Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mama Bean is so utterly introverted

I've been musing lately that nothing demonstrates your introvertedness quite like becoming a parent. Introverts find social interactions - being with people - uses up energy, instead of giving it. They prefer being in small groups, because it uses up the energy less quickly. But ultimately, an introvert requires time alone, to rebuild their resources. Stock the reserves.

Children are people, too. And when they live with you, they are, like, always there. And chances are, they need something from you. If only your attention. In a small family, like mine, they use up my introverted energy less quickly than a large family would, but they use it up, nonetheless.

I think, before kids, I convinced myself I wasn't really all that introverted. Compared to my husband, I'm a veritable social butterfly. And you know, it is possible to behave "against (personality) type", to be extroverted in some situations, on purpose or otherwise. But behaving against type uses up resources - so, in an extroverted moment I might find myself energized by the party, as it were, but I have to have mental and emotional stockpiles available to make that possible. 

Guess what I don't have. Mental or emotional stockpiles. I mean, whatever, this is parenting, this is what we sign up for. So yes, I'm sleep deficient. And low on patience. And lacking compassion, many days. So, behaving against type? Ain't. Happening.

In fact, it's quite fascinating to see how having low resources highlights my personality, and really shows me the strengths in it, and also its challenges. Being Introverted when there's kids buzzing around all day is a challenge. Being Intuitive when there's clutter and toys and general disarray all over my Big Picture is a challenge - I can't just brush it to the edges and ignore it so long as it's not directly in my way or affecting my convenience (as PB does. And that's not an indictment. I often wish, these days, that I could just function through the chaos. But I can't.) Being a Feeler when my responsibilities to my relationships with my kids often feels like it isolates me from relationships with anyone else (including my husband) is a challenge. If I could be more logical about the division of my time and efforts, I might be more emotionally efficient, and have some love left over for myself at the end of the day. I don't know a mom who can do this. If you know one, or are one, tell us all your secret fortheloveofGod. Being a Judger when any given task may go four times faster, or (more likely) a thousand (million kajillion) times slower than you expected, or a tandem poop might upset your baby and your nostrils at any given moment, or your best intentions to always carry a snack for your unpredictably hangry toddler have once again gone awry - it's a challenge, friends. I am not so good at changing course on the fly. I like to know The Map. Parenthood is like a magical map that never looks the same the next time you look at it. It is unknowable...

Anyway, I'm just saying parenthood has taught me a lot about myself. What a cheesy thing to blog about. What has parenthood taught you lately?

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