The Biggest Struggle I Face Being a Mother
Being a mom is indisputably one of the hardest jobs I have ever had. I pretty much fail every single day in some way or another. There is one personality trait that I possess that makes being a mom even harder. I am an introvert. If you are an introvert too, you probably know what it is like and how it could affect your kids and how it affects you.
Being an introvert definitely has its downfalls with being a mom. I was recently talking to my neighbor about signing my oldest son up for kindergarten and the subject of sports and social gatherings at school came up. Her son is 10 and is very involved in sports. She was telling me about how she has to keep up with all of the invites for fundraisers, school sports for her son and various social gatherings for school.
As she was talking about this, my palms started to sweat. I panicked a little on the inside as going to social gatherings really isn’t my kinda thing. I would much rather be home, enjoying peace and quiet and taking in the little things in life. Social gatherings and social agendas aren’t really my thing. I enjoy privacy, being alone any minute that I can and treasuring one on one time with my kids.
She is so good at that kind of thing. She is an amazing person with such a warm and inviting personality and I probably seem like the ice queen. When I bought my house, I was single and lived in my 3 bedroom home all by myself. I knew my neighbors names, but honestly never really considered putting myself out there to be friends with them.
I have always been the type to keep to myself and I enjoy spending time alone. I don’t need anyone around to be happy or to entertain me. I feel the most comfortable in a quiet room, alone reading a good book.
In some ways I think that introverts feel safe and comfortable when we can hide and we don’t have to be exposed. At least that is how I feel. The less involved I am with people the more comfortable I feel.
I am so nervous that I won’t be able to keep up with everything that will be expected of me when both my kids are in school and sports. I find myself treasuring every moment of silence that I have and silently dreading that I have to keep up with a social calendar for my kids. I am not enough to as it is now, how will I be enough when I am stretched far thinner than I am at this point? This is by far the biggest struggle I have with my kids getting older and being more involved.
If their social lives depend on me, I feel that I will fail miserably as their mom.
I don’t like to keep up with societal norms at least not since we started paying off debt and everything changed for us. I don’t like the feeling of being judged for the crappy car I drive. I don’t like that kids have to start sports so early just to keep up with all the other kids or to be picked to be on a team.
Those things bother me, but I know that if my kids choose sports, it is just the way it is. I will be more or less forced to keep up with the Joneses in this respect.
Fortunately, there are 2 things in my life that are constants that help me wade my way through the waters of introvert land:
- My husband
I recently signed up to attend an event at church where Jennie Allen was speaking about her book Nothing to Prove. I honestly tried to completely avoid going. I put it off and thought that this whole Nothing to Prove thing wasn’t for me. After seeing multiple ads on Facebook and hearing about it from our pastor’s wife while in church one Sunday, I conceded and signed up.
I was so reluctant to go even the very day that the event took place. I was set to go all by myself and eventually made my way out the door to go.
Once I was there, I was in a room full of about 1,000+ other women. Jennie’s speaking event was actually much better than I anticipated it would be. I think I was expecting the talk to be similar to other motivation speeches I have been to in the past, but in fact her talk was more about how life is easier when you don’t have to measure up to anyone else’s standards and you have Jesus walking with you.
I felt a small sense of relief just for that night.
The emotion seemed to fade the next day.
I then decided to sign up for a 5 week class that would go into more detail with the book. I knew the course would be taught by our pastor’s wife and I love listening to her speak and teach the Bible.
Little did I know this would be the Best. Decision. Ever.
The class focused on really diving into the book and studying the Gospel of John. One of my big goals this year is to be more involved in church and become a member of a small group. This book club group is more of a stepping stone to a larger group that meets every Thursday.
After really studying the book and the Bible more, it is exactly what I need to overcome the fear I face as an introvert mom.
In the book, Jennie goes over this analogy that every woman has a backpack full of “junk” that she carries around. In the backpack we likely are carrying:
Mine is fear.
Fear that I will never be enough to be all my kids need. Fear that if I show the real me, that I won’t be liked. Fear that I will make a fool of myself. Fear that I have nothing to offer anyone else. Fear that I am not strong enough. Those are all in my backpack for sure. Maybe you can relate or maybe you are facing something in one of the other categories.
This book has helped me shave away some of those fears and I now realize that as long as I have Jesus walking beside me, I don’t have to be enough for anyone else and I don’t have to be afraid.
The other great thing I have going for me is my husband. He is an extrovert times 10. Seriously, the man will talk to anyone. Maybe you know someone like that. He has a very strong personality. Some people like it, and some think it is a little overwhelming. To me, he is my perfect compliment.
He helps me where I am weak and he pushes me to be more outgoing. He loves having parties, talking with the neighbors, activities at church, fundraisers, kid’s sports. You name the activity and he is up for trying it!
He is exactly who God needed me to be with. And I think the same about what God needed for him. I push him to be better in ways he never thought were possible.
Being an introvert can be so challenging as a mom because we need that time to recharge our batteries. We need the alone time to give our all to our kids. We need to have that time to just be us so we can give more to them. Mama, if you are reading this now, be intentional to create a space for that time. It matters. You matter.
Just know that I am right there with you, struggling to get over my fear of not being enough in so many ways, but knowing that I don’t have to try as hard because Jesus is my enough.
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