Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
~ GK Chesterton

Friday, November 21, 2014

7QT: An Introverted Mother of an Extroverted Toddler

~  ONE  ~
Everyone has gifts.  Introverts have gifts; extroverts have gifts.  We short-change each other, when we neglect to look at introvert/extrovert traits through the lens of “this person who is driving me crazy has God-given personality gifts that I am failing to see.”

~  TWO  ~
With that disclaimer out of the way, I must admit in this very public forum that my extroverted child is getting the best of me!  My energy gets quite sapped some days!

~  THREE  ~
My husband, my first five children, and I are all introverts of varying degrees ranging from almost-anti-social to just-need-some-quiet-time-to-recharge.  Then along came Child 6.

~  FOUR  ~
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~  FIVE  ~
I CANNOT GET ANY DOWN TIME!!!   There are no strategies that work.  I’ve tried many, such as:

a) If I plan to be up earlier or stay up later . . . she knows and wakes up or stays awake accordingly.

b) I cannot “bank time,” as I’ve done with other children because there is no “storing up” for extroverts, it would appear.  When she is getting interaction, she doesn’t get her full; she wants more and more and more and. . .

c) We try to take turns entertaining her.  Some of my bigger kids are good about noticing when I’m at my limits and will spirit her away to play elsewhere, but she never comes back to me tired; she comes back ready for another round of play.  Not easy for me, the introvert who is done with interaction at the end of a long day.

~  SIX  ~
I love Child 6 as much as all the others.  I would give my life for her.  I remind myself how quickly time passes.  She could be our last baby and I don’t want to wish her baby years away.  At the same time, I find myself in survival mode too often.  In addition to thinking of myself, I wonder if there is something special that my little extrovert needs that I - and we – are not giving.  There’s an abundance of things online that help the lone introvert cope with a family of extroverts, but no help the other way around.  Maybe that means my lone extrovert won’t have as much trouble as a lone introvert?

~  SEVEN  ~
Perhaps my quote of inspiration should be “what cannot be cured, must be endured.”  However, let’s be a bit more optimistic and look to St. Therese, from “Story of a Soul” as our guide:  “And just as in nature all the seasons are arranged in such a way as to make the humblest daisy bloom on a set day, in the same way, everything works out for the good of each soul.”  The good of my introverted soul and the good of her extroverted soul, please God!


I’m glad to be back at 7 Quick Takes today.  It’s been too long!


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