. I saw a headline online the other day “to the extroverted mother raising the introverted child.” While I can sympathize, it got me reflecting on how I deal with the opposite combination: I am an introverted mother raising an extroverted child. In fact, our household is comprised of 60% introversion, 20% extroversion and a 20% balance of the two.
I do have sympathy for our one extroverted child, raised in a family (mainly) of introverts. In one sense, it has to feel like being a fish out of water because while this child loves to be doing and going and experiencing; sometimes the rest of us just need to … rest.
As a mother, I sometimes feel guilt because I don’t have the same level of energy of my child. My multiple jobs (even though I work from home) require a lot of mental energy and at the end of the day, my brain (and body) are depleted from all I’ve poured into others. I need time to regroup and I do that best alone.
However, in another sense, I think having one extrovert and one child who is a healthy combination of extro- and introvert is good for our family. It reminds me to take time to replenish on days when I can, soI have energy left over for those who truly matter. It gives me a chance to see life through their eyes and step out of my comfort zone because of the fierce love I have for my children.
Lastly, living in a family with so many different personality types, it helps our family be more accepting of others. We realize when people say “no” to invitations, it may have nothing to do with us and everything to do with their comfort level or whether or not their they have extra reserves to have fun.
In my opinion, living with extroverts and introverts helps me to be more like Jesus. It helps me learn to listen to the times when I need to get alone and refresh; it helps me be less selfish by taking care of my energy reserves so I have enough to pour into my family, and it helps me be more understanding of how others refuel (sometimes by being with others and sometimes by going off alone).
What about you? Are you introverted or extroverted? Do you live in a household with others who are similar to your personality or polar opposite? How do you create a balance with those you love?
© Cheri Swalwell 2019