Social daughter pushes mom’s boundaries
Q: So I am an introvert, and it has taken me years to finally accept this and allow myself to be happy alone, rather than constantly trying to appease my extroverted family with attempts to socialize that ultimately just made me feel like a wallflower.
My son is like me, but my daughter got the extrovert gene, and has more friends than hairs on her head. She seems to thrive in big crowds. She is still at an age in which I need to supervise her social engagements, and I often feel like the odd person out in the mother groups, who can chat easily with each other while I hide behind my Kindle.
Any advice for this wallflower mother as she tries to navigate her social-butterfly daughter’s activities?
A: My advice for any child-rearing-related problem that (1) is not dangerous, merely taxing/annoying, and (2) will eventually go away, is to give yourself permission to piece together ways to get through it. So, yeah, Kindle.
But do step away from it sometimes for limited stretches. It’ll facilitate your daughter’s deeper friendships — kids get invited many places through parents —and model for her the importance of getting out of our comfort zones. Even if she doesn’t understand it now, it’s a seed for later.
Plus, you might make a few nice connections in spite of yourself that you can turn into quiet coffee visits.
Wrestling with the idea of having children
Q: I’ve just crested the mid-30s hump and I still can’t decide whether or not I want to try to have kids. My husband is equally agnostic. How do you know when you know, you know?
Bio Clock is Ticking
A: You don’t want-want kids, so just decide not to have them.
Then live with that decision for a while. See how it fits. It is, after all, the far easier decision to reverse if you change your mind.