How do you raise an introvert in a world that prides extroverts? How do you teach someone to take the first step, make the first move, when it goes against everything in their nature? How do I do it? How do I come out of the baby making stage and into the stage of life where things get hard? When I see girls who don’t want to play with my daughter because it takes a while for her to get comfortable with others? Everyone tells me to schedule play dates? I don’t think I had one play date as a child. We came home from school and played in our neighborhood with friends who went to all different schools. We rode bikes and did cartwheels on the grass. My mom wasn’t thinking up some amazing activity to do with us. We just kind of did whatever, made up adventures, etc. We were happy. If I was an introvert as a kid, I didn’t know it. I do in fact understand my introverted daughter, very well.
But, I will try and schedule more play dates.
I don’t like labels though. We are a world obsessed with labels so in fact, I despise labels. And, I don’t want to label anyone, anything; me, my daughter, or anyone we come in contact with. Because, we are all different things. I thrive on alone time, but it doesn’t mean I don’t love time with my friends. I just need to decompress. My daughter is the same. She can be quiet, yes, but she can also be loud and boisterous. We, as people, are everything. We are always changing. My daughter was way shyer when she was younger. Now, she has come a bit out of her shell. But, we still have our struggles. Every single person always needs to work on something. Isn’t that correct? We all need to work to be better people. If you say to yourself, I’m fine with how I am. Then, you stay stagnant. And that means, you don’t allow yourself to grow. And growth, is a process of becoming more.
This is what I’m trying to teach my daughter. We need to grow. We need to break old habits and replace them with new ones. It is a journey. We are together in it.
That is also what I am trying to teach my hair pulling, pinching one year old…who threw up on me when I put her in a time-out. Ok, next idea.
And my other daughter who wears her bleeding heart on her sleeve, all juicy and beating like a tragic horror film. Tha-thump, tha-thump. Who throws herself on the ground and rolls around screaming, “Nobody is listening to me!!!”
“I am,” I say. At least I think I was.
And myself. For getting so affected by people.
I had a roommate in college whose head was in the clouds. Not in an unintelligent way, but in a genius way. My friend and I always said, “Look at her, ignorance is bliss.” It truly is. What we don’t know, can’t harm us. But, I know too much. I see too much. I feel too much.
I’m working on it.
One thing is for sure. I am all of my daughters. I am a hair pulling, introverted, bleeding heart. And I understand all of their struggles. I struggle with them, for them, and know that they are getting these feelings from somewhere inside my heart. So, if I don’t work on them for myself, how can I expect to help them become stronger, more forward, and from a place of gentle hugs instead of choke holds (that is how my one year old hugs)?
Although I don’t pull hair, I can sort of see why she does. :)
Motherhood is a journey that I never thought would help me look into myself.
I never thought I would be raising them and raising myself in the process.
Mothers, round up. We need to put our game face on. We can always be better. And we can always teach our children to be better. Start with suggesting to your child, to extend a hand to someone who needs it. You never know who is struggling inside with a hair-pulling, bleeding heart.