This morning at the park I overheard several moms that are friends talking about a mom that is also part of their moms day out program. It wasn’t gossip, but for me it was pretty sad. The ladies sat and talked about this “kind”, “well intentioned” mom who would chat their ears off at pick up and message them for play dates often. And while not one of them could come up with something wrong with this woman, they all contended something was off by her need to connect with others.
Inside I was screaming. I wanted to fight for that mom, and to me she is just some hypothetical I heard about while sitting on a park bench watching my boys jump off the jungle gym. But I knew it was deeper. Because I’m that mom. And I wanted to butt in because these moms multiple times included me in their convo. But not this one. But I wanted to scream she may be lonely. She may just want a mom friend. She may not even need another friend, she may just be an extrovert. Or people driven and trying to be kind in the only way she knows possible.
I took it personal, because to me it was personal.
I’ve been a solo mom for two years now. I’m surrounded by amazing friends and family, but the majority of the time I am alone with two very rambunctious toddler boys. I crave adult conversation. I also crave deep connection. We are not meant to raise children alone. As an external processor it is a huge deal to bounce ideas off the people I love. I have no one fully invested in my children the way I am. The way a parent is. So I often find myself in conversations that my friends often would never sort through with other moms, but I remind them that my three year old can’t help balance these huge life decisions with me. And well my 18 month old brings me a play telephone if I keep talking for too long. It’s been a process accepting people won’t understand the way I engage with them all the time. And I’ve accepted it is ok to tell the cashier I may be rambling because I’m alone a lot. But I want for people to understand that, that “well intentioned”, “kind” mom may seem annoying, but get coffee with her and you might just be intrigued by who she is.
Some of my best friends can respond to a text I send with, “When was the last coffee date you went on?” Or “Want to go to the mall?”
Being an extroverted stay at home mom isn’t always easy, but it is worth it. And we thank our introverted counter parts for helping us through. I often find some of my friends would be drained by our long list of social engagements. But I just thank God that he gave me two very extroverted little boys who are along for the ride.
Two little boys who are passionate, and announce their arrival in a room. Who cry for a different playground because there are no other children at the one we chose. And who are never far because they also feed off my presence.