quality friends than mummy friend fodder…..I had a group of girls I spoke to regularly while I was off work who I lovingly called “maternity mates”. They were great at the time in that they passed the hours but to be honest we had little in common past the colour of our children’s poo so when I went back to work, the relationships soon fizzled out and I made no effort to keep it alive because … well … there are just not enough hours in the day!!!

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  2. I am a stay at home dad with 2 daughters and this is exactly how I feel most of the time. The weird part is I am outgoing and I have always found it easy to make friends. It definitely doesn’t help being a male in the mom heavy stay at home world but I feel like some would come around. There has been a few times that I have been given the look like “this is for moms only” while at the play ground with my girls. My brother swears that once they start school that will go away. I guess we will see. Thanks for the post.

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  3. I loved this post :) This is exactly how I feel most of the time too! I’ve always been an introvert – sometimes I feel left out when the other kindergarten moms are hanging out together while the kids are in school but then I remember that I have very little in common with those ladies apart from the fact that our kids go to school together – and that’s not enough of a reason for me to want to spend time with them! Playdates exhaust me – even when I’m good friends with the other moms!

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