Confessions of an Introvert Wife

confessions of an introvert wife

It’s kind of embarrassing when you watch me doing hobbies.

I know, we’ve lived together all this time, so this seems odd.  But it’s true!  I feel very self-conscious about my writing, whatever face I might make while reading, my sheet masks, my piano playing, my selfies, my thrift shopping.  I’m always assuming you’re going to think what I love is silly.  Even though I know, objectively, that’s probably not true.  I’d rather hide that I’m doing hobbies than risk seeing a facial expression that reads, “how quaint and weird.”

I really hate your work parties.

I know I’m supposed to go be graceful and charming and schmooze all of your coworkers so they love you.  It’s part of my job as your partner, and I know I bring a different set of skills to social functions than you do.  But when I’m in the car on my way to the Christmas party, the back-to-school party, the Halloween party… I really really really want to vomit.  I feel super anxious for days leading up to the dinner party we’re throwing, or the casual BBQ we put on in the summer.  I don’t like these kinds of things, and they really stress me out.

When I want alone time, I mean ALONE time.

I mean I am the only person there.  Not “you are in a different room than me” or “you’re being quiet” or “the kids are outside.”  I mean I want to be completely alone in a space.  This is why I try to beat everybody up in the morning.  Also why I tend to leave and go get coffee by myself.

I have a lot of big feelings that I push down for the good of the family.

It is wildly unproductive to sit quietly and feel feelings.  Thoughts and daydreams and processing doesn’t get the laundry/dishes/dusting done.  When something exciting or frightening or stressful or hard or sad happens, I want nothing more than to be alone and work through it… but I usually don’t get to do that until much later.  I might be very distracted or “off” while I’m waiting for my processing time.  I feel guilty about that, but I can’t change my personality!

I’m not completely convinced you understand or value the way I think.

You’re a great man, and very kind and understanding on a whole.  But I sometimes doubt if you truly comprehend my social anxiety, and how absolutely necessary it is for me to have “me time.”  If you actually believe me when I tell you my short temper could be fixed by weekly coffee shop trips.  If you really honestly think it’s possible for me to feel nauseous walking into public events.  I have played the extroverted game for years as a survival mechanism, and sometimes I think I’ve even fooled you a little in regards to just how inward I really am.

I need warnings if you want to spend quality time.

Spending time with you is one of my very favorite things in the world!  But it’s very possible that I’ve been looking forward all day to reading in bed, and I can’t help but be a little disappointed when you suggest watching a movie instead.  Maybe I had an indulgent weekend of writing or yoga planned, and you spring up Saturday morning with an itch to disc golf.  I would be FAR more enthusiastic about joining you if I didn’t have prior engagements (yes, time with myself counts as an appointment!)

My quietness does not reflect on you.

When we met, I seemed loud and vivacious and excited about everything.  That’s because I was 15.  Just because I have grown quieter over time does not mean I find you less amazing, or our life less wonderful, or that I’m talking to someone else or thinking about anything else.  It is simply a reflection of having grown into my own skin, and being more present with my self.  The fact that you’re the only person I reliably open up to means you’ll always be my #1. Don’t worry.

 

What would you like to confess, as an introverted spouse?  You can do it here!

 

 

A Positive Spin: Being a Superhero

Please read the following  quotes with a snarky, irritated tone of voice.

mom tossing child - they're not lazy, you're just a superhero

“I can’t exactly do this by myself!”

This was my husband, trying to take a messy bib off a potty-training toddler who was running away down the hallway.

Are you kidding?  It’s one kid, and a bib.  Seriously.

This was my husband giving two little boys a bath.

Then why do you do extra-curriculars until long after dinner, and expect me to bathe both kids myself?

This was my husband trying to get both boys dressed for church on Sunday morning.

You realize I do this every single morning every week while you’re working, right?

This was my husband trying to make waffles with both boys in the kitchen.

How do you think you have dinner to eat every day, Mister?

“I’m tired, y’know?”

Same husband, explaining why he’s watching TV instead of helping me clean up to host a party of his coworkers.

TV makes you less tired?   How handy.

Falling asleep reading the boys their bedtime stories, which inevitably makes them screech and whine that he’s not “reading it nice.”

Not an excuse to poop out on your kids!

Sending me to do the grocery shopping by myself at 9 pm.

I am so tired I could fall down.  What gives you the right?!

 

These “cries of desperation” make me so ANGRY.  They reek of self-centeredness, weakness, lame excuses.  It feels like I carry the brunt of the parenting, and when my husband needs to do one minor task he can’t handle it.  I mother the boys solo for 10-12 hours per day, but still need to help him do it for 2 more hours in the evenings?!  As though a yogurt-covered bib is the most difficult possible scenario with two boys under 4.

Then, my perspective shifted dramatically.  (Do you ever feel like the Lord just smacks you upside the head with an attitude adjustment?  That’s what happened.)

I was in the middle of a mighty internal struggle, trying to hold back my biting words (the comments in italics.)  For a blunt, opinionated woman like myself, this struggle is a lot like plugging holes in a dam with my fingers.  I usually fail.  But this time, I had a revelation.

My husband floundering in these mundane tasks doesn’t mean he is being wimpy or trying to pass off his parenting onto me.  It actually means I’m a superhero.

That I possess an important set of skills, a talent at putting out proverbial fires, can juggle an inordinate amount of crises at once.  That my super-intelligent, creative, patient, 2nd-grade-teacher husband is flattened by fatigue and mess and multiple toddlers, and I am not.

The fact that I can do this full-time parenting gig all day every day and still stay awake through storytime, not get yogurt on the carpet, remember the groceries late at night,  throw parties, and have neatly dressed little boys is a testament to my strengths, not his weaknesses.

We stay-at-home moms and dads, we professional parents, are superheros.  We can accomplish what many others cannot.  We’ve been called to have an enormous mental fortitude, determination, and patience, and continuously pour from what we have been given into others.

I’m really glad my attitude has shifted about this BEFORE we add more little humans to this family

So the next time you hear your partner say, “I can’t do this by myself!” or “Could you just help me?!” or “I’m too tired!” I suggest choosing to hear “You’re a superhero!” instead.