It’s Not You It’s Me | Confessions Of An Introverted Mom Raising An Extroverted Child


“It’s not you – It’s me”. I think nearly any introvert has felt the need to make this statement at least once. It can be so difficult to express and explain what it’s like to be an introvert. Most times when the awkwardness takes over it has absolutely nothing to do with the people around me – it’s all on me. The same applies to being an introverted Mom raising an extroverted child.

 

I Thought I’d Dodged A Bullet

 

I have to admit I got off a bit easy with my oldest. We are alike in so many ways including our introverted tendencies. I thought I’d dodged the bullet of having an extroverted child. He had no desire to be the popular kid. He was just as happy as I was to rent a good movie, eat some popcorn and spend the weekend at home – as a family. Birthday parties, sleep overs, play dates – even when he received invitations he rarely wanted to go.

 

He had plenty of friends, don’t get me wrong. Well actually he had plenty of kids who called him friend. He tended to use that word very sparingly and honestly only had 1-2 close friends. Even with that, he never wanted to go to their house or have a play date. He would rather invite them over to our home or settle for seeing them in school. It was heaven.

 

I had a happy kid who gave no threat to my introverted ways. I didn’t have to deal with other parents and the weird moment of trying to interact when all I wanted to do was be home. It was pure introverted parenting bliss for 10 years…

She tricked me!

Then came my oldest daughter. I thought I had scored a double hitter because as a toddler she’s was a bit shy which made me think I had another introvert. Nope. She tricked me. It’s as if the moment she turned 10 she became the kid who wants to go and be everywhere with everyone. My entire introverted world is officially in a panic.

 

So far I’ve dealt with several location birthday parties (I’m still dreading an in-home party – I’m so not ready), her very first playdate (at someone else’s home), sleep over invitations and I’m sure there’s more to come. With each one, I try to stifle my instinct to deny her requests and instead stand in awe at how this little extrovert is exploring and enjoying all the fun of childhood.

 

I don’t want to make her feel like she can’t be who she wants yet at the same time giving her the freedom to go to this party, that event and all the sleepovers also means I have to deal with this mom, that mom and all the people! So I created my own mantra…

It’s not them – it’s me.

 

There’s no reason why I should say no to any of the invitations. For her and for myself. Oh, I nearly forgot to mention. My extroverted child makes me her tag-a-long by default. While she is off playing and laughing with her other extroverted friends I’m left trying to turn on my reclusive extrovert to help me interact with the other moms, dads and adults standing on the sidelines.

 

I know from my childhood being an introvert can often be misread as being stuck up or even boujee. Feeling comfortable alone can come off as being anti-social. Being awkward in new situations can be seen as mean. For these reasons, I am always trying to be conscious of how I react in those situations. I want it to be clear, if for any reason I am awkward – it’s not them it’s me.

 

 

So I’ve come up with a plan. One with the soul purpose of learning how to parent an extrovert despite being a natural introvert myself…

1. Say Yes

I’ve learned if I think about accepting an invitation too long I’ll talk myself out of it. To get past this I say yes as soon as possible because on top of being an introvert I hate to disappoint. If I’ve already given my word I’m more likely to attend simply because I don’t want to disappoint or cause an inconvenience to anyone.

2. Get there early.

It sounds weird but arriving early gives me time to relax. To feel familiar and a bit more at ease once the crowd arrives. I don’t have that over-whelming feeling that comes when there’s a huge crowd and I’m the ‘new arrival’. If you know me, that’s why I’m early for nearly everything.

3. Remember it’s not about you

Being the parent of an extrovert when you are naturally an introvert means getting over yourself. It’s about your kiddie not you. So guess what that means? It’s about their comfort level not yours. If my daughter is okay with going to 3 birthday parties in 3 weekends then it doesn’t matter than 1 is my limit for the month. It isn’t for me it’s for her.

4. Keep your fears to yourself.

Don’t transfer your fear of situations and people to your child. This means sometimes keeping your thoughts to yourself. I’ve noticed I have been able to influence my daughter’s excitement about things by how I react to them myself. This is both good and bad. I can encourage her to do something but If I seem reluctant or hesitant I can literally see her own joy and enthusiasm change to reflect my fear.

There ya have it. That’s what I’ve learned so far in this new journey of raising an extrovert despite my introvert ways. It isn’t easy and I’m sure I have much more to learn but I am determined to give my daughter room to be herself fully without boundaries from who I am.

Now I’m sure if you’ve read this far (if you have – Thank YOU!) you’re wondering how TheMrsTee is describing herself as an introvert. I had this conversation with a fellow Blogger not too long ago. When she heard me say that she actually LOL’d. She couldn’t understand how I do what I do as a Blogger, Vlogger and Social Media Influencer and still see myself as an introvert. This is how I explained it to her:

Much like Beyonce has Sasha Fierce – Tiffany has TheMrsTee. They are both who I am except TheMrsTee is who I need to be when I am in a necessary social situation. I absolutely love my life as a blogger! I love the interactions, connections, networking and support I have found in this community. Still. My happy little introvert – Tiffany – is happy behind the screen in the security of my home. 

