In my adult life I have always been a stereotypical extrovert. To quote one of my favorite princesses, “I wanna be where the people are.” My husband is the exact same way. So, when we had kids, we naively thought that our children would have to be the same way. Right?
Enter my daughter, who when playing with a group of kids is often in the opposite side of the room playing by herself. If she doesn’t get an hour of just sit and alone time in the morning, she is a weepy mess for the rest of the day.
Oh, but that’s so nice! You’re so lucky your kid just wants to be by herself in the morning, I wish my kid would do that!
This is something I often hear from other moms when I talk about our daily routine. And yes, parts of it are really nice, but parts of it also kind of stink. If I have to cut that morning time short because we need to run out the door for something, I know it’s going to be a rough day. I have to force her to engage with other kids as she’d rather be with the calmer adults or be playing by herself. We often have to leave our own social gatherings early, because she just can’t handle being around lots of people for more than 2 hours. Birthday parties can be very stressful for us, and restaurants, if we don’t go as soon as a nap or quiet time is over, are often ill-fated affairs.
We still do all these things because:
- We have to still function as adults or we will wither and die.
- We realize she needs to learn some social skills even though it’s hard. Preschool is fast approaching and like any parent I want her to thrive.
I think sometimes we forget that, no matter how little they are, they each are their own people, with their own likes, dislikes, and personalities. This is what I try to remind myself when I can’t get her to do what I think she should be doing, or function the way I want her to function, or play the way I think she should play.
I am an extrovert, she is not, and that’s okay.