Surviving Motherhood as an Introvert {Without a Mama Wolfpack}

I’m naturally shy and a true introvert at heart. When I got my first job at 16, at a retail store, {where I had to talk to strange people everyday} I learned how to send an “Outgoing Ambassador” of myself out into the world. I realized that my true self was better left at home where it couldn’t be tampered with, or I’d have to deal with major anticipatory anxiety everyday. I’ve gotten so good at this that people that know me now would NEVER think I am shy or an introvert, they would probably use the word outgoing. However, over the years, as a stay at home mom, I have become a bit out of practice on how to send out my “Outgoing Ambassador.” Sometimes I feel downright socially awkward. As an introverted person, I thrive on alone time and deep intimate connections with others. Surface small talk and shallow socializing absolutely exhausts me, and I honestly don’t know how to do it very well. I wish I had the ability to keep things light and not immediately ask deep personal questions like “So how long have you know you carried animosity toward male authority?” I know it’s not just the psychology major that did that to me it also just how I am. With three children and all the things that come along with that, I realized I no longer have as much emotional energy to send out my “Outgoing Ambassador.” Which means, sometimes I forget to reach out to friends, and I don’t plan social gatherings very often and I stay home more. I really feel ok with that, however, this means that I don’t have a large support group of people close by that I do daily life with, popularly coined as the, “Mama Wolfpack.” I observed a lovely montage of it over social media and it truly is lovely, but I just don’t have one myself. I feel at times that maybe I don’t really fit the mold for the “Mama Wolfpack”. My oldest is almost a teenager and my middle child is on the Autism Spectrum, and my interests include English Literature, 13th century poetry, making up stories and reading my thesaurus. I think it makes me a weird person to talk to because I don’t want to really talk about the typical mommy topics. I’m kind of over it, I’ve been a mom for almost 13 years. So here I am, a mom of three, with a handful of close friends and a hankering for solitude and poetry writing. I know there are other moms out there like me, who may feel a bit out of place in the world of mommies. How do you survive motherhood without a big social support group you may wonder? We all need to have “our people” even the introverts need to socialize but maybe a “Mama Wolfpack” isn’t what you need. Maybe you need an exercise class {yay Barre3!}, or a small group bible study {love my bible study babes!} or a mentor {Love you Bridge!}

Here are a few things I’ve learned about surviving Motherhood as an introvert:

1.) Embrace It

Trying to pretend that you are something that you are not is exhausting. You’re already sleep deprived from having so many babies so just stop it. Embrace what makes you, you and the things that bring you joy.

2.) Face It

Ask yourself what you need to thrive, because you do have to socialize at some point for your own wellbeing. Getting stuck in a rut of isolation is not good for your psyche, believe me I know {and characters from books do not count as socializing even if they really feel like your best friends}. This is where the “finding your people” comes into play, after you have embraced what makes you, you and the things that bring you joy, {mine are, Writing, Books and Barre3} and then find other people who like those things too.

3.) Choose a Mentor

Find a person who is a little farther along in life than you, who you admire and inspires you and connect with them regularly. Sage advice is good for the soul.

4.) Walk Along Side

Make sure there is at least one person you talk to regularly, once a week or more, that is in the same stage of life as you that you can confide in {Sometimes mama needs to vent when the threenager has peed on the floor for the fourth time in an hour, ya feel me?} and vise versa. It’s good to be a listening ear to others. It helps get you out of your own head, {where I often get stuck}.

5.) Invest

Find a person who is not quite as far along in life as you that you can pour encouragement into. Listen to them, share your wisdom and always take their call {choose wisely this can only be done for people who want a mentor, some people may really need one but not everyone actually wants one. Don’t force it or it will suck the life out of you.}

6.) Do more of what you love, without guilt. Now that you’ve allowed yourself to be truly you, read that thesaurus until the cows come home, recite Jane Eyre as you gaze solemnly out the window…whatever it is, love that about yourself and do it often.

I have learned that these things take a lot of work for me personally to put into practice. It’s painful at times but it gets easier and I am a better person for it. To all the Mama introverts, I see you. You’ve got this! 

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