The Intoverted Mother

mother-child-sunrise-1307438I always dreamed that I would be a fun mom — the kind who plays pretend with her kids all day long. The kind of mom who lets them paint with their toes on big rolls of paper or who creates a giant fort in the backyard. And I’ve tried. For years I really put forth an effort to be a continuous source of fascinating and educational activities for my children. There came a moment, though, when I realized (with a large dose of guilt) that I am not capable of sustaining the energy it takes to be fun.

That guilt has multiplied over the years. I’ve prayed to be more fun, I’ve read books, scoured Pinterest, and forced myself to continue participating in childhood play until I grew to hate it. That wasn’t a happy situation either.

I finally gave up and left the position of fun parent to my husband. I decided my job was to take care of the kids, and his job was to play with them. That decision didn’t help the guilt though. I wondered what was wrong with me. Why did I not enjoy the most fun part of motherhood? The answer came to me one day when I read something about introverts and extroverts.

You see, I always thought that an introvert was someone who was shy or quiet, and an extrovert is someone who is outgoing and bubbly. I’m bubbly, so I assumed I was an extrovert, which would mean I should be fun, right? Actually, the defining factor of an introvert and extrovert is in how a person gains energy in relation to people. If someone gains energy by being alone and loses energy by being around people, that person is an introvert. And if someone gains energy by being around people, but loses it by being alone, that person is an extrovert.

And that is when the lightbulb flashed on for me. I am an introvert! A bubbly introvert, but an introvert, nonetheless. So much of my motherhood suddenly made sense to me. That is why time alone made me feel refreshed. That is also why I felt so drained when I would spend time with my kids — even if it was a fun activity. That’s why after a day of them being at school, I can look forward to seeing them again.

I did feel that as a mother I got the worst of two traits, though. I’ve searched for many weeks for a positive spin on my children having an introvert as a mother. My final conclusion was that I am content to spend my day alone to make dinner, do the laundry, and take care of their needs. So even though I don’t have all the answers I’d like, I can move forward as a mom, knowing a little bit more about myself and finding peace in the fact that God made me this way.

The Value of a Genetic Condition

panda piedAt the risk of beginning with a topic that can illicit fear in many people, I want to write about snakes. You see, my husband has developed a hobby of snakes. He has shared much of what he has learned with me, and I have to admit that I, too, have become fascinated.

The one thing that has preoccupied my mind concerning these creatures lately, though, is in relation to our species. In the reptile world, any animal that is different or special is a treasure and can cost thousands of Continue reading

The Carsick Caterpillar

caterpillarA few weeks ago we had some family visiting from out of state. We wanted to show them some of the local sites. One of the things we went to see was the Trona Pinnacles. They are huge rock formations in the middle of the desert. They were formed from deposits when the desert was underwater millions of years ago. They are pretty fascinating. But as cool as the pinnacles are, my children were much more fascinated by a carsick caterpillar.

About the last four miles of the trip is on a dirt road. I was leading the minivan caravan, and with a clear view, I was surprised to see things crawling all over the road. My curiosity got the better of me, and I stopped my car, and got out to take a closer look. Every couple of feet, or so, there were ugly caterpillars crawling through the dirt. They were the biggest caterpillars I had ever seen! Some of them were bigger around than my fingers and longer than the span of my hand! They were green and black with orange horns.

Being a thoughtful (although throughly grossed-out mom) I grabbed an empty water bottle and scooped up one of the largest caterpillars for my bug-loving daughter and sons. All the children in my car ooed and awed over such a fascinating creature. One son in the backseat called dibs on holding it, and I was grateful to have it as far away from me as possible.

We spent a couple of hours hiking and enjoying the sites. When we all got too hot we climbed back in the car for the ride home. There weren’t nearly as many caterpillars out due to the heat. I was ok with that. The thought of my tires squishing over dozens of creepy crawlies gave me the shudders.

