I know it's easy to misunderstand me. Sometimes I come off as unapproachable or shy, and other times I'm outgoing and lively. And while it looks like I'm confident and love being around people, for the most part I'd rather stay home and be by myself. The misunderstanding have only grown more obvious now that I'm a parent, and the misconceptions I've had to deal with as an extroverted introvert mom are nothing if not exhausting.
Sometimes it's difficult to be the person my two children need me to be. For example, when there's a school function that requires my appearance and emphatic participation, I have to suck it up and live up to those expectations... even if I want to stay home, in bed, under the covers. The introvert in me usually wins out more often than not, and even though I can be personable and exciting when the situation calls for it.
It's easy to assume that someone who appears to be an extrovert doesn't need time or alone or would rather avoid large crowds. As human beings, we don't have the best track record of waiting to actually get to know someone before we make assumptions about them and their lives. But navigating the misconceptions of someone who is an extroverted introvert is exhausting, which is why I think it's important to talk about all the ways people are getting me wrong in the first place:
I Must Love Playdates
Can I handle a play date? Sure. Is it my idea of a good time? No. I would much rather schedule time with me, myself, and I, before I scheduled a play date with parents from my kid's school.
I Want More Mom Friends
Am I always happy to meet someone kind and fun and easy to talk to? Sure, but that doesn't mean I want every encounter I have with another parent to be a meet-and-greet. I have a close squad of moms that I rely on, and I'm perfectly happy with it. I don't need to make more mom friends for the sake of having more mom friends.
I Always Want To Talk About My Kid
Nope. I honestly don't really want to talk that much, to anyone, at all. I can! And I do! And I think I'm great at the whole conversation thing, too! But I don't go out of my way to talk about my children or motherhood.
I Have A Lot Of Friends
False. I have tons of acquaintances, sure, but only a handful of people I'd call in an emergency. Introverted extroverts give off the impression we're loved by all and have many social circles because we're usually well-liked. That doesn't mean we prefer it that way, though.
I can understand how I might come off as confusing, and even fake. I get that while I appear to be outgoing, and can be, that is not my default state of being and, as a result, I can appear disingenuous.
I'm not, though. I'm authentic and real and that's why I might seem so hard to understand.
I Love Parties
I will go to a part and have a great time at a party and seem like the life of the party. I will host a party of it's really necessary, drag my kids to a large birthday party celebrating one of their peers, and host family holiday parties so enthusiastically you'd think I was Martha Stewart.
But, again, this is not my idea of a good time. I do it because I love my kids and my family... not because I think this is a fabulous way to spend an afternoon. That's what Netflix is for.
I'm "Too Much"
If I'm "too much," so is every other human being on the planet. People are complicated and multifaceted and complex... and that's what makes them so great! You can't completely "get me" after only meeting me for two minutes, and that's OK! That's how it should be.