Published November 21, 2008
Tags: introversion, SAHM
I used to feel guilty about the fact that I am often drained by a lot of social interactions. My dh, who is very extroverted, often thinks it’s strange that I will turn down playdates or other social opportunities. When I have had a busy week (or know that busy-ness is up ahead) I crave solitude. You would think that as a SAHM I would have more “alone” than I could stand, but it just doesn’t work that way for me. Besides, SAHMing can be busy too. I recently took the Meyer-Briggs personality test, and it provides ranges of points according to how you answered the questions. On the extroverted section? My score was a complete zero. Somehow that made me feel better, and now I don’t feel so guilty if I’m not in the mood to go outside to hang out with my ever-present neighbors, or turn down a playdate. I don’t always say no, I try to be considerate of the dutchkid, who just might be an extrovert like her daddy, but it has freed me to be more choosy when I need to be.
On Friday mornings, some very nice moms from my church get together at a playground in town. Sometimes we go, sometimes we don’t. I can’t tell you how nice it was to just stay home today. We had a leisurely breakfast and then headed out to our little park right across the street. Since it was morning, all the big kids and many of the little ones are in school of some kind, so we had the place to ourselves. I got to sit with the camera and be the keeper of the mittens, while she dug in the sand to her heart’s content.
I feel recharged enough to look forward to my busy weekend.
I love being a parent. Most of the time, I think I’m actually a pretty good one. But just when I’ve convinced myself that I’m ok at this job, I read or hear something that I’m doing (or not doing) is detrimental to my child’s health and future. It just triggers this wave of self doubt. I know that my particular blend of neuroses contributes to my shaky self confidence, and since the dutchkid may be the only child we will ever be able to have, it seems all the more important to “do it right”.
Lately I’ve been obsessing over the preschool debate. I am thinking about sending her for 2 mornings a week to a preschool program next fall. I use a Parent’s Morning Out program here very occasionally, because I don’t have the luxury of family in the area, and it’s helpful for appointments. Once your child is over 2, most places that offer PMO have 2 year old “classes”. Many of them are 3 or even 5 days a week, the one I’m considering I chose not only because of it’s good reviews but also because she could go just 2 days instead.
I think it just might be good for us both. The problem is that old mommy guilt kicks in. While I’m getting pressure from some (my MIL, people in my playgroup) that she needs the socialization, others are of the mindset that it’s completely unnecessary and in not so many words, is just maternal laziness. Maybe it is. Hello, guilt. Sometimes I get tired of being the playmate, and she just isn’t that great at entertaining herself. I let her watch too much TV as a result. Having 2 mornings a week would allow me to do some things for me (like studying the piano again). Selfish? Maybe so. I love my daughter so much it frightens me sometimes. I wish I could say that sacrificing myself for my child’s absolute well being is my life goal. But if being a mother has taught me anything, it’s that being a martyr about it doesn’t make me a better parent, it makes me resentful. I just wish finding the balance of focus between her and myself wasn’t so hard.