As we pulled into our driveway, a voice called out from the backseat, “Hey, Mom!! You should see what the caterpillar did!” I feigned interested and took a look at the water bottle that was housing the children’s treasure for the day. I could still see the caterpillar in there, but only barely. Nearly the whole inside of the bottle was covered in what looked like chewed up leaves that had been regurgitated. I felt even more nauseous than before! I’m not sure whether the caterpillar got sick from being in captivity, having the bottle passed around between children, or from bump roads. Whatever the answer, though, I was not about to let it into my house.

The kids all made me promise not to throw it away until their daddy got home. The moment his truck pulled up to the driveway, all the kids were outside to show him. He didn’t have to feign interest. I watched through the kitchen window as they all gathered around it. They debated whether it would eat the upchucked leaves or not. As their interest subsided, I had them throw the whole water bottle away. The thought of drinking out of it again made my stomach churn.

My kids will probably remember nothing about that day except for that carsick caterpillar. Life is always an adventure with kids and caterpillars alike.

Sharing: The Blessings of Being Raised by a Low Maintenance Mother

3849c99509I enjoy reading almost as much as I enjoy writing.  I follow many writers and their work.  Each Saturday I will share an article that particularly touched me this past week.

Like many moms, I feel lucky when I get a shower and wishful for having cute painted toenails.  I often worry that my children will be embarrassed to be seen with me because I am not as beautiful as other moms. This article brought some peace to me on this topic.

Almost right from the start of the article, it is obvious how much the author, Brooke Romney, loves her mother.

Read the article Here: The Blessings of Being Raised by a Low Maintenance Mother

You Know You’re a Mom When …

celese_luke_0001you choose a gym because they have childcare so you can exercise and maybe even get a shower in.

your hairstyles consist of a ponytail and a ponytail.

you’ve worn a macaroni necklace while running errands to make a little girl feel good about her creation.

you feel selfish using the bathroom by yourself even though you spend the rest of the day thinking of everyone but yourself.

you can’t remember the last time you read a book that didn’t have Continue reading

When Can I Choose Happiness?

Isolated Old BucketI have thought a lot on the topic of happiness lately. Maybe it’s because I’ve felt it lacking in my life. My days have been filled lately with absolutely nothing more than the duties of motherhood; I’ve had no time to pursue the things I love.

There is no service that takes as much sacrifice as being a mother, and although service can bring peace and fulfillment, it is also one of the most difficult things a person will ever do.

Very often mothers are given the lecture to fill their own bucket so that they can give to others. I’ve heard that all of my life, and I completely agree with it. My question, though, is how empty does my bucket have to be before I can fill it? Does it Continue reading

Nailing Jello To a Tree

jelloTrying to work while kids are around is akin to nailing jello to a tree… or raking leaves in a tornado… or meditating at a death metal concert. That’s why any mother loves those precious hours when the kids are at school to accomplish things. I can usually get a whole lot of cleaning done as well as the bills paid. The problem with the job of a mom is that with the endless supply of work, we have to continue when the kids are at home.

I remember vividly trying to fold laundry with a one-year old. I often fold laundry on my bed Continue reading

A Life for People, Not Things

familyI grew up as the oldest of ten children. My mother was a stay-at-home mom and my dad was a teacher. As you can imagine, we didn’t have much money at all. My parents worked so hard to provide a good life for us, and all of the things we needed. We always had a big garden and spent our summers weeding, harvesting, and canning the food. We also were able to gleen the potato fields around where we lived. We were blessed to always have enough food, but anything else was a little more difficult to come by. We were careful to save anything that might be of use to us. We saved empty containers, clothes that could be used as hand-me-downs, bags of all kinds, anything, really. That kind of thriftiness allowed us to always have things that we needed.

However, actions lead to habits. I was so good at saving things that could be of use, that when I got married I continued Continue reading

My Deep, Dark Secret

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve had a secret addiction for quite a while now. It probably started about a year ago as a way of managing stress and frustration. Recently, though, it has become more pronounced. I’m turning to it more often, and I find every way possible to justify it.

Just this past week, I let my husband in on this deep, dark secret. My deep, dark Continue reading