Introvert by way of Motherhood
Would you consider Dorothy Zbornak an introvert?
This is never addressed during the series, but I think she’s the most likely to be categorized as such. She is not incredibly social with lots of friends (nor has she ever been), but yet no one thinks to question why this is. She certainly has plenty to discuss with the impressive body of knowledge she possesses (see what I did there?) and she’s not socially awkward that we can see.
Sure, she’s uncomfortable in a bar but mostly in the sense that it’s a crowd of people she doesn’t know in social setting that’s uncommon for her: with a bunch of dudes. Heck, if she’s going to try to make conversation with the most awkward dude in the room, I think she’s got some social skills. Just sayin’.
Generationally speaking, personality types and self-care were not something taken into consideration whilst in the trenches of motherhood. In fact, anyone who did was probably considered selfish.
You took care of your kids, did all the other crap you were expected to do and to function completely and easily whilst doing it. Looking back and knowing more than I did as a child I think to myself, “Damn, that must have sucked. I have a lot of empathy for those Moms.” I’m sure Dorothy would have benefitted from some alone time and time to do things for herself. Unfortunately, Stan was always busy planting his flag on Mt. Olympus, but that’s another story.
When I was in my early-mid 20s I loved going out and meeting randos at bars (be it dudes at the bar or fellow gals in the restroom as we bonded over our makeup), dancing with whomever, talking to whomever, and keeping it light and fun. If I could fit a bunch of activities into one weekend, even better! It was awesome.
If you see me leave my house after 5PM you know it’s either for something I really want to do, or I’m obligated to do.
Somehow, especially since motherhood, I’ve become significantly more introverted to the point where the thought of doing something among a large group of people that are not my primary folx is exhausting. Here are a few other ways I know that I’ve become introverted:
Small talk is my worst nightmare. Worst. Fuh-reaking. Nightmare. Knowing that I will be going somewhere and responsible for small talk the entire time will absolutely get an audible “UGHHHHHHHHH!” from me.
Thinking of forced social situations and interactions with meaningless conversation makes me exhausted. I’m already thinking about when I can get home, into my sweatpants and watching something on Hulu in my bed.
I work for myself, by myself and absolutely love it.
My house is quiet when I’m working (i.e. I do not prefer to listen to music because I know it distracts me.)
Too many noises or sounds are overwhelming for me and I’m unable to concentrate. There are time, in my house, when my toddler, 4 year old and husband will all be talking to me, making noises at me or trying to get my attention all at once, and I am able to process exactly 0% of anything that anyone is saying. And sometimes, I’ll just shrug and say out loud, “I can’t hear anything that is being said because you’re all talking to me at the same time.”
I do often wish I had less introverted tendencies. Going out would feel a bit more refreshing. People would see me as fun because I actually am! It’s just that a little fun goes a long way for me.
Right now, in the throws of motherhood, I am tired 99% of the time. And when I say tired, I mean tired. I have not had consistently sufficient sleep in well over 4 years (it started during my first pregnancy.) What’s more is that the energy spent interacting with and caring for a young kid is not quantifiable, but it is significant. The knowledge that you are responsible for the survival of another human being who is vulnerable, blissfully unaware of the dangers they face and sometimes hangry is a mental energy drain that can not be captured with words. I know that many parents in my shoes do not want to spend the little free time they have doing things that require more energy. I certainly don’t. I’ve read that this is a relatively common experience for parents, and it really has to do with personality types plus the energy it takes to raise kids into fully functioning humans.
One good thing about my becoming introverted is this; I really enjoy spending time with myself. I always have. I can spend a Saturday night re-organizing my room, completely alone and that is my night. This is not to say that extroverts don’t enjoy their own company, but it’s important no matter your personality type that you can sit with yourself.
We all fill different roles for others during different seasons of our lives but ultimately, you end up back with yourself.
And if you've got that relationship down pat, you’re Golden.
In friendship and cheesecake,