I was recently asked point blank why I had four kids, given that I’m an introvert who suffered from anxiety.
The constant noise, the always touching and neediness, the endless worry and to-do list that comes with raising a large (young) family. Why on earth I would do that to myself?
Not skipping a beat, she stated that my personality type was probably better suited to raising a small family. You know, just one child – maybe two if there was an age gap between the siblings.
One child? Maybe two? Never.
I always knew I was going to have four children, lord willing of course.
This life I’m living? I wanted it badly. Because it’s the only family life I’ve ever known. I am a product of a large family, and so is my husband. Lots of kids, this is how we do it.
The funny thing is, when I was in the midst of this conversation with this lady, I wasn’t at all upset by her words (although my better judgement tells me I should have been). I had no desire to scream any “how dare you’s” or “you’re way off base’s”. Because when I think about it, she’s probably right.
My anxiety would be less without so much chaos and worry.
I would sleep better and more frequently with less of a to-do list.
Less people needing me and constantly yelling my name would be nice, some days.
Less. There would be so much less in my life, without these four kids. But you guys, my heart would be less full.
But why are we even having this conversation? I can’t turn back time, and my family is my family. I have four kids, and while it’s often overwhelming, it is what it is. I don’t regret my decision to have a large family, but yes I could use some fresh coping skills.
(Why do I feel ashamed that I’m having a hard time dealing with my current life stage?)
She said it’s important to know how we’re wired and what makes us thrive, in order to parent successfully.
I thrive in quiet. I like to talk instead of shout. Solo sports instead of team sports. Communication? I’m oftentimes not the best at.
So what’s an introvert mom like me to do in the chaos of her life?
Make the quite happen, she said. BWHAHAHAHAHAHAAH was my response.
But maybe she was on to something. If I hear here correctly, maybe she was giving me permission to tape my kids mouths shut and lock them in the basement. Because that’s about the only way quite will happen under my roof.
Less chaos, make it happen, she said. My kids need, I need it.
Last weekend, Gage and I went on a date to the movies. Just the two of us, we say an advance screening of The Croods. Sure, I could have taken the girls with us too, but to be alone with just him was so amazing.
And last night, Nola and I went to pick up her new glasses (isn’t she the cutest). Sure, I could have taken Piper with us as well, but Nola and I are never alone together. Sometimes I wonder if her behavioral issues aren’t because she’s begging for attention, feeling sandwiched in the middle and ignored. Because when it’s just the two of us, she’s so happy.
And when she’s calm and happy, I rest easy myself.
Tonight, PK and I are going to run some errands after dinner. Quality time one-on-one time can happen in the deli section of the grocery store, right?
I think what’s wrong is that often feel like I have to be with all of my children, all of the time.
Why “waste” time with just one of my children, when I should be at home with all four of my children. Messed up thinking, right? Because it’s not wasting time at all, and I’m slowly figuring this out.
My life, my family, and how God created me wasn’t a mistake at all. But just because someone decided that my personality lends itself to thriving in a small family, doesn’t mean that’s the life for me. I’m here to prove (mostly to myself) that I can be a successful and happy introverted mom in a large family.
Gah, why is parenting so hard? And when’s my next therapy session?