An Introvert Raising an Extrovert

Anyone who knows me knows that deep down I am very introverted. I am someone who is reserved at first and it takes me a while to warm up. Once I get there it is all systems go, but the getting there? It takes me a while. I just have always been someone who is incredibly content with being solitary and comfortable with my own company.

My oldest son Nate is very much the same way. He has his core group of friends but he isn’t someone that wants to be the center of attention or wants to be involved in a lot of activities that have other people like sports or anything. I have always respected that and to be honest felt a lot of relief about it. It enabled me to really not have to jump outside of my comfort zone.

And then his younger brother Ezra was born.

Ezra is not quite two and I can already tell that he is the complete opposite of me and raising him is going to be completely different from Nate. He is a person that so completely adores all eyes on him at all times. He has no qualms about smiling and waving at everyone he sees. We had some friends stop by our house tonight and he cried when they went to leave. He often does that when he chatters at people in stores and we all have to move on. His disappointment over having to stop socializing is so evident. He constantly wants and needs some sort of interaction; may it be music, dancing, chasing him around, him chasing YOU around, laughing, yelling, crying; you name it and he needs it.

I will be fully honest; it terrifies me. It makes me anxious. It makes me worry how on earth I will be able to keep this boisterous child’s cup full when I am just someone who cannot relate to the sort of extroverted needs that he has. I can tell he will be someone that is going to want and need to participate in things, to go be social and blow off some of the energy that just crackles from his whole little body. This means I will have to talk more to people, engage more, participate in things.

While that all scares me, I also know that I will rise to the occasion as best I can because I want the best for him. Because I love him and that’s what love looks like sometimes for your children, being uncomfortable and just doing the thing anyway.

At the same time, I also know that it is okay to admit it scares me. It is okay to admit that sometimes I know I’m going to fail. Sometimes I am just going to have to leave some of the things to my husband because my spirit is going to be exhausted and I will not always have the words to say.

I give myself permission to not feel guilty about it. No one really talks about how there are sometimes things as parents that we just can’t always do and how that is truly okay. We do the best we can to meet our children where they are at, but no one wants to admit that sometimes when we are drastically different from our kids that the work can be hard sometimes and admitting it doesn’t mean there is less love there. Admitting it can mean showing your children who you are as a complete person and loving them through it all.

I am always going to try my very best for my kids because they deserve my very best. Opening myself up and being in uncomfortable situations will also be good for me in a lot of ways and I fully know that. Some days when I feel like I can’t possibly talk more to Ezra, I somehow find more to give. Other days, I ask him if we can just sit and snuggle in silence and more often than not these days he obliges.

Because he also loves me and wants to meet me where I’m at too.

And that is more than okay.

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