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TheMrsTee

Blogger, YouTuber & Media Influencer at TheMrsTee
Tiffany is the ‘ Tee’ behind TheMrsTee.com - a Lifestyle Blog created as a place to share her love of all things Faith, Family, Fashion, Food, Fun, Tech & Travel. Tiffany has established her influence within both the Blogging and Vlogging Communities. Tiffany has extended her presence beyond her URL to Television as a Panelist for the MomsEveryday TV Show for 2 Seasons and to the stage as a Cast Member of the Finale Season of The Listen To Your Mother Show. A 2016 VOTY Award Honoree, Contributing Author with iBlog Magazine and BlogHer.com growing herself as a Brand and Influencer are always at the center of Tiffany’s passion.
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About TheMrsTee

Tiffany is the ‘ Tee’ behind TheMrsTee.com - a Lifestyle Blog created as a place to share her love of all things Faith, Family, Fashion, Food, Fun, Tech & Travel. Tiffany has established her influence within both the Blogging and Vlogging Communities. Tiffany has extended her presence beyond her URL to Television as a Panelist for the MomsEveryday TV Show for 2 Seasons and to the stage as a Cast Member of the Finale Season of The Listen To Your Mother Show. A 2016 VOTY Award Honoree, Contributing Author with iBlog Magazine and BlogHer.com growing herself as a Brand and Influencer are always at the center of Tiffany’s passion.


20 thoughts on “It’s Not You It’s Me | Confessions Of An Introverted Mom Raising An Extroverted Child

  • HilLesha

    My oldest child is an introvert like me whereas I have a feeling that my youngest is going to be the life of the party. She doesn’t meet any strangers and can be “embarrassingly” outgoing at times!

    • TheMrsTee Post author

      Haha!! I definitely can relate. I think my kids over the spectrum of personality types… Good luck to the both of us! 🙂

  • lyd

    These tips are great! I don’t have kids, but I always assumed kids would be pretty similar to their parents (i.e. introverted vs extroverted). I was wrong!

  • Bites for Foodies

    My daughter is 4, which means by your calculations in about 6 years she’ll have broken out of her shell?? She’s a ham and a drama queen at home, but won’t say ‘boo’ in public!

    • TheMrsTee Post author

      Haha.. now that’s only if she’s meant to be an extrovert. If she’s an introvert her shell may remain the same…LOL My youngest daughter (8) is actually much like that. She is the chatter box at home but once you introduce non-family members to the scenario – Mums The Word. It’s almost funny. I guess we will both wait to see what our little ambiverts have to show us in the coming years.

  • Amanda Rosson

    Even though I do not have any kids, I could still relate to your post in SO many ways being an introvert myself! I secretly hope when I do have a child that they will be an introvert like me but in the case they’re not, I will definitely have to remember these tips!

    • TheMrsTee Post author

      I’m so happy you could find something to relate to. Being an introvert as a woman is it’s own thing. I still keep that hope alive but I think my last 3 are all headed towards extrovert – we’ll see and I will keep these tips for then as well! 🙂 Thanks so much for coming by Amanda and you’re encouraging words!

  • Lisa Favre

    This article hits so close to home right now! I’m an introvert so I totally get you – I get nervous being with new people (and, not even not that new… I’m just comfortable with a small handful of people) so when my husband invites friends over for dinner, etc. I get very awkward and don’t really know how to act. I feel this way with my kids as well – playdates, visits to the park… it can get nerveracking.

    • TheMrsTee Post author

      Yes Lisa! I tend to give an impression that I am anti-social when in reality I just don’t know what to do..LOL It can truly be nerve-racking but thankfully finding ways to work through it has helped so much.

  • krystal

    I always go everywhere early! I need to make sure I can find a place a park, get settled, and feel comfortable in my surroundings. I totally feel you on this post! I tried to step out of my comfort zone a few years ago and made myself go to a moms group. It was good for me but also totally not my thing… and it’s OK to admit that!

    • TheMrsTee Post author

      isn’t it funny how that one thing can make such a big impact on how we handle a social situation. Thanks so much Krystal!! It is totally okay to admit that…the point is you made the effort.

  • Abbie

    How interesting! I don’t have kids myself, but this definitely brings up something interesting for me to think about. My mom * brother are fairly introverted and my dad and I are fairly extroverted, so I wonder if that’s why we each get along so well with each other. Thanks for sharing!

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    • TheMrsTee Post author

      Thanks Abbie! That’s a unique situation. It may be the reason why you ‘pair off’ at times between either parents or siblings. Interesting for sure.

  • Teresa

    My oldest son was the same as yours! He never wanted to go to anyone’s house. Both of my daughters are friendly but not terribly extroverted. They like their friends, but don’t have a constant need to be with them.

    • TheMrsTee Post author

      Aaah those were the good ol’ days Teresa! LOL.. I never felt threatened with him because he always felt the same way I did. I admit my daughter is a different situation but I am still having fun exploring how to handle it and be okay with it.

  • Meredith Harrison

    You sound like an amazing mom! I don’t have children of my own yet but it’s really eye-opening see how your children can have completely different personalities than you! I am more of an extrovert myself but I haven’t really thought about what it would be like to raise an introverted child. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • Liz

    Great tips! I’m an outgoing introvert, so if I’ve already hit my socializing quota for the day I’m useless and just want to hide and recharge. However, I’ve found if I can get a task or a job for the event then I’m much more comfortable. It helps me a lot to be part of the event planning partly because I then know what to expect that day, and partly because it gives me an excuse to run off and do things if I need a minute to recharge and not come off as rude.

    • TheMrsTee Post author

      Thanks so much Liz!! Haha.. ‘socializing quota’ that’s a great way to put it. I do find I have a limit as well. Not so much a set number as more an emotional limit – like okay I’m done I need to go now. LOL I can see how helping to plan an event can take away a bit of the stress of the event. I think part of being an introvert is a fear of the unknown parts of a situation. Planning would definitely help with that!

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