If any of you know me personally, you most likely would classify me as an extrovert. And I suppose in a way, I would say the same thing.
But one thing that I’ve realized the older I get, is that I am becoming more of an introvert. Let me add that of course, neither is the right or wrong way to be. And that is why I am appreciating this season of becoming an introverted-extrovert. Instead of denying the fact that I like being at home, having some quiet and alone time with Mazy, and even quiet and alone time by myself, it is something I am learning to embrace.
When Mazy was born, it was one of the best changes that has ever happened to me. I was slowly becoming a home body, but after she was born, I became one hardcore. I had zero desire to go out places because she was a rather discontented baby, and I just felt more comfortable at home, in our routine, where it was just her and I. But in some ways, that wasn’t always healthy either. It took some time for me to find my way through motherhood, with all the changes taking place. I often wondered “who am I?” I was becoming someone I wasn’t familiar with and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with that person.
But as time went by, I realized that I was becoming exactly who I wanted to be – I just didn’t always think of it that way at the time. In raising Mazy, I want her to see that it’s okay to be both – to be introverted and extroverted, all at the same time.
Coming from a long-time extrovert, these are the ways motherhood has changed me into an introvert. It has taught me that…
- It’s okay to say “No” – as a long-time extrovert, because I LOVE people and get energy from them, I am quick to say “YES” to everything that crosses my path! But for my sanity and my family’s, I’ve had to learn to say “NO” and it’s been the most freeing word! When you say no to something, you are saying YES to the things that you want to keep as a priority!
- It’s okay to want to stay home for a night – I used to love when our schedule was packed to the brim. I mean something every night, someone to hang out with, etc. But then my health and reality hit. My body can’t do that every night, nor can our daughter. And sometimes being home, the very place where our life subsides in, makes me LOVE our home all the more, when we actually spend time in it! It still feels like a dream to live where we do, only because we’ve never had a house like this. It’s not off the million dollar market, but to us, it feels like it is. Spending time in our backyard in our pool, is where we grow as a family and in our marriage. I surely am becoming a home-body and love my days with nothing on the schedule, but a schedule that says HOME.
- It’s okay to want to sit and read a book and have some “me” time – I used to be TERRIBLE at just sitting down and doing what some would call “nothing.” Until my health took a turn and I realized that if I didn’t sit more, my heart would make me sit. Therefore, I always try to have a book to read, sitting on the end table. It used to stare me in the face and I would think “oh, I have to get that read” just to feel accomplished, but sitting down and having some quiet time, wow. This newly-converted introvert, becomes a whole new person – a PATIENT person.
- Much like the one above, it’s okay to do the things YOU love – seriously, it is! You may be in a season of life where kids are tugging on your pants every second – maybe that’s why they made yoga pants? I remember someone asked me what I do in my free time and I struggled…I mean STRUGGLED to tell them anything. I somehow forgot to tell them about blogging, which is a huge part of my heart, but it really made me wonder why I didn’t have anything to say? What do YOU love to do? I used to think that to be a good mom, that you gave up what you love to do too. As much as we think that to be true, it’s not. And I truly think it’s a lie. God has not called us to lose ourselves. Yes He has called us to live sacrificially, but at the expense of what? Our sanity? Our minds? Our hearts? Our faith? To pour out, we also have to be filled up. How do you get filled up? It’s okay to stop for a minute and do something for you. My extroverted self would tell me not to, but I’ve learned in order to stay sane, even just 3 minutes of doing something I love, even if it means looking at Pinterest for 2 minutes, do it!
When I was recovering from surgery, I was forced to stay at home. Going into public places was risky, for fear of getting sick (it was winter time). My immune system was weak and my body was weak, so I had to lay low for quite some time. I couldn’t even care for our daughter on my own, which meant I had to have someone with me for 6 weeks, every single day. It was life-changing.
Some sweet friends had sent me puzzles to do, which if you know me, I am OBSESSED with puzzles! Sitting around our kitchen table with my mom, making puzzles, talking about the good and the hard times, was so healing for me. Having to sit in a chair and do NOTHING, was stretching and freeing, all at the same time. I think I even watched a movie or two, which is completely unlike me. I used to think that sitting in front of the TV was such a waste of time, as other more important things were calling my name. Oh Kristin, the things you have to learn! Did you know there are actually some really great movies out there? Who knew?
All I can say is that I want Mazy to leave our home someday, with a healthy balance. Knowing that it’s okay to do the things you love, but also love others too. It’s okay to want some quiet time, while also getting out and meeting new people. She has been so good for me because Mazy is incredibly shy in some public places. A bury the head in my shoulder and never peak out, for fear of others, kind of shy. And it’s so good for me to see. It’s okay to have those moments. It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to spend a night at home. It’s okay to do what you love.
All things that I’m sure you all knew already, but this girl is just a little slow at learning sometimes…
So how about you? Are you an extrovert, introvert, or both? What do you do to find balance between the two?